Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Jareth's 10th Party

I realize that I have been very lax in posting about my children's birthdays. And for a family that does incredibly random themes, I feel this is a major failure for me. With all the trouble that I have with finding things to fulfill themes my kids pick, I think I really need to share the ideas I come up with for these themes for others to use. I'll try to do better in the future.

This year my son decided he wanted to do a birthday centered around Miyazaki, the Japanese film maker that our family absolutely adores. So here is what we were able to come up for the party.

First off, my sister-in-law saved me by agreeing to do a cake at the last minute because I completely blanked on the that front as I got caught up in the fiasco that was the invites.
Cakes De La Vega came through for us and made an absolutely amazing strawberry cake that my son just loved!

In case you do not know, this is Calcifer from Howl's Moving Castle. It became a funny joke that Vega saved my bacon from burning.

For a game we played "Pin the face on NoFace." Unfortunately my son thinking rationally and used a trick to figure out where to put the face on the black figure, so he won darn near right off the bat. But still, it was fun and the kids were able to take the masks with them after it was over.

If you do not know, NoFace is from Spirited Away.

The goody bags were the easiest to manage as we simply put things that we enjoy in them. Including a pair of chopsticks, some pocky, Swedish fish, bookmarks, and glowstick bracelets. The bookmarks I made from red cardstock to look like the bath tokens from Spirited Away. I love them. I am keeping a few for myself!

This party was so much fun! Even though nearly none of the guests knew anything about the films we took our inspiration from, they enjoyed the things we did and had. And once more my son was thrilled with the whole thing. And after all, that is what matters to me most!

Pork Cutlet Bowls!

Recently I discovered the anime Yuri On Ice. It is the story of a male figure skater who in considering giving up after a particularly bad loss. But then in struts the man he has looked up to his whole career, offering to be his coach and take him to gold. What follows is an incredible story about a man finding his inner strength along with love.

The night Funimation streamed the season 1 finale, my son and I binge watched all 12 episodes. This was a bad parenting move since it kept him up past 11 on a school night and the show-hangover I had the next morning had me sleeping through my alarm and waking just in time to rush him to school right before first bell. But it was one of the best nights he and I have had since we accidentally binge watched all of the first season of Stranger Things last summer. We have a problem, we know, and we love it.

So what did that experience have to do with our family cooked meal? Pork Cutlet Bowls were a big part of the show (you have to watch it to fully understand) and it led to a sort of obsession. So guess what we made for dinner this past week?

We found the recipe right here. But since none of us like onions we did change them out for noddles, something we will leave out in the future. The only other change we made was making our own pork cutlets. My husband bought a pork loin which he cut into small cutlets that we breaded with panko. He says they were a little bland, but I enjoyed them none the less. Plus it was fun watching my kids coat the meat in the panko together.

We had so much fun talking about the show while we cooked up this dish! And it will definitely be something we have again in the future!

Please, if anyone knows where we can get some good Katsu bowls, let me know, because we would love to have these made by professionals as well! Meanwhile, we have found a Ramen place next to the HMart where went for the kombu (and party favors for the party I will posting about shortly) that we will be visiting at the end of the month! We loved our trip into Japanese cuisine!

Next month, my son wants to try piroshki! Another Yuri On Ice reference. You should really watch the show!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

New Year, New Plans

How many of us have made New Year's Resolutions that don't go anywhere? Plans to do things like eat better, work out more, clean out the negative, and then two months into the year they are gone, forgotten, labeled as actually unobtainable and why did we even bother? I did it every year until about 2014 when I decided that I would give myself 1 thing to change and that would be it. In 2015 the only changes I made were lists in my journal: a spot to list what I was reading, a line for what I was thankful for each day, what I thought of the new movie I watched. Things I could write or not write but that I saw daily because of my journal. I still didn't stick to these things through the year, but when 2016 rolled around I put all the same captions in my journal and tried to fill them all in once more. Because these are little things, notes about my daily life that I feel that I can admit to. I won't be able to work out every day because I don't always have the energy. I can't say I will eat healthier because there are days that I don't eat at all. I don't make resolutions because when my depression hits and I don't want to do anything at all, I feel like more of a failure for not doing something I told myself would stick this time around. But I can give myself permission to leave a page blank in my journal because that is my safe space. I make resolutions that I tell myself I am allowed to stutter on because I can always try again tomorrow. Because I am trying to give myself a little slack.

This year is more of the same. My main personal resolution is giving myself a set of goals for each day, things that I want to get done before I go to sleep that night. Most importantly they are things I believe are possible to manage in the day to day, like finish reading the book I have been working on for two weeks and only have 10 pages left. Write that blog post about said book. Do that load of laundry all the way through so nothing wrinkles. And more than likely there will be days that "Get out of bed" is the top goal. Because I give myself permission to have off days, to struggle, and to make getting to a better place a top priority and something to acknowledge. Daily goals rather than something I am expected to do every day for the next year.

My other big goal for the year is pictures. I read in Health Magazine that the University of California did a study on taking pictures: smiling selfies, things that made them happy, or something to make someone else smile. After taking the photos the students felt happier. And I thought, that's easy! I take pictures, I love taking pictures, I wish I took more pictures! And I want to do this. So over on my Instagram (had it, never, ever used it) I am going to take a picture every day that fills this study, and maybe, for a few moments every day I can be a little happier. Feel free to come follow me @mommachristy2 to see what makes me happy and share your own pictures. I am using the label #happypics for this series.

I also have smaller goals that I would like to manage this year, things I can do sporadically enough that maybe I can manage them. Like writing letters to people I don't get to see, because it's great to know someone is thinking of you and everyone gets a little excited these days when they get snail mail! And I want to write daily again, even if it's just an outline for a story idea I may never get around to, it will get my creativity working. And blogging! I am going to try to post on this blog more. 2016 saw 58 new posts on my book review blog and nothing here since March. I want to change that since so much of my world revolves around me as a parent.

What will I be posting here? What do you have to look forward to in my parenting adventure?

Once a month my family and I will be cooking up a new recipe for our family night. All four of us in the kitchen, trying our hand at creating something new together. It should be interesting, to say the least! I will try to have pictures along with these posts.
We will also be trying to do something of a service project once a month. Whether it is helping out at a local shelter or taking dog food up to Noah's Ark. We want to teach our children to pass on the love, and we think this would be a great way to start. I don't love the idea of sharing these projects because it feels like bragging about what we are doing. BUT I want you all to see what they kids do, what they learn from these events, and maybe give you an idea of something to do with your own kids. So I'll be sharing these days as well.
We also ambitiously plan to have a family night out once a month. Maybe discover new things in our area through changing our nights up. So pictures and notes about the places we go will definitely be shared.

It seems like we have a lot planned for this new year, and maybe we won't stick with it all, but I look forward to trying. This year is going to be about getting back to our happy place as a family and for me as an individual. I invite you all to join me on the journey!

Our first #Happypics of the New Year! The birthday boy is ten!
Starting the year off right! #birthdayboy #parenting #newyear #happypics
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Monday, March 14, 2016

An Epic Nerf Battle!

On Saturday March 12th, we got the awesome opportunity to participate in one amazing event!

Jared Guynes is a resident of North Texas who saw the damage done in December 2015 to the Garland and Rowlett neighborhoods by a particularly bad tornado and decided to help out where he could. He had been trying to get together enough people for a couple years to break a world record and then he thought, why not do this record thing and help my friends and family with their problem at the same time. So he worked tirelessly for months, pulled in all the right people, and organized the World's Largest Nerf Gun Battle.

Hosted at the Dallas Cowboy's AT&T Stadium in Arlington, the event was attended by over two thousand people. Let me give you the numbers right quick:

Verified Participants in the Battle: 2,289
Verified Guns Used in the Battle: 4,394
Guns Donated to local Children's Shelter: 112
Donations to Tornado Relief Funds: *Yet to be completely counted*

This was a huge event in so many ways! 
My friends and I saw the event and thought, this is awesome, we want our kids to have a chance to break a world record. We did not expect this. Not only did we break a record that is going to be really hard to beat again, we made an impact. Thousands of dollars are going to go to helping people rebuild their lives. Over a hundred guns went to kids that probably don't have much to their name. We made some awesome new friends. And it has inspired us to get together our own group for a Nerf Club so that we can continue meeting up and having battles. Plus, I went to an even with way too many people, got down on the turf amidst these strangers, and so did not have a single panic attack as my son continually got lost in the crowd, so there's my personal win!

A huge shout out to Jared for doing this. For the people getting the donations. For the families that got to experience it. For everything!

Here are my pictures of the event. Although I am sad to say my phone died early on and I didn't get as much as I wanted. But here is the Facebook Page of the group if you want to check out other's pictures of the event. 

I will also be posting a separate post when we get Jareth his Guinness World Record certificate. So check back for that!

 Pre-Game Carb Loading at CiCi's!

A Little Target Practice!

People Getting Ready for the Battle in the Parking Lot.

AT&T Stadium!

 Loki Made An Appearance! 

Getting Geared Up!

 A YouTube-r There for the Event. This is Kolton.

Obstacle Set-up on the Field!

T-Rex showed up!

 So. Many. People!

Making Our Way Down To The Field.

Waiting for the start of the Main Battle.

This was part of the group picture that you can't see us in.

The Guinness World Record Official!

After the Main Battle. So many bullets!

Kid's Only Battle.

There were more battles. The Rival Only. The Elite (Or traditional guns) Only. The Jolt (Single shooters) Only. Someone from our group participated in each one, and actually I think Jenn was in all of them! 
At 10 we started to pack up our guns and get out of there. And it wasn't until the next day that I saw the announcement. We broke the current record! We will get our official certificate soon, one with Jareth's name on it so he can hang it on the wall to show off. We did this! And it was one of the greatest things we have done. Now I just have to find something similar for Livia to participate since we elected to have her stay with Gamaw for the night. If you hear of another record to be broken, let us know!

Friday, September 11, 2015

I Will See You Tomorrow. World Suicide Prevention Day

Yesterday was World Suicide Prevention Day, and it was the best one I have had yet.

I don't do anything too big for the day. Because of schedules, the kids, no driver's license, I can't go to any events or even get to hang out with the people that helped me through my toughest struggles. But over the past few years I have used social media to try and connect where I can. For the duration of National Suicide Prevention Week, I take the theme and update my status or add a photo that coincides with it, reasons I am going to keep fighting, things that make me strong. This year was no different, and I still have three days of reasons on why I will be here tomorrow to post. Yet yesterday was a great day for me.

See, I don't have thoughts of suicide, not any more, not really since having my son, because that uber rational part of my mind tells me I just couldn't leave him alone. I am lucky to have that part of myself even though it tends to drive my husband crazy. I don't do self-harm any more either, thanks to two kids and two dogs and living in the country, I tend to get hurt enough on a day to day basis that it hits my limit in a day and my thoughts have wondered to the activity only a handful of times over the past eight years. It's not completely gone, but again, I am lucky. My biggest fights are anxiety and depression. And yesterday was a good day; not perfect, but really good.

For me, a tough day is any day that I can't get the energy to move.As the stay-at-home parent it is my job to get Jareth up for school in the morning and make his lunch, and lately I have taken to sitting with him on the porch until the bus comes. I would really love to curl up in bed with my husband and daughter and go back to sleep, but I know I won't get up when she does, the bed is too comfortable, I am too sleepy, my husband is there recovering from the night shift and he always makes everything better. But I get up. And lately I have stayed up. Yesterday was a good day. 

After my only cup of coffee, thank you addictive personality that takes away all the good stuff I am too scared to enjoy much of, I actually got to moving around and working! I cleaned the kids' room, cleaned my room, did dishes, did some laundry along the way. Sure I sat down for a little here and there because I am reading a good fanfiction and my feet love a break now and then, but I got stuff done! I fried up some eggs to go on burgers for dinner even though the hot grease kinda makes me freak every single time. I even got some stuff done after dinner when I usually am just done with the day! It was a good day!

Sure, I had one moment where I apparently snappishly told my husband to leave my stuff alone (I thought I said it nicely, was perfectly reasonable in tone of voice, but then we always think that, don't we?). But it was quick, we were quiet for a moment, and I apologized and explained. Of course he understands why I did it. I left the kitchen grinning like a fool because we handled it! No big fight, no screaming, I won't be on edge for days any time someone even looks at my things. Yay! I remained calm(ish).

Then to make a good day even better! I went to bed at 10:30! With insomnia it doesn't matter what I do all day to wear myself out, at the end of the day I am just not tired. I stay up until 2 or 3 reading, rewatching M*A*S*H, writing a little if I am lucky, thinking if I'm not. I have laid down in bed with my eyes sore from keeping them open and still tossed and turned for an hour unable to shut of my mind. On a really bad night there is also a lot of waking in middle of the night. Last night was a good night! Sure I kinda opened my eyes when Tillie (our blue healer) came to bed, and it was kinda a shock when Brewster (our pit/lab) joined since he has taken to sleeping on the couch, but neither time was enough to keep my awake. Of course I slept through Livia ninja-ing her way between Gary and I, that only wakes me on a really bad night. And I only woke up once before my alarm in a mild panic over missing it and making my son late, it was only 6, everything was fine. I slept well!!

But the best parts of yesterday weren't the ones I lay thinking about right before dozing off and realizing that it had been a good day for me and my issues. The best parts were the ones I got so giddy about that I got to enjoy in the moment.

This is the third year I have actively taken part in the campaign, and each year I try to make sure that Jareth knows why it is the day is special. After all, he has had to watch first hand what these issues do to people; I am far from the only one suffering in my circle of friends. This year we decided to give him his own "Love" tattoo to match mine. If you don't know, mine says "One Love" in religious (and one gender equality) symbols, a testament to my greatest struggle and core beliefs. The kids love to ask what means what and to find the same symbols in everyday life. So Jareth decided to go with symbols that stood for his personality too. Video games and Superheros. Of course Liv had to have one too!
I love opening the door for talking about issues with the kids. Before he went to school we had a very brief talk about the subject, mainly so that he could explain it to his teacher if she asked why he had a drawing on his arm. It wasn't much, he is only 8 after all, but it is more than last year, and that's what counts.

They did this. They cuddled with me on the porch waiting for the bus. He stayed home after school so that we could put up his laundry together. He couldn't stop saying "wow, mom." over his room when he saw how clean it was. They joined me on the couch to watch Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (only teared up near the end for Robin, an improvement for me. I miss him.) for some family time during and after dinner. There were plenty of goodnight hugs and kisses. There was surprisingly little fight over actually going to sleep and by 10:30 I was tired and done with the day with no reason to stay up. 

Eight years, nine months, and nine days ago I restarted a New Year with a little boy. It didn't hit me like lightening as I held him for the first time that I would never consider suicide again. The drugs were good, but not that good. It was gradual. It was moments like yesterday when Jareth lay on my bed while I folded sheets laughing as I told him all the bad bits of his birth and why he so owes me a hug and kiss when I want one. It was moments like 6 AM when Liv grabbed up my arm and snuggled it, because like me she needs contact to sleep, and nine times out of ten I am better than a Merida baby doll.

I am so incredibly lucky. Yesterday was a great day. And I will see you tomorrow.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Thank You

Yesterday was Thursday. To most it is just another day of the week, for me it is something important. Every Thursday my family gets together with some friends for dinner, rotating between houses so that everyone gets to come up with what to cook while the others chip in on things like dessert and drinks. Occasionally my family has to miss out because we try to get together with our extended family on that same night of the week once a month, but that is the only excuse allowed.
For most people it's still not a big deal. Who would want to find excuses to not see friends, let the kids play mostly unfettered, get tipsy while talking or playing card games? MOST people would love the chance to get to talk about the show their friends also obsess over or play a game of pool no one has to pay for. MOST people would gladly circle every Thursday on the calendar for the foreseeable future without hesitation and grin wickedly remembering the week one friend got so excited about burning a 3 yr old's taste buds, because that kid will eat anything spicy and hell yeah it is an accomplishment to get her to back off the adult wings. MOST people are not me.

If you knew me, you would know that consistently meeting with people every week is kind of a big deal. If you knew me, you would know that taking away my excuses to interact in public could be a really bad thing. If you knew me, you would know that there is a strong chance at some point this will all be too much. And if you knew me, you would probably never know why.

But somehow this whole "Dinner With Friends" thing works for me. Sure I don't really love going out for other things on other days of the week unless well within my other comfort zones. And yeah Wednesdays are a strictly family day with everyone staying at home and spending time together that really kinda annoys the hubby and oldest son. And maybe having people so willing and ready to talk about Supernatural with can be a dangerous thing. But I am enjoying it all.

For something like 7 months we have been doing this! That's a big deal in case you didn't know. For seven months I have been made to interact with people on a weekly basis! For seven months I have been getting to know people and have allowed them to get to know me. For seven months I have given up a bit of control on things like what we are eating that night, where we will be hanging out, what drinks I will have access too, what the kids are playing, what the adults are playing. Things normally I would try hard to micromanage because I can do it all, host it all, better. But giving it up, I am learning to really trust these people.

This was pointed out to me just last night. A metaphorical flashlight shining on the point throughout the night.  Let me walk you through my night of "Wow, I think I have grown!"

- It had been a long week up to this point, one that had me spending most of Wednesday in bed and thinking it would be nice to repeat the very lazy lounging on Thursday as well. I felt weary throughout most of the day, wanting nothing more than sleep really. But we had plans, standing plans, that I was not about to be let out of.
- The husband picked what we were going to bring. Drinks and honey glazed carrots. He makes really good honey glazed carrots. Only problem, we didn't have the stuff for the dish so we would have to stop and get the things and cook it at our friend's house. I hate cooking in other places, out of my element so to speak were I know where everything is and all that jazz. But there was no other option.
- I was going to have to cook!!! I enjoy cooking, don't get me wrong. I am using my family and friends as guinea pigs until I perfect my own unique lasagna recipe. BUT the husband makes the good honey carrots. Everyone loves his honey carrots. He knows how to make them. I would be making them for the first time for our friends. Oh yeah no pressure. Why?
- Because the husband and kids would be going next door to swim while I cooked. Along with our friends. Leaving me alone in a strange kitchen, by myself, to make something I haven't made before. And with instructions like "lot of butter." "Then add a ton of the cinnamon" "And when they are ready pour on the honey." What? No recipe? Left alone? Normally I would be panicking. Instead, I don't know, I rolled with it. I turned on Pandora on a phone to fill the silence, and began chopping carrots. Damn near relaxed!!
- When the last of our friends arrived I directed them to the pool without a thought. Told them to go have fun. One of them went about putting the drinks they had brought in the fridge, reaching around me to put one on the counter. "Brought you Smirnoff." He grinned. Thankfully I didn't cry right there. They went out of their way to bring drinks I liked even though both of them would drink whatever was available. I am the picky drinker and they thought about that as they made their purchases. Then he made sure I had one before leaving the house. It's a big thing for me to have people spoil me. A really big thing.
- His girlfriend asked where my swimsuit was. Uh oh. Oh no. I would not be swimming. Why? Well because . . . I don't know. It's been a long week, I've been stressed. Sometimes I just can't do water. I spent the next twenty minutes explaining to her one of my justified oddities in comparison to this thing I have with water that has no reasoning, it just is. She laughed. "You are so weird." She laughed again. "Ok, Whatever." She shrugged. Like it's no big deal that a grown ass woman has some seriously odd issues with water for no apparent reason. (Yeah because the no artificial orange thing is so normal, too.) She called me weird, we BOTH laughed about it. When she left I was still smiling, because she hadn't meant that in a mean, teasing way. She had made an observation: I was weird, and was perfectly ok with it! That doesn't happen for me.
- When the carrots were done, I covered them, grabbed my drink, and went to sit next to the pool while the others swam. I made one guy get off the cooler because that was the close, dry seat, he could get in the pool so I could sit. I took beers and moved them out of the way of the splashes, handed over new ones, joked with a guy I had never met before, dug through a bin for goggles that didn't exist. I acted like a normal adult instead of my quiet, shy, withdrawn self. Of course no one there realized a difference, because with them I am always talkative, I always tease others, I always fit in. None of them know that I really never do. Well maybe except the one guy who knew me in High school and knows I have issues with making friends. But not the others.
- When we sat down to eat I warned them all: "If the carrots suck blame him, he left me to cook them." Everyone agreed they tasted great. "That was my way of fishing for complements while using him as a scapegoat just in case." I told them honestly. After all, I need reassurance and confirmation. They laughed and said again that the carrots tasted good. No judging the fact that I needed the words to be said, just doing it and moving on.

It was on the drive home that I came to the very tipsy realization that I am entirely too blessed for my own good. I have spent the past couple of years coming to terms with all my issues, spending a lot of time taking a closer look at myself than I have wanted to. I am flawed. It's something that I am learning to just deal with, but fully come to terms with it. I am flawed and that is ok. It helps that I have this awesome husband that knows about my flaws, either seeing them for himself or listening as I fill him in on what is going on inside my head. My three closest friends have anxiety issues, I think two of them are on meds and the third is seriously considering doing the same, so when I need someone to understand from my perspective I have people to talk to. But they live in three different states from me and aren't exactly available for coffee at my house, and sometimes no one is able to talk me down from an attack (although they have on numerous occasions thus far). I had been back in Texas for nearly five years before I was able to find other friends that I felt comfortable enough to be around, to talk to, to be myself with. But now I have that. Because I am so very lucky.

So I told my husband on the drive home about these little revelations about the people we hand out with, and how I felt I needed to thank them. He told me I really should. So:

Thank you! Thank you Erin, Nicole, and Abby for knowing what it's like and being there through thick and thin for more years than we should be comfortable admitting to with our age. Thank you Blair for taking a chance and continuing to push until I was able to be a friend back, and making me keep in touch when I wanted to hide away. Thank you Renn for knowing back before I was ok with myself enough to be ok with others and not judging me by what you know. Thank you Joseph for putting up with my quiet self long enough to get to know me. Thank you Jenn for just being you, because you are so awesome words can't cover it all and I really needed a friend like you. Thank you Ju for being patient enough to try to understand when our differences make it really hard to get. Thank you Brooke and Derek for seeing me as more and trying to be friends, because y'all and the kids mean so much to me. Thank you guys, all of you, for letting me be flawed and not making me think it is my fault or that I am broken. I've been trying to figure myself out and heal what I can by myself, but you all make it so much easier. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Thank you.


I would like to extend a hand to anyone that needs friends like mine. I may not be them, but I like to thank I am a good friend in my own right. So if you need someone to talk to, someone that gets you or is willing to listen enough to work on getting you, please feel free to get a hold of me. Just because I am figuring my own things out doesn't mean I am not willing to help you with yours, too. Who knows, the next time I say thank you, you may be the one I am saying it to.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

My Mother's Day Gift to Myself

Mother's Day is that one day a year that we are kinda forced to pay attention to our mothers, give them a little appreciation for something they do all year without a second thought. We buy cards and little gifts, inadequate tokens to show how much we love them and are thankful that they agreed to go through the horrors of childbirth only to then spend the next (at least) eighteen years raising us. Sometimes it is the only time that some of us stop and appreciate all they do. I fully believe that this day does not do mothers justice! It is both necessary (we really do need to stop and realize what others do for us every now and then) and insufficient (seriously, for all mom's do, one day is so not cutting it). And I say all this from the point of view of a daughter.

As a mother I really do like having a day that my husband forces my kids to be nice for as long as he can. I love that all my non-mother friends tag me in their little posts, reminding me that they are ok with my endless posts about my children that clog up their newsfeed throughout the year. I like getting the phone calls the next day from my two best friend to tell me what their kids did for them and my other best friend (who is not a mom) to tell me what her and her siblings did for the woman I see as a long distance mother myself. I adore the cute little videos that try to capture what a mother is and all they do, the ones that make everyone cry, almost making me as a very emotional mother seem normal with my constant tears. And I thoroughly enjoy the almost painful laugh I get at the yearly vids of men going through that labor simulator (thanks Try Guys)!

But what about the rest of the year? The other 364 days when we are up early to get everyone else ready for their day. I don't get my first cup of coffee until I have been up for an hour, what about you? Or that constant cycle of cleaning because no one is capable of cleaning up after themselves? The late nights and long days? The taxi service and chef's kitchen? I've poured and set out snacks for five other boys running through my house because Jareth invited them over. Birthday planning, dinner hosting, lunch packing, two-cart grocery shopping! Chocolate covered cherry secret moments and laughter filled truffle time. Morning cuddles with a full bed of two kids, two dogs, and a husband still asleep enough to think he gets to stay in bed. Random hugs. Yelling matches. Spankings and temper tantrums and "it's not fair"s. Begging for this toy or that snack. Only Mom can hold me because I am sick, clingy, and want only her. Mom does it this way. Mom said I could. When will Mom be home? All of this comes with being a Mom and we do it all on demand because we have to.  And that's all ok!

The thing is, being a Mom is pretty tiring. It's hard. It's stressful. And sometimes I really mess it up. There are days when I barely roll out of bed, only doing so because if I don't there is no one else to get Jareth up for school. When my husband stays the night with a buddy so the drive to work is a little shorter and he can get a little more sleep, Livia and I spend the whole day in bed watching YouTube. Some days I wake him up an hour early because I really don't think I can handle the kids by myself any longer. I don't cook very often, partly because I can't and partly because when I can the smallest negative comment says to me that I can't do anything right. I hate playdough because the colors mix and it sticks and my OCD just can't take it (Livia is 3 and loves it and I am just now fighting myself to let her play with it). Jareth could make his own lunches when he was 5 because there were mornings I couldn't get myself to do it for him. Livia eats pepperonis every day for lunch, because she loves them and because they are easy to serve. Wild Banshee Wednesdays originally started because I needed a day to turn the music up too loud and drown out the outside world and push myself to play with my son. Jareth asks for hugs, waiting a moment for me to turn and open my arms, because he knows I don't always like to be touched and I have to prepare myself. I cried the day Jareth turned to me and said "Mommy, I love your laugh, it's pretty. I don't think you have laughed all day. I am glad you did now."

Why am I telling you how bad I can get? Because it is ok. This is my Mother's Day gift to myself: being ok with the bad moments. I am allowing myself to have off days. I want you to know that I know I am not perfect and I am coming to terms with that. I have my issues, I am dealing with them, and that's just how it is. And it's really ok if you are the same way. It's going to be just fine if you can't handle everything all the time. The thing about Mother's Day, we aren't being reminded to love our mothers, we are being reminded to let them know that we do. My kids love me through the hard times. Livia sits with me all day in bed, rubbing my ear, giving me a hug or cuddle, and still wants me to spend the day with her again tomorrow. Jareth curls up on the couch with me, asks how I am doing, and watches my show because he gets it. My husband goes without a little sleep, helps a lot more than he should, and makes sure to give me an extra tight hug when he can. If they are ok with me, the three people that matter the most, than I need to be ok with me, too.

So today don't forget to tell your Mom that you love her, that she rocks, that she is the coolest Mom ever! And if you're a mom, take it easy for a day! I get that you probably can't have the Hallmark Day of Relaxation, but you can take a breath, give yourself a thumbs up, and remind yourself that you rock! Being a mom is tough, you can't call in sick, you can't take a personal day, but you can allow yourself some slack on the whole being perfect thing. Share my gift with me, be ok with being just ok. You're doing a great job!

So what did you get or do today? Let me know that you are ok!

Happy Mother's Day