go the f**k to sleep

Have you heard of the book Go the F**k to Sleep? Have you actually watched/listened to the narrated version done by Samuel Jackson? He is the connoisseur of the word f**k so it makes it so much funnier. If you haven’t heard of it, read it, listened to it…. here’s the link for you:

Now I’m obviously mentioning this because I needed my kids to go the f**k to sleep. Today I was pushed to all of my mental limits and bed time could not come fast enough. I know plenty of moms who would handle my child’s difficult days with grace and poise. I want to be one of those moms. But by bedtime I’m hyperventilating from my anxiety and can’t take one more intentional rule breaking.

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I want this to be my truth.

The morning actually went fairly decent. Both the little ones napped early and I was able to get through some spring cleaning – despite the fact that it apparently is NOT spring here in Minnesota, but rather Snowmageddon.

BUT THEN he. woke. up.

He punched the baby. He pooped in his underwear. Very intentionally might I add. He dumped my water out. Dumped cereal out EVERYWHERE. Was just being a very difficult toddler.

Then we headed out to Blooming Portraits Photography Studio for Oliver’s 9 month photo shoot. I am OBSESSED with getting photos taken. My family hates it. I don’t give a rat’s ass. O was amazing. He smiled, he posed, he took FANTASTIC photos just to make mommy as happy as could be – it may have been unintentional but still. G was able to keep it together until the end of the shoot. And then it all spiraled out of control. It was small things at first, ya know? Not putting on his boots, not coming when I asked him to, not putting his jacket on, not getting into his carseat, screaming when I buckled him into his carseat.

We went grocery shopping because I am a gluten for punishment apparently. Supermom to ALDI! I spent maybe 15 minutes in the store. I grabbed the bare necessities. As we were leaving he was crawling on the conveyor belt, climbing on the bagging area and throwing a balloon at anyone who walked by.

When we got home, he locked himself in the bathroom while I was nursing the baby. He sprayed the entire room down with cleaner. But I didn’t yell. I did what I imagine all the good moms of the world do. I took him to another room, redirected him and I cleaned it up. No yelling. He still cried. And hell, my bathroom that I was already planning to clean, actually got clean.

The finished product of the bathroom he destroyed.

He continued to do as many jerky toddler things as he could think of until I finally felt my sanity snap. So I put him to bed. I told him I loved him, put him in bed and locked the child lock on the handle as I shut the door. I will not do the potty trick, or the water trick, or the adorable pouty lip trick.

Tonight he can just Go the F**k to Sleep.

Don’t Pee on Your Brother

some of the mom truths in my life….

Last night, when giving my two littlest a bath together, I sat on the toilet while they played. I can only assume that is where most parents sit. I stand up and see G holding himself as though he is going to pee. So I ask him…

“Are you peeing?”
“No, mama.”
“Do you need to pee?”
“No, mama.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, mama.”

So I start to walk back to my perch on the toilet and I hear it. The tinkling sound of pee hitting water.

“G!”

He stops. Or so I think. I start to walk again and I again hear it. This time he isn’t able to pinch it off and I see that he is aiming directly at his brother.

“DON’T PEE ON YOUR BROTHER!!”

FFS. I did not realize what I was signing up for when I became a mother apparently. Parenting is essentially a romantic comedy that takes place during a college party. During my years of momming I’ve learned a handful of things.


Using the bathroom becomes one of two things – a luxurious vacation or a spectator sport. Timing is what it all comes down to. Even if you have the chance to lock the door behind you, chances are you will see little fingers under the door and hear question after question.

Being allowed to shop alone -AT ALL- will become a mini vacation as well.

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You will say some form of “please speak kindly,” “how do you ask,” or “be nice” more times than you are able to count in a day.

As a boy mom I have said things such as:

“Don’t pee on your brother.”
“Please don’t wipe your butt on the couch.”
“Your penis belongs in your pants.”
“The couch is not a trampoline.”
“Your brother is not a trampoline.”
“The dog is NOT a trampoline.”
“If your penis is pointing up, you need pants on”

If you leave your children home with someone else prepare to come home to new stains and sticky spots in places you would never have imagined

There will be pee in every corner of your bathroom and you will have no idea how.

There is a good chance that you will resort to online shopping to avoid taking your children in public.

There is also a good chance that you will let more than one F BOMB drop in the course of your day. That’s OK. As long as it’s not your child’s first word. Fourth or fifth is fine though. 😉

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i drop f bombs

Books will be read on repeat, shows will be watched on repeat and songs will be played on repeat. Invest in ear plugs.

There are days you will not like your kids. And no matter what the media or Facebook moms tell you, that’s OK. You don’t have to like someone to love them and just because you don’t like them today doesn’t mean you won’t like them tomorrow.

Bedtime is your salvation. Some nights you will literally be counting down the seconds. Other nights you will say “screw it” and make bedtime earlier than normal just to get your reprieve. This is also OK.

you will have cold food and cold coffee but you will have a warm lap and a full heart.

Meltdowns will happen. Their’s will typically happen in public and at the most inopportune moment. Yours will typically happen at home and will result in a terrible case of mom guilt – usually followed by crying in the closet with ice cream, chocolate, wine or all three. It’s OK for both of you to lose your shit. Just remember to apologize and move forward.

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Dishes will pile up, your laundry will never be completely done, sippy cups will leak everywhere you don’t want them to, things will get broken. None of these things really matter but they will irritate the crap out of you at the time.

Baby wipes will become your best friend. They are literally the Swiss-Army knife of parenting. They can get nearly any stain out of clothing and will clean any mess your children make on themselves or anywhere else.

You will be tired. And not just regular tired. The kind of tired you feel in your bones. Because parenting is basically an experiment in how long your body can function on inadequate nourishment and sleep while being fueled by insane amounts of caffeine, adrenaline and baby smiles.

You will have moments of absolute awe and moments full of a love that is absolutely blinding. You will feel a swelling of pride that you can’t experience anywhere else in life. Because even though hearing a version of “mom” a million and one times in a day can be annoying, that million and second time is going to be at just the moment you need it and will be followed by “I love you.”

Parenting is the most difficult and most rewarding job in the world. It’s also messy, disgusting and plain out hard.

 

 

 

my mom body

although I no longer have the body of a 20-something young woman, I am happy with my mom body.

I’ve read my fair share of posts regarding the body of mom’s. Blog posts, magazine articles, letters to the editor. Plenty of photos and memes that have gone viral. But you know what NONE of those things do? Soften the blow when your kiddo asks why you’re belly looks funny or when your almost three year old finds complete joy in jiggling the extra skin.

You’re a tiger who has earned her stripes!

None of the empowering quotes or the beautiful reasoning behind why you’re even more gorgeous because of what your body did prepares you for that sting.

God blessed my body with the ability to carry three beautiful, healthy boys to term. The way my body has changed because it grew life in it on three separate occasions is not something that I take for granted. Every stretch mark I have reminds me of the beauty of the miracle of pregnancy.

My body grew three perfect babies… three beautiful BIG babies.

I’ve put on an extra 30 pounds on three separate occasions. Each time taking longer than the last to lose the extra weight. Each time putting weight on in different areas. And each time my stretch marks growing a little more.

My breasts have grown and shrunk and stretched out. They are no longer the perky breasts of a 20-something that I remember having.

The shape of my body has changed. My hips are wider, my breasts are flatter, my butt is saggy. There are lines and dimples and scars.

I’ve recently lost 30 pounds… the first time I’ve actually lost all of the weight I put on. Today I was chasing my boys around, wearing just my jeans and one of those lace bralette things.

Suddenly G is slapping my belly repeatedly.

D says to me, “He thinks you’re fat.”

Me: “Why would you think that?”

D: “Cause he’s hitting your stomach.”

Me: “He’s two. He doesn’t even know what fat means. Do you think I’m fat?”

D: “No.”

Me: “Well, that wasn’t a very nice thing to say to me…”

Ouch. Man. The sting of your child telling you you’re fat is not one I would wish on anyone. That honesty that they have… it’s unbridled. So not only are you sad about your child thinking you’re fat, you have to think really hard about the fact that they’re being completely honest with you.

But you know what… I don’t care. I’ve spent more time awake in the last 9 years because of kids than I did in all my days of partying. I’ve kissed countless boo-boos. I’ve nursed through cracked nipples, fed bottles of formula and stumbled through the dark to do feedings in the middle of the night. I’ve co-slept. I’m a mama, mommy, mom. Hell, I’m even just plain old Brix. I’ve suffered through morning sickness, migraines, going overdue, having a c-section, having a VBAC. I have every battle wound to prove it. A gangload of stretch marks that look so much worse up close than from far away – thank you Body Boost. One day my boys will appreciate the beauty behind what my body looks like…

I held them, I knew them, I loved them before I ever even met them…

Each of my “flaws” is a reminder of the bond that was formed all while they grew. I am eternally grateful for my body that carried my beautiful, if not sometimes overly honest, boys to term. While there are things that I want to work on, I will never again demean my body just because it isn’t someone else’s version of perfect.

kids are JERKS

I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that if you don’t believe that kids are jerks that you are either from a place that doesn’t have children (please tell me it’s nearby so I know where to go when I have appointments) OR, and I’m guessing this is more realistic, you are in COMPLETE DENIAL.

My kids do something jerky on a daily basis. Usually multiple times a day in all honesty. Don’t get me wrong. My kids are pretty fantastic humans. They do some pretty great things and have some awesome traits. Empathy, compassion, affection, ambition, courage. I mean, if we wanted, I could go on. But really, let’s focus on the point of this post.

D participated in his school’s science fair for the second year in a row. He did the whole thing at school with a friend during what is known as I-Time. Please, don’t ask me what that is, I literally have NO CLUE, other than it is a more challenging class certain kids get pulled into. Fantastic. Well, the science fair was cancelled Tuesday evening because of snow and was rescheduled for Wednesday. Now, I told D I would bring him to school for this so I could see his project. His dad met us up there. Now, I know that there are jerkier things to be said but I was pretty hurt when he said the following regarding how smart he is…..

“I get my smarts from my dad. My dad is smarter than you mom.”

“Um, your dad openly admits I’m the smarter one.”

“Yea, but he worked with cell phones and you only work at *insert store with a pharmacy inside*.”

“But I work IN the pharmacy… doing HARD stuff.”

“That doesn’t matter. Selling cell phones is harder.”

I’m pretty sure I stood there with a dumb/shocked look on my face. Like, really? I just finally got up the nerve to get back into the work place only to have my kiddo tell me he thinks it sucks as a job.

I’ve never really been very good at impressing people, so I don’t really try very hard. I’m just me and that’s all I can be. But I do want my kids to be impressed by me… even slightly. And when he said that, it felt like a kick in the gut. Ugh. Fricken JERK.

I know my kids love me. I also know there are times when they really don’t like me. And I’m okay with that. But I totally felt disrespected by his comment – and that I am NOT okay with. So I had to have a talk with him about his jerky attitude. Man, am I luckily or what? Teenage years are coming up.

And he’s not the only jerky one. G will intentionally pee in places when he’s mad. He jumps off my furniture while making direct eye contact and laughing as I tell him no. Both of the older boys will continue to wrestle with G even after I ask them a billion times to stop. Motherhood is tough folks.

Confession: I fake it.

I fake it. A lot.

I’m wonderful at telling people how fantastic I am and having them fully believe it. I’m absolutely terrific at plastering on a smile, letting out a bubbly laugh and faking my way through a terrible day, week, month or year.

I am a woman of faith living a life of chaos. I believe with every ounce of my being that there is a plan for my life. A plan for me and for my family.

But during the really tough seasons, no matter how much faith I have that absolutely everything will work itself out, there are times I fake it.

I fake the strength. The strength so many of my friends say they envy. I fake the smile.

Hide the worry, bury the stress, cue the smile, always respond, “I’m fantastic!”

But why? I try my hardest to embrace the chaos of my life.

When the going get tough, the tough mama sucks it up, gets shit done and embraces the chaos and her kids.

That doesn’t mean I don’t pray for some of that chaos to subside. It doesn’t mean I don’t bottle up all of the details of things happening and keep it contained on an inner shelf … it just means that sometimes that you have to FAKE it till you MAKE it even if it’s only for the public eye.

It’s okay to lose it. Sometimes I lose it. You just pick yourself up, brush yourself off and keep moving. Pour yourself a drink if you need to. Sometimes it’s okay to fake it.

I do recommend finding yourself a tribe. I have an amazing village of mamas that I can turn to when things get tough… when I’m feeling hopeless and all I have left to lean on is them and my faith.

Not a Pinterest Mom

I am NOT a Pinterest mom. I will never BE a Pinterest mom. #sorrynotsorry

I do projects with my kids. Sometimes they have fun. Most of the time it ends in tears – mine or theirs. #illnevertell

100% of the time it ends with my house looking like this….

Know which picture is going on my Instagram account though?

We used rice in sandwich bags with food coloring to dye our eggs this year. I was going to write a post to tell you how to do it and how cool it was. Instead I figured I would just show you what really happened.

A big old hot mess.

And that’s my life in a nutshell folks. I try to do the fun projects, someone inevitably cries or throws a tantrum – again, not saying who, and I’m left cleaning up a big old mess.

Hot Mess Mom

DON’T COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHER MOMS… WE’RE ALL A HOT MESS AND LOSING OUR SHIT. SOME OF US ARE JUST BETTER AT HIDING IT THAN OTHERS.

Do you ever find yourself comparing yourself to other moms? I do. All. The. Time. I don’t judge other moms – well, I mean, there are the ones who do some truly horrible things to their children and make the news and I definitely judge them. But ever since joining a larger community of moms on Facebook, I don’t judge other moms. But MAN the number of times I’ve caught myself comparing their lives to mine.

I have one friend who stays home with her kids and posts all kinds of amazing activities and adventures on her social media. I find myself wondering why I can’t be as organized as she is. Or creative. And I’ve seen this mom in action SO MANY TIMES. She legitimately is just that FABULOUS.

I have another mom friend who admits to losing her shit all the time. But when we hang out, I envy the way she’s able to talk to her son. The calm that she exudes. It might all be for me, but man do I wish I could think of the things that she says.

One of my friends works full time and is able to do all of these extra things for herself and for her kids. Where does she find the time? Or the energy?

I’ve actually had to come up with a strategy to stop comparing myself to others. With my anxiety I end up focusing WAY TOO MUCH energy on the comparison and get STUCK. But I found three questions to ask myself in these situations …

The first thing I ask myself – “ARE YOU DOING YOUR BEST?” Because if I am, then there is no reason to compare myself to someone else. And if I’m not, there still isn’t a reason to compare myself to someone else. There’s just a reason to work harder on doing better.

The second thing I ask myself – “DO YOU KNOW THE WHOLE STORY?” Because if I don’t know what they’re actually going through, comparing myself to someone else and wishing I was more like them might not actually be any better than my own life.

And lastly I ask myself – “ARE YOU BEING FAIR?” Fair to myself? Fair to the person I’m comparing myself too? Cause likely, I’m not. Especially not myself.

I’ve learned that people are really good at plastering on that fake smile and showing a social media perfect life to people around them but they struggle just like everyone else. And I’m no different. If you knew all the things going on in my life right now, you’d probably have to pick your jaw up off the floor. And I know I’m not the only one.

Make sure you’re happy in real life and not just on social media.

We are all hot mess moms and losing our shit. Every last one of us. Those that say they aren’t… well, I would love to be a fly on the wall in their house cause I could use the help. I’m the master of producing the happy life for house guests, play dates and social media. But I also have it figured out how to be happy in real life not just on Facebook and Instagram. Know what that secret is? Embrace the hot mess life and do your best. That’s it. Seriously.

why I lost my s#!+ today…

Want to know why I lost my s#!+ today?

D absolutely could NOT figure out how to be a decent human being to his brother who was at our house for the morning. I’m trying to raise decent human beings, not @$$holes. He couldn’t figure it out though. And I yelled at him. And swore, because I swear. And made him stand in a corner.

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I wish that I had reacted in a calm way. Figured out how to not lose my cool and talk to him on a level that he would understand. Don’t get me wrong… I TRIED to do it that way but he just KEPT GOING. I wish I could have some kind of Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins ability to just sigh and move on with some witty saying that makes my kids behave.

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BUT I DON’T.

And try as I might, I just don’t think I can BE that mom. Maybe I’m doing something wrong or maybe I’m just not cut out to be a mom – I know that isn’t true because I know that there are worse moms out there than me. It can just be so damn defeating when you look back on your day and realize your kid is going to remember the explosion. They probably won’t remember anything else from the rest of the entire month, but they’ll remember exactly what you said and what you were wearing because when something bad happens it’s like the memory is burned into their minds. What I need is one of those memory erasers from Men In Black. Turn that sucker on and tell them I reacted calmly and lovely like Mary Poppins.

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But you know what? Tomorrow is a new day and a new chance for me to try to be the best mom I can be… and hopefully tomorrow I am. Because what it all boils down to is, that even when I’m tired and stressed, that everything I do is for my kids – I have every intention of being the best, greatest, most awesome mom but some days all I can be is an okay mom. And hopefully they look back and know that I tried my best to give them my best even on my bad days.

 

 

the secret to taming the tantruming toddler

Sunday. 8:23 a.m.

I was preparing the family for our journey to church. Yes. Journey. Everything is dramatic where there are children involved. I had managed to wrestle the wiggling infant into a clean set of clothes and convinced the adolescent that wearing sweatpants to church was not acceptable. Everyone was ready to walk out the door and we needed to be leaving within 7 minutes.

Oh, but the toddler. He’d manage to pout his way into watching more annoying YouTube videos on my cell phone. That’s right – this is one of my secrets to taming the toddler. I give in to his pouting and let him watch his videos on my phone because then he isn’t following me around the house as I try to get myself and everyone else ready to go.

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The notorious pouting toddler

But then comes the point where I need to take the videos away and get him ready to go as well. This shouldn’t be as difficult as it is. Getting him to go potty so he doesn’t have an accident on the way to church… check. Convincing him to put undies and clothing on – not without having to actually wrangle him into his clothes and nearly get a black eye in the midst of it…. but check.

“Ready to go Gabe? Let’s get our shoes on.”

“NO!”

“Okay, let’s get our boots on.”

“NO!”

I pick out not one, not two, not three, BUT FOUR different pairs of shoes/boots for him to choose from. I’m exasperated and he is screaming. Finally, I throw my hands in the air and tell him to pick out his DAMN SHOES already.

What does he do? Thankfully he grabs two boots. Unfortunately, they aren’t the same boots. One is a light up Woody cowboy boot and the other is a cow rain boot. I try to convince him to pick just one pair – that isn’t going to happen. Screw it. At this point it’s now 8:37 and I NEED to leave so that we’ll get to the early service so we can make it to the Puzzle Room in time. So on go the mismatch shoes. At this point I realize he’s eating an apple… hmm. At closer look it’s definitely brown and likely been sitting out since yesterday. G LOVES to hide apples in places and eat them later. I’ve convinced him to wear a jacket – a raincoat but it’s something – and trying to fight that apple away from him is at the bottom of my list of priorities. I mean, it’s fruit, right?

Another way I tame the tantruming toddler. I let him wear whatever the hell he wants because the fight just isn’t worth the time. He wants to eat an apple that’s been sitting out since the day before? Go for it. At least it’s an apple and not chips from inside the couch.

Seriously though. Sometimes when it comes to the irrational minds of toddlers, the easiest thing you can do is JUST GIVE IN. Because what it comes down to is your own sanity. Mismatch boots with a rain jacket? At least the kid has shoes and jacket on. Seriously.

And yes. We were late to the service. The rest of the day was filled with more toddlerish behaviors as well… stealing a car from the toddler room at church, peeing in his carseat after I asked him FOUR TIMES if he needed to use the potty – like literally peed before I even got my own seatbelt on, throwing his lunch all over the floor because he wanted to watch more videos… the list is never ending. Sometimes you need to stand your ground and make it known what’s okay and what isn’t. But sometimes, like I said, you’ve got to give in so you can survive these years.

Trapped Puzzle Rooms

My mother in law was kind enough to set us up for an escape room experience in St Paul. D has been dying to do one so this seemed like a perfect experience! There are a TON of places doing these puzzle rooms right now – definitely a popular attraction.

We were signed up for A Very Potter Escape Room experience at Trapped St. Paul. Located on Snelling Ave in St Paul, it’s actually inside of an old house.

When you walk in there’s a large waiting area, a coat room and a sitting room.

There was a puzzle being completed on the table in the sitting room that my kiddos were fairly obsessed with.

The staff were all super friendly – especially since we actually showed up on Saturday on accident and were actually registered for Sunday. When we got there Sunday for our actual timeslot we were paired up with 4 other people. We were given our mission – make our way into the Headmaster’s office and retrieve the Elder Wand.

This location doesn’t actually lock you in the room, however the door is closed and you are set about to solve multiple puzzles that will lead you to your final puzzle and the Elder Wand. The great thing about this location is that I was able to bring G with despite his age – although I wouldn’t recommend it. I was also able to wear O throughout the experience.

I would definitely say that these rooms are geared towards older kids, teens and adults – which honestly most of them state clearly on their websites. We were able to complete our puzzle in 52 minutes… 8 minutes left to spare despite the fact that 2 of our participants were too young to help.

We had a fantastic time though and are looking forward to trying out some other rooms soon. Pricing for these experiences range from about $24-$40/person and lasts an hour. This location specifically is on the cheaper end of the price range at $24/person. If you’re looking for something fun to do with your older kids or a cool group date, a puzzle room or escape room is definitely a choice I would recommend.

Check out their website here!