The Life and Death of June Cleaver


Being an ideal parent requires a level of energy not found at the bottom of a pot of coffee, or a case of red bull. No matter your daily caffeine consumption, or your history as a high-school cheerleader, chances are you’re running low on steam at some point throughout the day.. Lately, For me, that ‘point’ is one that is constant.

I never seem to have enough oomph in me to ‘get things done’. Hell, let’s be honest… I am lucky if I manage to get them started these days. I am not gonna lie. I am God Damn EXHAUSTED and that “mother of the year” award is well out of my reach.

I am no June Cleaver, that’s for sure, but is that really such a bad thing?

I look around at all the parents I know, and while there are a few that might ‘pretend’ to be perfect on Facebook, it is a rare sight to see one that actually is. The truth is, most of my Mommy friends don’t even try to pretend they have it all together anymore, and you know what… they are a lot happier because of it.

I had the inkling to Google ‘June Cleaver” syndrome, (this curiosity came to me while I probably should have been cleaning my kitchen)  and what I found was hilarious… I really was just joking around, but apparently I am not the only one that see this as an issue in life.  Here is what came up in my search…

The first result from Google was a site called Ungrind.com and the author has a post called ‘June Cleaver Syndrome” in which she writes this:

June Cleaver Syndrome develops when we’re busy imitating someone else’s expectations, rather than those that are a reasonable fit for our lifestyle. We have an idea of what a “perfect” mom should look like, but that image isn’t anything near to the woman we are.

I can not help but envy the woman who wrote this, and agree 100% with the words. Even in the world we live in today, where the shows we watch make being a less-than-perfect mother a little more common (and dare I say acceptable) but we are also faced with the other extreme and judgment that comes along with this reality should it fall too far out of reach.

Sure, nobody expects us to stay home and cook and clean all day, a mother’s sole purpose in life is not to raise the children and keep the house… Yet how much of those duties have really been passed on?? Yes, we go out and work, or we can get away with a less than spotless house, but how do we ‘feel’ about it? How do we think we look because of it? How many of us worry, or make excuses for it? How many feel ‘bad’? Well I say, GET OVER IT!!

I am far too exhausted to worry about whether there is dust on my shelves, whether my floors are a little too sticky, or there are dishes in my sink. I am not going to vacuum every single day, and I am fine with the fact that there are fingerprints on my windows…

I am done with trying to be a ‘great’ mom, trying to please everyone, or trying to impress guests.. The truth is, I’M TRIED, and if you don’t know how that feels as a mother then your obviously on drugs (in which case, I want to know what they are and where you got them) because the truth is that just like everyone else I’d love to have a spotless house, and spend quality time with my children whenever they desired, teaching them endlessly, cherishing each second and watching them blossom and grow… But I am just too damn tired to care, and I highly doubt that my mucky floors are going to ruin their childhood.

I do what I can, when I can, IF I want to.. and If you don’t understand that, then you may not want to come over for a cup of tea or that bottle of wine because I am not going to kill myself simply to impress other people!

NoJuneCleaver

This was just another random rant from a Mad Mama.

Until Next Time…

 

10 Secrets of a Successful Summer and Sanity to Spare…


Kids are a joy, a blessing and a real pain-in-the-ass! Made even more the latter during the holiday’s… Yes, I am talking about “summer vacation”. You know those evil 2 months when even the teachers don’t want to be around your little demons, and you are constantly bombarded with various versions of ‘I’m bored‘ day-in-and-day-out non-stop, to the point that you just want to stop, grab the little jerks, shake them and scream at the top of your lungs….

BORED? YOUR BORED? Well MUST BE NICE!!! Perhaps you would like to do the laundry? Make lunch? Make dinner? Mop the floor for the fifteenth time this week? What’s that…? Oh you’re not BORED anymore… Hmmmm…”

or simply pack your bags and leave.

Whatever the case, there are some easy and effective ideas for keeping kids busy during the summer holidays that I want to share. These ideas will not only entertain the kids, but keep you relatively close to sanity as well… (Unless your teetering on the edge to start with, in which case I make no promises!)

The Secret of a  Successful Summer and Some Sanity to Spare:

  1. Summer Camp – Nothing breaks-up the holiday, or fights off insanity, like good old Summer Camp. A week or two of overnight camp for the kids is a great way to keep them entertained, help them lean, grow and experience the world, and enjoy some peace and quiet yourself. Most cities provide ample camp options for parents through over-night ‘away’ camps, or day camp options. If cost is an issue looking into your local resources, most cities have options for camp sponsorship so you can send your children away without much cost on you. Truly though, look at it as an investment and save ahead of time… Trust me it is worth the coin.
  2. Grandma and Grandpa – If camp is not an option consider creating your own escape with the help of family members. Grandma, Grandpa, Aunts and Uncles can be a great resource if available. Plan a mini-vacation for your kids by sending them to see relatives for a week, a month, or even a day. It doesn’t even matter if they life around the corner from you, or across the street, the main goal here is to get them out of the house, and get yourself some alone time. The change of environment, and noise level, will be good for everyone. Contact these people ahead of time… In fact, it is best to bring up such plans close to Christmas when it is hard for people to say no!
  3. Share the Joy – Get together with other parents and arrange ‘summer play dates’ where you each take turns hosting the kids at your house. You may have to put up with a day of extra noisy children, but it will be well worth it when it is another parents turn to host.
  4. Aim for Amusement – Amusement Parks are another great option for keeping kids happy during the long break from school. Check out your local listings for a park nearby and gather the kids up for an outing. Amusement Parks are guaranteed to keep the kids busy for at least one day, if your children are older, and the park is close to home, consider purchasing a seasons pass. Kids never get sick of roller coasters and you will have a few hours to yourself.
  5. Hit the Beach – The local beach, park, pond or river is a great way to get the kids out of your hair and give them something to do. Pack snacks, drinks, sunscreen and a blanket and head for the water. The kids can play and you can relax. Grab a friend or relative and take turns keeping an eye on them at the water so you each get the enjoyment of not having to worry and the kids stay safe.
  6. Lifelong Learning – Sign the kids up for some sort of lessons or sport over the summer. Not only will lessons help promote hobbies and education, they will give you an hour of peace each week. Karate, music lessons, dance, or sports are great options and many are available at low-cost options.
  7. Literally Lounge – The local library is a great resource for parents. Most libraries offer free or low-cost courses, groups and activities for children of all ages. Many of which are ‘parent free’ Check out your local library to see what they offer, in the very least you will have enough time to enjoy a good book and let your mind savor the silence.
  8. Trust Tradition – When we were young summer vacation was spent outdoors. We came in for a quick-lunch and got called in for dinner. Trust tradition and kick the kids outside for the day when you are feeling overwhelmed. Have them ride their bikes, set up a sprinkler, or build a tree-house. Children are often creative, provide them with a few items and let their imaginations run free.
  9. Stock Up – Be prepared for boredom but stocking up on entertaining items. Arts and crafts, movies and board games are great ways to beat boredom or waste away a rainy day. Keep a box, or closet, of useful items handy and point it out when you hear complaints.
  10. Last Resort – If all else fails look to someone else to do the hard work for you. Daycare centers and babysitters should not be forgotten during long summer days. Hire someone, or send the kids off for a few hours each week to help break up the routine. Summer is a great time to hire a sitter as there are many students willing to work for a little pocket-money and daycare centers often provide part-time or casual discounts to tired parents. Let someone else take over and take some time to yourself.

Don’t let the strain of summer stress you out, having children does not have to mean losing your mind. Look for creative ways to keep the kids busy and ask for help when you need it. Chances are your parents remember how hard summer vacation could be and will be more than willing to lend a hand. Most of all enjoy the time summer provides for families, before long your kids won’t want your advice, so plan ahead and make the best of the warm weather.

Mother’s Day – It’s the Thought that Counts… Really!


Tonight I came across a list on WebTabLab titled The 15 Worst Mother’s Day Gifts You Should NOT Give Your Mom and I have to say I am appalled by a number of the items listed…

The first item to head up their list of worst gifts is household appliances. Now, while I can understand how such a gift could be considered offensive, the truth is that larger, more expensive household items that your mother desires are NOT a bad idea. I, personally would enjoy receiving a new vacuum cleaner or the latest kitchen gadget as a gift because it is something that I will actually use, and generally would not go out and purchase for myself… It is dependent on the personality of the person of course, but I don’t think it should top the list.

The next item on the list that raises my disagreement is Bath/Body Gift Sets. Though I understand the reasoning they use, this is an item that a mother could go and purchase herself, honestly as a mother how often DO you? If it is an exceptional set that is clearly not off the Walmart discount rack, and the mother enjoys such products it can be a nice gift to give.

Cook Books/Diet Books is the nest item on the list, and though I agree with the diet book being a bad gift, a cook book (for a woman who ENJOYS cooking) can be a gift that will not offend… Though if there has EVER been even the slightest, most subtle hint in the past that this mother needs to improve her cooking, OR she is not constantly in the Kitchen and once upon a time dreamed of being a chef… It could offend her and should be avoided. Cooking Utensils is also on their list and goes hand-in-hand with the information above…

Another item, Jewelery Made By You  is a choice that could go either way. If you are a) under the age of 18 or b) truly talented as a jewelery designer then this gift is a fine choice.. BUT if you are 36 and broke as hell.. it might be better to fake a flu until payday!

Now Exercise Equipment or a Gym Pass would probably be a bad choice unless mom is a health nut or specifically asked for them.  As would an E-Card under any circumstance unless you live thousands of miles away, in a 3rd world country, and can not even afford the stamp to send a “real” one in the mail. There are other items they list I do agree with such as; Cleaning supplies, or Things That Are Not Her Interest, but items that say ‘World’s Greatest Mom‘ can be cute once in a while, and when not overwhelmingly tacky, or as a gift from the kids. As can Homemade Coupons if they are for jobs or tasks that she would appreciate and are actually going to be followed through upon request.

Now getting Momma Nothing is, of course, a bad idea, but I believe any gift… no matter the cost…. is an amazing gift because of the thought. I don’t think that this list should say these are “Bad” gifts, instead simply put thought into your purchase and you are guaranteed to please… because most Momma’s know that any “thought” is worth for more than any value!

Happy Mother’s Day!

I am holding these children hostage until things change….. Wait! Who’s stupid idea was this???


There has not been much to write about lately.. Things in my life are kind of at a lull…. Tensions in my home are running high because we are constantly having to  remind C of the most basic rules and manners. L is a tiny terrorist who basically does what she wants, when she wants, no matter how many times you say no, remove her from the area, or try to distract her with something else. The laundry is piled sky high…literally… The washing machine is broken, and I haven’t cooked a decent meal in days….

An absolute detest for my mundane life has taken over me. The regularity, predictability, and routine of my everyday are numbing my mind. The brief encounters we have been getting with warm weather only seem to intensify my wretched mood, because the moment I start to enjoy the warmth it fades away to gray skies and cold winds…. and I am just not made for gray skies and cold weather….

Basically, to put it simply….

I QUIT!

I have decided that from this point forward I am officially on strike until one or more of the following things happen:

  • Someone fixes the washer and offers to wash, dry, fold, and put away the stratospheric (it was the most fitting word) amount of laundry that has managed to pile up… I wonder WTF we have been wearing? I was not even aware we owned that many articles of clothing…. Seriously, I know I have a tendency to exaggerate, but this is not one of those times!
  • Mother Nature gets mood stabilizers, stops being a bitch, and decides to keep the weather at least somewhat regular…
  • Chef Ramsay moves into my house to cook for us… but I don’t have to deal with him directly! Or in the very least I’d settle for someone else offering to make dinner.. Even once a week!!!
  • We suddenly win the lottery and can afford a maid, a live-in Nanny, Kitchen staff, and a pool boy…. A new house with a pool would be good too, but it’s not an asset…
  • We get one of those I-Bot vacuums that does the entire house for you…
  • The mother of these children returns and takes them back where they came from… or they at least stop calling me Mom and expecting me to care for them….
  • Mary Poppins arrives via umbrella to make our house a magical place to live.
  • I wake-up to a spotless house, a loving husband and well-behaved children that actually listen to what I say and do as they are told… without arguments, stress, or stupid questions….
  • I wake up tomorrow and discover that I have become Kate Middleton…. I’d settle for that I suppose! I mean if I had to settle…..

But since none of these things is going to happen and I am simply living in a seriously deranged fairy tale dream… I will instead:

  • Do the excessive amounts of laundry that have somehow managed to take over the entire house and are threatening to swallow us whole, by dragging it to the laundry mat and sitting there for two hours while some strange man with a thick foreign accent tries to talk to me and the dryer eats my quarters leaving every article of clothing  sopping wet…
  • I will bundle up and deal with the weary, wet weather… I will complain that I am cold and get sick because my feet are wet. I will bitch and whine about how it is suppose to be summer, and I will yell at my kids to keep out of the puddles…
  • I will get off my lazy ass and cook dinner, because despite the fact that I don’t feel like cooking, I do love to eat… Many days I will make sandwiches, there will possibly be nights that consist of Kraft Dinner, and Peanut Butter and Jam will definitely be on the menu a few times…
  • I will continue to clean and care for these children, because although it would be nice to win the lottery… we would first have to play… and the thought of their mother returning to get the little brats angels is nothing more than a dream….
  • I will not purchase an I-Bot vacuum because a) they are over priced, and b) it would just be my luck that the things would come alive and kill us all….
  • Mary Poppins is high on crack and is definitely not coming…
  • I will never wake up to a spotless house…. because I have children
  • I may wake up to a loving husband… but he will have to leave before mine gets home….
  • No matter how hard I wish, no matter how many times I close my eyes and force it to be.. I will not wake up as Kate Middleton.. Which I suppose is better anyway… The media would have a frenzy if the Princess had a potty mouth like me… and can you imagine the headlines when they discovered I was an unwed mother of two crazy little children…. Who somehow managed to high-jack the palace, and steal someone’s life….

No I will continue living my life…. I will be a bitch because I am bored. I will whine that I am unhappy. I will scream when I am mad, and laugh at the stupid things my children do… But seriously.. if you don’t hear from me… Be worried… because I will probably drown while doing all this friggin’ laundry….

Royally Entertained! Oh Yes, I’m gonna go there…


I admit it…..I am among the millions who rose early to watch the beauty and excitement that was The Royal Wedding. I am ‘one of those people‘ that sat in front of the television at 5 a.m. to see a little girls dream come true. I got teary eyed as I watched Kate Middleton step out of the car and walk down the aisle to meet her Prince and live her dream. (every little girls dream actually) I loved the dress, I love the service, I loved the speeches, and the entire affair. In fact, the sheer beauty of it, coupled with her stunning appearance made me decide that I should forgive the bitch for stealing my man and ruining my life…. It’s OK Kate… I see that you two are happy and in love, so…. I forgive you!

Besides I wouldn’t want to have to kiss in front of all those people anyway….(I’m not one for PDA)

What I did NOT like though is the fact that the media is a bunch of gossip hungry vultures that MUST find fault in everything, no matter how perfect the reality was….

Long after the Ceremony was over, and only minutes after their first kiss, I was bombarded on the internet with play-by-play analysis of how the first kiss was reluctant, hands-free and somewhat cold….. ARE YOU F**KING KIDDING ME????

The entire wedding was flawless, the bride beautiful, no one fainted, vomited, tripped in their high-heels, or shouted out that they were Prince Williams secret mistress and that they were having his bastard child…I would call that success! It was PERFECT! But that’s the media… they NEED to find something that they can pick apart… and when it isn’t there, they simply create it…

Reluctant, Hands-free, Abrupt, Cold, Disconnected…. HONESTLY???

I want to see them stand up there on a balcony in front of millions of people, let alone the billions of others you know are watching on television from the comfort of their homes, and be able to share a passionate kiss without the awkward discomfort that Kate and William must have been feeling.

I completely understand that this wedding was the biggest media event of the year, I also understand the pressure they must have felt to not only ensure that they were happy with the wedding, but to ensure that the media and the billions of viewers were happy as well… they sought perfection… and in my eyes they accomplished their goal.

I truly could not believe that there were headlines on Google claiming that the kiss looked forced, claiming it looked reluctant, and I even stumbled across one blogger who claimed they didn’t look as if they wanted to kiss! (I will not post the link to that blog here because I will not support someone who is clearly just looking for attention by taking an opposing position to EVERYONE else and probably does not actually believe his own ramblings to be true!)

I say Bull-roar I think that they were amazing.. Kate Middleton held herself together far better than any other bride in her position would. Yes, the girl was nervous, of course she was for crying out loud! I would have been passed out on the floor the minute I stepped out on that balcony and saw those millions of people standing there watching me. Actually, I probably would have abandoned my Prince at the alter knowing that my each and every move was going to be so closely scrutinized. I would have been hiding out in Mexico just to avoid the pressure, Prince or Peasant… That stress would have gotten the best of me. I can’t handle the normal stress of day-to-day life half the time, I would have created a media frenzy when I checked into a mental ward!!

It just disgusted me to see the media and people ripping this moment apart all for the slight chance that they might get even MORE attention, to possibly generate even MORE sales than they already were from one of the biggest “Happy” world events since Charles and Dianna… I think the media, and that blogger need to find better things to write about rather than pick apart perfection when there are no flaws to be found….

Now.. Since I forgive Kate Middleton, as I said before, for stealing my man and shattering my dreams.. I wish them all the best and I hope they have a long, happy, and prosperous marriage….

Besides….

Prince Harry is still available… and he became the better looking of the two anyway….

Until Next Time….

Write On! 

I Hate Children….. On ‘Yes, I just said that….’


.Check out this humorous post on parenting:

http://ijusthadtosaythat.blogspot.com/2011/04/i-hate-children.html#

Speaking in Tongues… Momfinitions


Communicating with children can be difficult on a good day. Making the choice to have children means learning an entirely new language, consisting of words that after often made up on a whim. It

means learning sign language, and being creative in your expression and understanding. Parenthood can be related to travel in a foreign country where the simplest communications can become complicated chaos.

ParentsConnect.com posted a great article called Momfinitions that defines some useful words that have yet to make it into the dictionary. You can check out their site here, it is a great place for parents to talk, learn and connect with each other, and it provides you with a good giggle when you need to relax. 

Here are some my favorite Momfinitions from their post, as well as a few of my own. Many of which put a PG spin on some recognizable terms, and all of which are guaranteed to give you a good laugh… (It’s one of those ‘it’s funny cuz it’s true’ kind of moments) 

When you are done giggling, feel free to add your own…..

  • Booty Call - A call from the bathroom letting you know it’s time to go wipe someone’s butt.
  • Sleevekerchief - What you use to catch your child’s snot when there is no tissue around.
  • Diapergami - The secret parenting fold that turn a nasty diaper into a tidy package ready for the trash.
  • Keything Ring - What your key ring becomes in a teething pain emergency at the grocery store.
  • Boobifier - The act of using one’s boob as a pacifier.
  • Wuice - The watered-down juice at the bottom of your child’s sippy cup after you have refilled it throughout the day.
  • Unhappy Hour - The hour between 5 and 6 pm when every mother in America is desperately trying to entertain whiny, hungry children while simultaneously fixing dinner and tidying the house.
  • Peemergency - That moment, after you have loaded 10 bags of groceries and 3 kids into the car and just got on the highway, when your child announces that he has to go potty. Right. That. Instant!
  • Invisaowie - An owie so small that you can’t even see it, but it still requires a band-aid in order to stop the crying.
  • Snooze Control - The act of handing your child the remote control so they can tune to Nick Jr allowing your to get a few more mins sleep.
  • Toppler - A topless toddler, usually the result of an unprepared mother forgetting to bring along a change of clothes.
  • Boy-o-sphere - That strange, stuffy, puppy-breath kind of smell that permeates in a boy’s room, especially after they have had their door closed all day. Is it the laundry? Their shoes? You can’t quite place where it’s coming from, but you’ll know it when you smell it.
  • For Flying Peter Pans - A saying you use instead of profanity, when in the presence of small children.
  • Pootie - A pouty little baby face.
  • Peed Racer - What a dad becomes when he realizes there is a dirty diaper to be changed.
  • Peenial - A child’s denial of their need to urinate.
  • Thumb-dumb - The moment you realize, that unlike a pacifier, you can not take a thumb away.
  • Pundeled - The inevitable fact that as soon as you have your child fully dressed in their winter gear they will have to go to the potty.
  • Auto Re-say - The need to constantly repeat everything you say at least 12 times a day.
  • Dead-time - That glorious moment when you actually believe your child has fallen asleep without a fight, only to hear the pitter-patter of little feet along the floor.
  • Tubby-tears - A phase that all children seem to go through where they scream and cry in the bath tub.
  • Waddle Feet - Letting your child walk around with his shoes on the wrong feet because it’s easier than the fight it will take to change them.
  • Slug Hug - When your toddler hugs your leg and wipes her nose on it at the same time.
  • Snop - The snotty, slimy back wash left on your cup after your toddler takes a sip of your drink.
  • Ca-moon-a-K-shun - Your toddlers inability to clearly pronounce words, making everything sound cute.
  • Know-it-doll - A little girl who seems to have all the answers.
  • Sleaky - That awful moment when you realize your baby’s diaper has failed you.
  • Rottle - A bottle that has been hidden under the couch for an unknown length of time.
  • Entertelement - One of those days when you ignore all limits and simply use the television as a tool for amusement.
  • Mom-over - The art of making yourself look normal for a night out without the kids.
  • Wondry -Wondering when the last time you wore clean clothes was.
  • Shower-Power - A mothers amazing ability to shower, get dressed and be ready to go in a matter of minutes.
  • Snare - That look that you get just before your child throws a temper tantrum in the middle of Walmart.
  • History - Reading, and re-reading, the same bedtime story every night for 3 months straight.

 Special thanks to: ParentConnect.com for such a humorous post on parenting.


 

Now THAT’s Positive Thinking…


Free Money Collection in Cash

Image by epSos.de via Flickr

I came across a great site today, while wasting time on Stumble upon, called Almost Frugal.. One of the posts was titled “Six Advantages To Not Having Any Money” and I had to re-blog it here… Now THIS is what I call positive thinking;

Six Advantages to Not Having Any Money

1. An empty fridge is easier to clean. No more dirty shelves! And even the hardest to reach nooks and crannies are free of caked-on gunk. I’ve been known to take the bins of the doors of the fridge and run them through the dishwasher.

2. Think of all the good you are doing to the planet by turning your heat down! Lower heating bills are just a happy consequence.

3. Your mail carrier’s back deserved a break- how nice of you to cancel all your magazine and catalog subscriptions! Those packages from Amazon were a little heavy.

4. No more phoning a few thousand baby sitters just to find one free for Friday. And now you don’t have to feel guilty about leaving your kids at home while you go to the movies.

5. Nor do you have to feel guilty about not buying your kid (or yourself) that latest gadget. Self sacrifice builds character. And we all want our kids to have character, don’t we?

6. Thrift shops have the best clothes! Who wants to look like your coworker’s clone anyway? This way you get to exercise your personal sense of style, and feel good about all the deals your scoring. Not to mention that the proceeds usually go to charity what a good deed you’ve done!

Now I have suffered through hard times, I think we can all say that we have at some point, I have had moments of sheer panic because there was just never enough money to go around… This post made me smile, Kelly Rigotti puts a very positive spin on a very stressful problem! :)

*Don’t forget the weight-loss benefits as well, having no cash means eating less food, and dropping a few dress sizes!!! LOL… If were gonna be positive about this we may as well look good while we do it!!*

Hiding Behind Mommy’s Leg


L is now 13 months old. Don’t get me started on how fast time flies, it honestly feels like she was born yesterday. She is now entering toddler stage, and walking running everywhere. One of her favorite things is to toddle along with me on the short journey to go an fetch her big brother from school. She will waddle down the sidewalk and every few steps she gets excited and breaks into a rather entertaining run jog quick wobble, it is quite amusing to watch, and all the while she will be yelling her brother’s name as she cheerfully races along.

L, Happy at Home!

 

At home L is an outgoing, independent little devil angel. She wanders from room to room basically doing as she pleases without much regard to anyone around. She might climb up on a lap to cuddle once in a while, but for the most part she is content doing her own thing.

But… you get her on to the school property where other mothers coo and caw at her cute charm (yes I am one of those mothers, I think my daughter is the cutest thing this side of ‘Babbling Boo’) When people, I should say – when adults try to talk to L her outgoing, adorable, crazy personality disappears, and she becomes by a shy, timid little girl peeking out from behind mommy’s leg.

It is humorous to watch, and especially happens when other ‘mothers’ talk to her. With men she will curiously stare as they speak, but another grown woman… she immediately clings to my leg and sometimes even cries! One of the parents in particular really gets her going.

A grandmotherly type woman, with a thick European accent and a warm caring face. This lovely lady (who must be in her late 70′s) is constantly telling me how beautiful my daughter is, how smart she is, and how cute she looks (all to which I can only reply: “I know” lol) But every time this kind-hearted woman attempts to talk to my daughter she shuts down….

Immediately L will stare at the ground, she refuses to look up, she shuffles her feet, and she often puts a hand up over her face to block the womans view… she acts SO shy…it’s funny as all hell to see, but it can be sad at the same time because should the woman continue, after L has seemingly made it clear she is wanting no part of this conversation, she will then come up beside me, barry her face in my leg, and burst into tears! Pouty lip and all!! God it really breaks your heart, but of course like the “mother of the year” I am… I can’t help but laugh!

I have to wonder where this shyness comes from, certainly not from me, I am probably the least shy person in the world. My son never had a ‘shy’ faze either so I am somewhat unsure of what the proper reaction is.. most of the time I just laugh at her and pick her up so she can press herself into my chest to hide from the scary grown-ups that want to say hello…

Truthfully I don’t want her to be shy, I don’t want to promote the behavior, but at the same time is it really that big a deal???

L has not been around many other people, besides close family, due most to the fact that her father is overprotective and sees her as a fragile little china doll that might smash to pieces at any moment… I have been trying to socialize her a bit more over the last few weeks, but as I said she is more content with us, or herself and shows no interest in talking to other grown-ups…. other children, she will just stand and watch as they play, unless it is her brother that is.

I take her to the park on warm days, the library, and for walks outside. She watches people, but rarely gets involved in what is going on… I will tell you the story of the library fiasco at a later date, but to sum it up she was watching a small boy as he was playing with a toy and when he attempted to have her join in on the fun she burst into tears… at which point this confused little beast slapped my bawling daughter across the face!!! LOL she was devastated and spent the rest of the time at the library sobbing soulfully as she hid behind my leg!!!

And so I wonder.. Should I force socialization? Do I make my daughter play, talk and interact? or Do I just sit back and allow nature to take its course? Letting her personality grow itself? Is it really that bad that she has no interest in other people? or Is it a phase that will soon pass?

Suds up…


My daily challenge for the day today was to Relax in a bath or shower…Not a difficult task really. I LOVE baths. Lazy, Luxurious. Baths. Bubble baths. Bath salts. Baby oil. Smelly soap. You name it… the hotter the better… Let me soak up the suds.

This ‘oh so difficult’ challenge reminded me of how much I really miss just lazing in a bath to unwind and relax. We had an apartment for a short while that didn’t have a bath tub… It had a shower stall only, and a VERY small one at that. Sure showers are great, they get the job done quickly and efficiently. They are a great way to “wake-up” in the morning when you need to get-up-and-go… but they don’t compare to baths when it comes to relaxation.

We also had an apartment once that didn’t have a shower…It had only a bath tub, and a small one at that. I didn’t mind so much, as I said I LOVE baths, but my husband was not happy with the situation. The bath tub, being about 4 ft in length (at the most) was a tad small for his larger frame, and he looked really funny trying to fit his whole self in to it in order to get clean… Needless to say that arrangement didn’t last long and soon we moved on to an apartment that provided us with both options.

But all this talk about baths really made me think about some of the best part of a bath when you are aiming to unwind, and so here are some tips and tricks to make your bath time a relaxing experience;

Turn up the tunes
One of my favorite things to do is listen to music in the bath. Not only does the radio drown out the sounds of the world outside the bathroom door, it helps my mind to escape for awhile and allows my body to relax. Choose a station or a CD that calms you and take some time to lay back and listen. Be sure to keep the stereo away from the water though, or invest in a shower radio to avoid the danger of electronics near the tub.

Turn down the lights
Set the scene for serenity by turning down the lights and lighting up some candles. There is just something about a bath by candle light that is instantly sensual. Try using smelly candles to pleasure all your senses at once. Again as a warning, be sure that your candles are on a sturdy surface and out of reach of any children that may wander in unannounced.

Bring on the bubbles
When you were a child bubbles became castles, beards, and wacky hairstyles. They provided endless entertainment during bath time, and they just made the experience more fun. As an adult bubbles in the bath provide a sweet smell and some moisture for dry skin. With a variety of different scents you can find the one that relaxes you most and add a few drops to the tub to unwind… heck make a castle or put on a beard too if you like, after all your a big kid now and you can bath yourself!

Loofahs, sponges and washcloths
The weather can create wear and tear on our bodies. Dry skin and flaky scalps are common among varying climates. Go out and grab yourself a good loofah to scrub off that dead skin and make yourself feel soft as a babies bottom. The puffy mesh of a loofah, combined with some great smelling body wash, is a great way to refresh worn out skin and heighten your senses. But don’t forget to wash behind your ears and in your belly button…

Test the temp
I always run into the problem of a bath that is either too hot, or too cold, be sure to get the water temperature ‘just right’ before you climb in. A bath that is too hot will burn your skin, and nothing ruins relaxation like a cold dip in the tub. Check the water temperature periodically as the tub is filling to ensure you create the perfect pool.

Don’t forget the follow-up
Because baths can dry-out your skin it is important that you remember to moisturize after climbing out. Once again find a moisturizer that smells great and makes your skin soft. Apply it to your body while your still wet to achieve the maximum absorption, making your skin feel soft and leaving it with a healthy glow.

A few more ideas to make your bath extra special;

  • Baby oil is a great tool for grown-up skin too. Add a few drops to fight off dry skin instantly.
  • Epson salts help ease aching muscles and relax your body fast.
  • Got a cold or flu? A few drops of Vick’s Vapor-rub in your bath water will clear out congestion and relax an aching chest.
  • Lavender scented bath products will help you sleep.
  • A cup of tea while you in the bath is one of the greatest things in the world.
  • Oatmeal baths ease itchy skin and help treat allergy related issues. Also very soothing for people that suffer from eczema or psoriasis.
  • Essential oils can help create a mood with only a few drops. Lavender for relaxing or citrus for invigoration, even Vanilla to spice things up before a big date. They are affordable and you only need a few drops.
  • Adding milk or powdered milk to your bath has a cooling effect and helps ease sun burnt skin.

No matter what you choose becareful to watch for a reaction or rash, some people have sensitive skin and need to test themselves before submerging their whole body.

Most of all make bath time,” Me Time” Lock the door, lay back and enjoy the warmth it brings, even if it only lasts a few minutes!