Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Dreaded Eye Roll

Now that my hip is healing, I've been trying to get back into my morning routine.

5:30 Peanut wakes / Fix him his "got-ga-book"(chocolate milk)
5:30-6:00 Watch TV and cuddle on couch. Doze off until Peanut says, "Up".
6:00 Drag myself off the couch and fix coffee for me and my honey (who is still asleep)

Here's what went down Friday morning after my better half fixed his cup o' joe.

PICTURE THIS:

News on TV. Me on couch with computer. Peanut on me. Hubs sits down next to me, coffee in hand. Peanut loud. Hubs annoyed and turns volume on TV up. Me find funny on computer. Me share funny with hubby. Me look up. Me catch hubby doing dreaded eye roll.

Me want to punch hubby.

Let me interject here that I have a fabulous husband. He is the biggest blessing and hardly gets "in a mood". If he had a dime for every time I'd rolled my eyes over the years, he'd have a down payment for the Trump Plaza. That being said...nobody's perfect.

Together, we concluded that it was past time for a date night. I immediately booked a sitter, tried to work some "primping" time into my afternoon and at 7:00, we left to go out. We had a quiet dinner at an amazing restaurant and afterwards, parked the car by the lake and rolled down the windows. It was incredible. We laughed, kissed like college kids and chatted about nothing serious. It was just what we needed.

Being married is hard. Being married with kids is even harder. And being married with kids, having a traveling husband and living far away from family is by far the hardest thing I have ever done.

I've thought, "I can't do this." "Who is this guy I married?" "What was I thinking?" I get angry. I yell. I apologize. I get annoyed. I speak my opinion. I eat my words. I apologize again. I am right. He is wrong. He is right. I am wrong. I grow. I learn. I make mistakes. I have victories. But, it all boils down to one decision:

I love my husband and am in this for the long haul....dreaded eye rolls and all... :)




Photobucket

Friday, June 29, 2012

Oh Snap! shots Friday

This week has been, well, a week. I wish I had a heap of happy-pappy goodness to share, but alas, my brain is mush. It was my first week alone at home with the kids since the hip surgery in early June and...whew...

Thank goodness for friends who got groceries, helped with laundry, brought meals, kept me company, and loved on my kiddos. I would have gone stir crazy and ended up back at the hospital if it weren't for them. Thank you from the heart of my bottom! :)

The hardest part has been keeping the house picked up. I've become pretty handy with my crutches and can even use them to pick up and shuffle items around the floor. Kind of like Edward Scissor-hands....only with crutches!

Now ladies, I don't deep clean very often, but I do like things picked up and in their proper place. Apparently, I am pretty neurotic about it (something my Mom observed last week...sorry Mom).  But, with kids, one thing is certain: there will be clutter and things will be strewn from hither to yonder... (and, yes, hither and yonder are actual places...)

Could I be a little more organized? Probably. Could I teach the kids to pick up better? Sure. But, lose that Mommy guilt, ladies, because for now...it is what it is...



In real life, 


Oh Snap!


Clutter Happens.


A mother of three small kids sent the pic below and wrote the caption to go with it. Hilarious.


"Today's bottles complete with stinky liners, helmet ?, mermaid barbie who took a dip in the toilet, dried play doh, one shoe, wine glasses from last weekend bc they need handwashing, bucket of mop water bc I have been trying to mop since Tuesday, espresso mug, toothbrush ?, panties that my two year old daughter got out of the dirty clothes and put on like a backpack....and I won't comment on the shaker in the back :) There it is.....reality."

I love it!! Now, that IS reality! 

OK, people, next week's theme is PETS!!! Send me all of your pet mishaps, messes, or even some stinkin' cute pics of your pets with your kiddos! I know you won't let me down!! Tag me on Facebook, message me  or email me! I also have random ones that I am collecting as well, so send me anything that you think my fabulous audience would enjoy!!


PS. Have a wonderful weekend! Start planning those Fourth of July festivities and be sure take your camera's to catch some Oh Snap! shots!

PSS. Have I told you lately that I'm glad you stop by? :)


Photobucket

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Piece of Alabama Heaven

Miracles do happen. And I am living proof.

I just met another girl from Alabama. Living here. In Jersey!


Yep. You read correctly. There is another slow-talkin', sweet-tea-makin', peach-cobbler-cookin', kids-running-around-the yard, come-on-in-just-as-you-are, feel-like-I've-known-you-all-my-life Southern belle running around New Jersey. This place will never be the same.

I met her a few weeks ago at a mom's event. I'd heard she had just moved from Alabama to the Garden State. I admit, I was a little giddy to be meeting someone from my own backyard.

She pulled up a few minutes late and unloaded her four kids. Wow. She was skinny and beautiful. Dang it. I decided I could still like her. :)

As she headed over to the group, she went to grab her keys. But, they weren't there... She'd locked her keys in her car.

At that moment, I knew we was gonna be tight.

We have spent the past month hanging out and chatting on the phone. We have shared and laughed. It brings tears to my eyes to watch our oldest two play together. They both have missed their Alabama friends tremendously and seem so thankful to have a friend to relate to.

The thing is, they get it. They know what it feels like to miss Nana's, Maw-Maw's and cousins. They miss Auburn football and Vacation Bible School with friends. It's a lot to adjust to. It's been hard for us, but I know it's been hard for the kids, too.

I will say, God has brought me so many friends since I have lived here. And for that, I am so grateful. But, I still can't believe that He brought me a new friend from home...to make this feel more like home.


Thankful.

As they left to go home tonight, we all waved and hollered as they loaded their suburban to drive away.   My heart was more full than it has been since moving here. I feel amazed, that I have someone here that gets me. That understands. That also needs family away from family.

(Speaking of family, my mom knows her family. We aren't related, though, that I know of... Hey, it is Alabama people...)

So, here's to our Jersey future. And until we get back home to Alabama, God is taking care of us with more friends, and now, more family than we can count.

My precious new friend and I, with her youngest son.

Yeah, our kids ran around in diapers. That's how we roll. 

Say "ALABAMA!!!!"

Say, "NEW JERSEY!!!"




Photobucket

Monday, June 25, 2012

Dare NOT to Compare

I confess. I am a recovering comparer. I have been a comparer for the majority of my life. I've compared everything. My body. My house. My talent. My clothes. My situation. My role as a Mom. My spirituality. And yes, even my husband.

My comparative nature started at a young age. In first grade, I was devastated when Chad McDermit chose the new girl over me. I remember studying her, wondering why I couldn't be as pretty as she was.  She wore her dark hair in a ponytail that flipped in one fantastic direction and had the perfect button nose. I had freckles and a mullet. (a fact my Mom vehemently denies)

That's me on the right, at age 5, when the comparing began. 
That was first grade, people! I'm a therapist's dream come true...

I have spent hours making myself (and others around me) miserable because I wasn't as "skinny", "wealthy" or as "perfectly put together" as someone else. I have allowed my thoughts to fester into jealousy and have mentally "thrown in the towel" on hopes that I could ever be as "whatever" as someone else.

What is it in us that wants so badly to be the best? My Mom used to say to me (often), "Brianne, there will always be somebody better [at something] than you. Somebody prettier. Somebody more athletic. Somebody richer."

Talk about devastating. I was so appalled that my own Mother would crush my spirit with such terrible advice. I swore to myself that I would not be like her, but, daggumit, every time I say that, I eat my words.

I have had to work hard on overcoming my comparing ways. I've done a lot of soul-searching and restructured my way of thinking. Here are some tips that have helped me overcome the comparison trap. (I come back to them constantly.)

1. I can not be the best at everything. I can only do my best at everything.  There is a big difference.

2. No one has been given the same circumstances. Be content with your circumstances (past or present) and learn from them daily. "A happy person doesn't have the best. They have learned to do the best with what they have."- Anonymous

3. We can sit around wishing we were a certain way or take small steps in becoming the person we want to be.

4. Write things down you are good at. Focus on using those gifts to help others. When we see the difference our gift makes, we are less likely to focus on things we aren't as good at.

5. Celebrate your individuality. Do things you love and enjoy. Don't spend all of your time looking at things you wish you could do. God has wired every person in unique ways. Enjoy being that unique person.

6. Everyone has struggles. Even the ones that seem to have it all together have "those" kind of days.

7. Learn from people you admire, but don't put them on a pedestal.

8. Everybody is different. Not just in looks, but in abilities. One person's "easy" is another person's "hard".

9. If you focus all of your energy into being like others, you will never be able to appreciate all that you already are.

10. Your worth is not in your abilities, but in that fact that you were fearfully and wonderfully made by a Creator who takes joy in knowing you.  


Turns out, my Mother may actually have known what she was talking about. And besides that, who wants to hang out with someone who is the best at everything? Imperfect people are way more fun. And I think I'm pretty fun to hang out with, if I do say so myself!


Photobucket

Friday, June 22, 2012

Oh Snap! shots Friday

Well, my Mom flies back home to Alabama today.  She's been up here for the past week helping me run the house while I continue to hobble on my crutches. She has loved on my kiddos, cooked yummy meals, cleaned like a banchie and made me remember why I miss so badly living close to her. It will be hard to drop her off at the airport in a bit. (In fact, I will quickly change the subject before I burst into an ugly cry!)

It's been nice having the past three weeks off from full-time Mommy duty. I would be lying if I said I haven't kinda' enjoyed relaxing on the couch, loving on my two boys. (ok, I did do a lot of blogging, too) But, as I gear up for next week, when I am alone with the kids for the first time since surgery, I am having to remember to pace myself. Everything is a little "out of order" since I've been out of commission. I looked at the linen closet today and to my shock and horror, the first-aid kit was where the towels should go and the towels were where the first aid kit should go! (Deep breaths...Deep breaths.)

But, isn't keeping a perfect household impossible? No matter what you do, it gets undone. Without intervention, things decline and become more disorganized. If you ask me, it's proof that the Big Bang is a bunch of hogwash. That guy obviously didn't have a toddler at home.

Kids by nature are destroyers, little litterbugs that drop bits of junk everywhere.  Seconds after I'm done vacuuming, I can't even tell it's been done.

So, here's to all of us who are on the never-ending cycle of household upkeep. Let these picture bring you comfort knowing that you are not alone.

In real life, 
Oh Snap!


Little boys call this "picked up". 



As this little angel below said to her mommy, "It's okay. I'm just playing quiet."



 Teenage daughters like their "stuff".



The kitchen dishes multiply and no one seems to notice but you...



Your comfy recliner becomes a catch-all for random things, and eventually.....



......overflows into the garage/basement.



You take a break from the chaos and try to be all crafty with your kids, but nobody told you that a crayon wreath shouldn't go in direct sunlight...



Oh, and while you're being all crafty, your dog eats your blinds.



OH SNAP!


PS. Next week's challenge is "Everything but the Kitchen Sink." Send me pics of your kitchen surfaces. (boy, do I have a good one that one reader submitted last week!) Piles of dishes, messes your kids make, the aftermath of a dinner party, randomness that accumulates on the kitchen counters...ANYTHING KITCHEN! (no pantries, we will do that another week) Keep those cellphones handy to snap those shots and send 'em my way! Have a great weekend!



Photobucket

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A Note from My Mom to You

My Mom and I - June 2012

My daughter’s blog is about “being real, not perfect,” but I must admit to being almost perfect this past year when it comes to achievement. I know this sounds boastful, but I preached 52 sermons, protected dozens of people with insurance as a New York Life agent, provided care to busy children and written and edited a weekly newspaper.


Not bad, huh? How did I do it? I planted the seeds for this level of achievement 37 years ago when I chose to be a mother. Back then my achievements were more along the lines of preparing one meal after another, sweeping the floor a couple of times a day and laundering two to three loads of clothes a day. Daily, I cared for three little children who are now a preacher, an insurance agent and a full-time mother. I wiped little noses, changed cloth diapers (my only choice for the first-born), and performed nursery rhymes and songs to an adoring crowd of three.

As for the part about the weekly newspaper? That was my only direct achievement. The other things I did indirectly.

Young mothers likely think the same way I thought back then – will these tasks ever end and will they ever pay off?

For me, these answers are yes and yes. I do not cook much these days. I sweep the floor maybe once every two weeks or so, and I laundry clothes once a week. My payoff is having three friends with whom I share a long history. It thrills me to see them carrying out their chores happily and dutifully.

God gets credit for my past ability to be happy and responsible during stressful times, such as the times He gave me the peace of mind and joy to endure times when the family’s checkbook did not quite balance, when the children needed extra care during sickness, and when the hot-water heater went out.

I stepped back into the role of caregiver to my daughter’s eight-year-old and 20-month-old this week, as I helped her recover from hip surgery. The piles of laundry, the smashed bananas on the floor, the early-morning, wakeup call from the little one all are seeds for the next generation.

My payoff then will be seeing my children help out their adult children however they can. It will be their joy. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Redneck in Jersey

Our welcome gift to Jersey? 18 inches of snow.
 Fellow Southerners, here are ways to stand out in this neck o' the woods...

1. Refer to it as "New Jersey".
It is simply "Jersey" up here in the North. Write it down.

2. Talk.
Dead give-away. I've tried to mask my Southern draw at times so people could understand me better, but I only end up sounding like a goob.

3. Say you're excited about visiting New York City.
It is simply referred to as "the city." Helpful Hint: Use little enthusiasm when you say it. As in, "Yes. dah'ling. I'll be having brunch out on the terrace and then going into the city."

4. Ask what "jug handles" are. 
Jersey doesn't allow left turns on most major roads, so you must turn right to go left. Just don't ask. 


5. Drive off with the gas nozzle still in your car.
A man might chase you down screaming. Simply explain that where you're from, you pump your own gas and are having a hard time getting used to the 'Don't Pump Your Own Gas' law. But take note: He won't care.

6. "Improvise" when there is no diaper around.
See picture below.

Hey, it got us home. All I'm sayin'.
7. Cry when people are short with you.
People are brutally honest up North. Hey, a librarian made me cry. A librarian. It's not something I'm proud of.

8. Call a grocery cart a "buggy". 
That most certainly will get you shot.

9. Let your son run around outside in his diaper.
Yes, it is cute, but the neighbors will talk. I do it anyway.

10. Do random acts of lunacy. 
Recently, I drove around with a dirty diaper stuck on top of my car for a few days. I didn't know it was there. (thanks, honey) That's a sure-fire way to say, "I'm not from 'round here."


PS. Refer to this list if you are ever passing through the Garden State. It might come in quite handy. (or at least explain the dirty looks)



Photobucket(or "Bama", as some call me up here)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Funny Buddy




We don't get to fly home to Alabama that often. And when we do, we spend most of our trip visiting  family, which we miss terribly, since moving to Jersey. But, we also try to carve out a little time to visit some of our closest friends. There's never enough time!

My oldest son's best friend, Drew (above pictured as Superman), is one that we always squeeze in. They met at church at age four after we moved back to Alabama from South Carolina in 2008. (yeah, we've moved a lot) They were instant buddies. And my son misses him terribly.

As much as my son misses his little friend, we do, too. He was a riot. I'm talkin' laugh-so-hard-you-almost-pee-your-pants funny. But, he wasn't trying to be, which made him all the more hilarious. His adorable high-pitched voice (one of a kind) and the things he would say, we still talk about.

This past Christmas, our schedules were crammed and we could only squeeze in a couple of hours for the boys to be together. My husband and I arranged to drop off our son at a nearby Chick Fil'A so they could grab lunch and play on the indoor playground. We left him with Drew's Mom, and a couple of hours later, returned to pick him up.

After good-bye hugs and giggles, my son climbed into our car. And, oh how the story time ensued...

If you know anything about Chick Fil'A at lunch time, the indoor playground is crowded.  And it's little. So, it's loud. But, most moms sit at their tables outside the glass-enclosed playground, chatting away, totally ignoring the chaos.

My son said, that at one point, he and Drew were inside one of the tunnels blocking kids from passing through, unless they knew the magic "password."

Apparently, one mom, who was brave enough to enter the area without a hard-hat, noticed the boys were causing quite a traffic jam inside the jungle gym. "Umm, excuse me! Little boys inside the tunnel! You need to get out and let other kids pass through!"

They didn't budge.

She spoke up again. "Little boooooys! You need to move out of the way!"

Drew could contain his frustration with the lady no longer and spoke up from inside the tunnel...      

                         "Don't make me go home and get my brand new paintball gun!"

As you can imagine, that did not bode well with playground mom. "Little boy, do I need to go get your Mommy?" Snap. She threatened to get mommy. He knew he had no choice but to relinquish his power over the tunnel. As he turned toward my son and climbed out of the enclosure, he leaned in and passionately said, "She crushed our dreams, man."

Now, I don't encourage any of this behavior and Drew's Mom was mortified when she found out what he had said. We told the boys they shouldn't have blocked the tunnel and they should have obeyed the mother the first time she asked them to move. But, you better believe that when the boys weren't looking, we laughed...our stinkin'...heads off.












Friday, June 15, 2012

Oh Snap! shots Friday

Well, I  had an overwhelming response to this new weekly addition. Thanks to every one who sent me pics!  By the way, instead of tagging me for your photos, click the "share" button underneath your picture. Then click the drop down arrow, "On Your Own Timeline", and chose, "In a Private Message".  That way, none of my readers will get a sneak peek at the shots! You can also email them to me.

And, please remember that your pictures are streamed over the internet, so don't send anything that you wouldn't want the world to see...(not that the world is following my blog, but I hope it gets there eventually!) Enjoy!

In real life...
Oh Snap!

Babies Cry. Some more than others. Seriously. Babies cry.





They eat like pigs...




They get into Everything...








They make very bad decisions...

Like, seeing if their head will fit between the railings. "Mom! I stuck!"
Like, coloring with marker all over their face and clothes


They pitch fits. Like, majorly...




Kids pout and cry when they don't get their way...




And, sweet little siblings fight...dirty.

Like, drawing on your brother who's sleeping because he made you mad
Like, having an all-out brawl over a broom. Seriously. 


But, the best part about real, is when you can catch it on camera.




Next week's theme will be "Pictures of Home". Anything to do with home: pets, messes, decorating mistakes, ugly decor, craft mistakes, etc. I already have a few that were emailed to me this time, but I need more. Keep 'em coming....


PS. Don't forget to tell your family and friends if your child was featured! Send 'em my way!


     BRI

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Oh Snap! Shots Needs YOU!

I recently was watching Fox News and Melania Trump (wife of the infamous Donald Trump) was on to promote her new jewelry line for QVC. After her plug, she offered some pictures of what her real life is like when the camera's aren't rolling.

I present, exhibit A:

photo source: http://milanesegal.blogspot.com


Well, thanks Mrs. Trump, but I highly doubt that. You see, here's what REAL looks like:



Seriously. Do you think any mother in her right mind would think that the picture of Mama Trump and son poolside was just a snapshot? In Alabama, we'd call that a "bunch of Hoo-ee".

Sure, I wouldn't expect her to post fat-pictures of herself or pics of young Barron William Trump running around with Superman undies over his head, but pictures that are posed usually don't tell the whole truth.

Well, I for one have had it! It is time to be real ladies! To air our dirty laundry...literally. Let's show each other the true ins-and-outs of motherhood. Think... the opposite of Martha Stewart.

Why can't we share and laugh about the reality of life? To see that another mom, ok, lots of other moms out there aren't perfect. To see that other people let the laundry go sometimes or let their kids play in the Butt-paste just to buy five more minutes of peace. (or is that just me?)

So, here's where you come in. Email me your pics. Your real pics. Not your organized pantry pics. Not your kid's perfectly-posed outdoor Easter shots. No gorgeous table settings and no shots looking amazing in spandex while running a 10K. All great things...just not what I'm going for here.

Every Friday, I will feature a reader's realistic pic in"Oh Snap! Shots". And if you'd prefer, you can choose to remain anonymous, so no one will even know your craziness. (Well, I will, but trust me, there ain't no judgement here...)

So, START SNAPPING! Pictures of your dirty dish pile. Pictures of your kids melting down. Even pictures where you, *GASP*, have on no make-up. I need material people! Don't let me down!


PS. You can tag me on Facebook on your pics. Add a caption or some words  I will share those, too!


Aaaaand, GO!  Can't wait to see them...


         -BRI


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Pity-Party Pooper

Today is day seven of crutches, which means day seven of mainly sitting on the couch, which means I have too much time to think, which means I start analyzing, which means I start doubting myself, which means my negative, pity-party alter-ego rears her ugly head...

"Your blog isn't good."

"You'll never be successful like so-and-so."

"Look at all of the amazing talent out there. You'll never be as good as them."

"You're not pretty anymore. Stretch-marks, age-spots, grey hairs, uneven skin tone...shall I continue?"

But, as I was bending down to shave my legs in the shower (which is quite awkward standing on one good leg), my lets-put-our-big-girl-panties-on alter-ego showed up and interrupted. I met her a few years ago when learning how to overcome my depression and anxiety.

"What would you do if your best friend was talking to herself like this?"

That's easy. I would interrupt her rant and say, "Are you kidding? You are so talented! You have so much to offer! Sure, there are other women who have amazing talents, but does that mean you have nothing to offer? Just start somewhere, be exactly who you are and trust God to do the rest!  Don't doubt yourself. I believe in you!"

So, ask yourself. How's your self-talk these days? Do you talk to yourself like a friend or are you entertaining that same pessimistic alter-ego that shows up when you are about to move forward?

Well, I for one, am not going to keep hanging out with her. She is such a drag.

Source: www.lava360.com





Monday, June 11, 2012

Summa-Summa-Summa’ Time

My youngest at Lake Mohawk Beach 2011

It’s summa’ time! Time for Hawaiian shaved ice and sorbet. (my two favorites) Time to break out the swimsuit and shorts. (or in my case this year, just my capris) Time to keep a stash of cash in your purse for the never-elusive ice cream truck.

But, best of all, it’s time for vacation.

Va-ca-tion.

Ahhh, just saying those three precious syllables makes me drool. I don’t know why, really. It’s not like we’ve had a lot of true vacations in the twelve years we’ve been married. And since having kids, a vacation is not really a vacation. It’s more like an adventurous trip where you just spend lots of money to see stuff you haven’t seen before. And the beach? Not...the same...after kids.

I remember pre-kids just lying on my beach towel, with my stereo and a magazine, listening to the waves. I’d close my eyes, soak in the sun, and drift off to sleep. (And with my fair, freckled self; I had the lobster-red sunburn to prove it.)

Now, we tote beach bags, beach umbrellas, coolers, toys, arm-floaties, goggles, nets and beach chairs…and that’s just on the FIRST trip.  And by the time we get set-up, take a dip in the water, and dig a bit in the sand, it’s already time to reapply sunscreen and the kids are hot and ornery.  The worst is getting up and down from the beach chair chasing after a toddler. (all the while feeling like everyone within a fifty-yard radius is honed in with binoculars on my 'lily-white-not-quite-twenty-anymore' body)

I shouldn’t make it sound that bad. There is something precious about watching your adorable little babies in their swimsuits and sunhats running to the water and giggling every time the foam hits their feet. Those are moments that make all of the chaos well worth the trip.

In fact, looking back, I wonder how my parents made our beach vacations look so easy.  Sure, I remember an occasional argument in the car, but for the most part, our vacations were incredible.

How did my parents do it? Was it really that easy for them? How did they make it so perfect?

The truth is, it wasn’t. I didn’t see the behind-the-scene budget meetings where they discussed the nitty-gritty details of the trip. I didn’t have to problem-solve when something unexpected occurred. I was so caught up in the fun of it all that I didn’t have to worry about logistics. I was just along for the ride. My parents did the work-part for us.  Sure, they enjoyed it, too. But, after the vacation, we had summer break. They returned to work, hectic schedules and earning a living. They didn’t get a true break. The vacation was still work for them. But, they did it all with a smile on their face just so we could experience something together.

Now that I am a parent, I get it. In fact, I wish I could repay my parents with a true vacation as a way to say, “Thank you. For the vacations. For getaways when you didn’t have the money. For hanging in there when you probably wanted to strangle the three kids in the back seat.”  

Just so you know, my husband and I do practice the “tag system” on vacation, to make sure we each get some down time. We give each other time alone on the beach, with no kids, even if it’s just for an hour. Then once your hour is up, “TAG! You’re It!”

But, can I be real? As much as I enjoy the hour alone soaking in the sun, flipping through my magazine and sippin’ on my fruit smoothie (and I do), I cherish the memories with my kids. Their squeal of delight the first time they squish the sand between their toes or watch a crab shuffle across the shoreline. The look on their faces when they glance out over the vastness of God’s amazing, blue ocean.  That’s what makes it a vacation.

So, here’s to your summah’ time! Whether you are taking a fancy vacation or a ‘we-ain’t-got-the-money-to-go-away’ stay-cation (which will be us this year), remember to soak in the time with those around you. Because that’s what those getaways truly are for.

My husband and son at St. Simons Island, Georgia
My oldest with a sandy six-pack










Sunday, June 10, 2012

XXX Conversations


                                  My oldest son at Age 5 

Family Feud has always been one of my favorite shows. I remember watching it with my entire family growing up and ‘playing’ along together. Now that Steve Harvey is the host, it is the best ever. He doesn’t do the typical “Good Answer” host line. When a player gives a terrible response to the question, he is hilarious and pokes fun at them. (which I have to say I love).

So, a couple of years ago, when my oldest son was six, I decided to introduce him to my favorite family-friendly game show. My husband was gone for a few months for job training, and my son was missing his daddy terribly. I felt the need to find something we could “bond” over. My son loved watching television with us, and especially loved it if it wasn’t a “kid” show. Family Feud was perfect. I just knew he would love it.

And I was right.

He instantly fell in love with the game show. I was thrilled to be sharing this with my son, and glad that he loved it just as much as I did.

One day, while watching the game show together, a contestant slapped the buzzer and yelled, “SEX!” I didn’t change my facial expressions. In fact, I didn’t do anything differently, hoping he would just seem uninterested and wait for an answer he recognized.

But, my inquisitive six-year-old called my bluff.

 “Mommy, what’s sex?”

Geez. Ugh. Gulp. I must say, I usually struggle with thinking before I speak, but that day, I was stumped for an answer. I knew this one had to be thought out. This is NOT how I thought this would go down. I thought it would be some well-planned discussion down the road, like waaaay down the road. I had pictured it happening on some picturesque father/son camping trip. But, where was his father? Eight hundred miles away!

My son, being the intuitive person he is, sensed that he had stumbled upon a topic that he wasn’t supposed to know about…yet. This made it all the more intriguing.

“You know what, buddy? That is a great question. Let me talk to Daddy tonight on the phone and we will discuss it later, okay?”

“Okay,” he responded, his face dropping in disappointment. 

Later that night, after he was snug in bed and before I dialed my husband, I did the only thing any other good parent would do to get advice on tackling this sensitive subject with kiddos. I Googled it.  
I worried that I was kissing my son's innocence good-bye. But, after speaking with my husband, he assured me we would figure out the best way to handle it. I hung up the phone feeling a little more confident and sure of myself.

But, tomorrow hadn’t happened yet.

The next morning, I got my son ready for kindergarten, and climbed in the car. On the way to school, he noticed a house that had chickens in the yard. He was fascinated and began asking me a lot of questions about chickens. I must say, I knew most of the answers. (I am full of chicken knowledge. Hope that doesn’t sound too ’cocky’. tee-hee-hee)

I told him how his father and I had done mission work in Honduras and how families raised chickens there so they could have food. I explained how they didn’t have grocery stores everywhere like we did. I told him how valuable chickens were to these poor families and how one family cooked a chicken for us one night to welcome us into their village.

“Momma, how did they kill the chicken to feed it to you?” he asked.

I responded, “Before I answer that, I wanted to let you know, I spoke with Daddy last night and we both decided that we will tell you about sex. I just wanted to let you know I hadn’t forgotten about your question, okay?”

Now, why I made that conversational detour, I don’t know. But, why I continued back into the chicken conversation without a proper segway is even more puzzling.

“Well, son, once you catch a chicken, you break it’s neck. Then, you chop its head off and pluck all the feathers out. Next, you boil it and eat it.”

There was small silence from the backseat and then in a puzzled voice, my six-year-old said, “That’s how you have SEX?”

Could I have messed that one up any more royally?