The "Committed" Mom?

I am blessed to be the mom of three wonderfully amazing children I call Brent, Lottie and Kenzie. But honestly, there are days when I am committed and days when I need to be committed! So here's where this little blog comes refuge- my opportunity to share with all who care, the joys of being a "Committed" Mom!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Bathroom Rituals

When Kevin and I got married and began discovering each other's little habits, the one area that still remains a secret is bathroom rituals. We all have them, our process of how and what we do when we enter that sacred room. Being that I have always been a woman and grown up with a brother who was 7 years my junior, I never witnessed a boy/man's ritual. I never understood why men complained about why women can take so long in the bathroom and how they are finished so fast. Rituals are a mystery to well I think they should be- Janeane Garafolo said in Reality Bites "My parents have been married for 26 years. Theyre like brother and sister at this point. She goes to the bathroom with the door open. That would be “A”. And “B” that’s disgusting." I guess I never want the romance to leave my marriage because I pee with the door open in front of my family...something just doesn't seem right there. However, having that brother and sister-I am finding out some secrets behind the rituals and have developed some theories. I find it fascinating how know one teaches us rituals, it's all a part of how we were created, it's a part of our wiring- and a part of God's sense of humor.
Lottie for example is my 'girly' girl, I didn't have to teach her to love clothes, shoes, purses, jewelry, make-up- God just created her to be that way. Lottie loves to spend time in the bathroom, as I have learned through her potty training. Granted it could be because it is all new, but somehow I think this is more deep rooted than that. Lottie goes in and wants to find every possible reason imaginable to stay in there. First we go in, to of course "Go Potty", as she sits on the toilet her little mind is racing looking around for what she wants to do next. In fact, she is so excited to do something else she almost jumps off the potty before she is finished! "Mommy, I take a bath?" Lottie loves bubble baths and splashing and playing for hours if she could. "Mommy, I wash my hands?" My very hygienic daughter loves to play in the water and sing "Happy Birthday" to the Itsy Bitsy Spider or whoever else she picks that day and she could go in and wash anytime, she loves it! "Mommy, muck up?" She knows mommy puts on her make-up and of course loves to do the same. "Mommy, comb my hair?" If I left her alone with the pick and comb I am sure she could do something fabulous with it-but dang mommy always gets in the way- especially when it comes to putting lotions and conditioner in my hair! "Mommy, I brush my teeth?" She literally ask me 900 times a day to brush her teeth and she even ask me at other's people's houses. She wants to try out their toothbrushes and their toothpaste. To Lottie it's actually about sucking the toothpaste off the toothbrush, but the point is she enjoys it. She brings her books and babies into the bathroom, she inquires what everyone else is doing in the bathroom and has no problems shoving the door wide open while you are doing your ritual, so next time you're over make sure the door is closed all the way, because Lottie wants to know! Lottie's total bathroom time over the entire day, if given the chance would be 22 hours and 56 seconds.
Now Brent, my "boy's' boy is her polar opposite! Brent will wait until the last possible second to even enter the bathroom. He can often be seen doing the "potty dance" and everyone in the room can comment and inquire about whether he has to go, but he will say no until he is absolutely ready to wet himself. These are often how the conversations go...
"Brent, please go take a quick shower (or bath)"
"But it will take to long and I will miss all the excitement of watching you and dad sit in the living room and do nothing or I might miss out on fighting with my sister"
Upon leaving the bathroom my husband will ask "Brent, did you wash your hands?" Not wanting to lie but not wanting to admit he did not, he often ask "Can I go check?"
Brent does not enjoy singing "Happy Birthday" to anyone and if he does it- he literally can break the speed barrier of the quickest rendition humanly possible.
Brent, praise God, does not inquire about make-up!
"Brent, did you comb your hair today?" again the famous response is given, "Can I go check?" Brent doesn't care who is in the bathroom, he never desires to be in the bathroom- in fact I question if he is allergic to the bathroom and he is only 6. Brent's total bathroom time the entire day if given the chance 10 seconds.
Now based on these two observations, we can see 2 things: 1. You can easily see why women take so long in the bathroom- it all starts when they are little girls! Now men know that we do the same things we used to do, only now we add a little more grown up stuff to it. AND 2. Why men are always waiting for women in the first place!
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Sunday, July 18, 2010


As every parent knows sometimes you have to make a concerted effort to get up way before the children if you want to get things done. This was my master plan Saturday morning, get up early and bake 2 breakfast braids for my women's bible study before my little sous chefs wake up and want to help! However, the 2nd goal was to be as quiet as possible because Bug is a very light sleeper! Never have I ever failed so miserably at such simple task! In order to help moms (or dads) everywhere here is my list of things that you think are quiet, but aren't!
1. Opening the refrigerator door and taking out the crescent rolls. Especially if they are in a plastic grocery bag that happens to fall off the shelf causing all 4 packages to crash loudly onto the kitchen floor.
2. Reaching for the recipe book on the shelf. Remember to make sure the glass lid to the candle, which is stored on the same shelf, is firmly locked into place or else it might fall off and land on your metal stove top making a wonderfully loud clanging noise!
3. Taking out a gallon of milk in the fridge. When reaching in quickly, try not to push it back first, knocking over a bottle of beer on the glass shelf located inside.
4. Opening a plastic bag of shredded cheese (or a package of deli ham!)
5. Placing the shredded cheese bags (or deli ham wrappers) into a garbage bag that is clearly full, multiple times because it is so full! Which then causes the garbage bag to fall and spill on your clean kitchen floor.
6. Stopping the microwave before it beeps. This is actually as loud as when the beeping goes off at the end.
7. Taking eggs out of a foam egg carton (Surprisingly cracking eggs is very quiet!)
8. Putting a glass mixing bowl in the sink on top of a plate that is unbalanced.
9. Opening the oven door and placing two pampered chef stones inside.
10. Your kids waking up because you were unsuccessfully quiet!
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Saturday, July 17, 2010


So I am completely exhausted and haven't had a moment to blog, wondering where the time and weekend went....I signed onto my facebook page to discover my future Sister-In-Law had posted the most amazing article ever written about parents....Now I know why I am so tired...please to enjoy!!/photo.php?pid=5660475&id=756700230&ref=mf

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Mary Poppins....HELP!!

Today is a day I need to be committed, I don't know how it is in your home but clean up time is a major battle from start to finish.  I admit I suffer from OCD when it comes to maintaining certain parts of my house, I am not a neat freak by any means but I couldn't go to bed as a teenager until my room was clean- I have tried to pass that on to my son. But my son does not adhere to my craziness, he lives in a world of chaos and is very content to stay that way- this is where our two world's collide.  I have learned from my wonderful friend Amy (Who is one of my expert parents) that it is o.k. to only make your child clean their room once a week and close the door the rest of the time. (Unless of course I can't see the floor at which time it's acceptable to begin a small clean-up)  What a concept, close the door? Brilliant! So my son was tickled pink when he learned he didn't have to pick up everyday.
Now, my husband and I tried very hard to communicate to him that he may not want to leave everything out to be picked up at once, because it could be very hard to clean up a room after a week.  But being 6, he only heard clean up once.  And so the time arrived and for the first cleaning, our rule: You can come out of your room when it is clean. He battled with us, pleaded with us, tried to negotiate, earn time out for good behavior- but to no avail he was unsuccessful and spent a day and a half in his room.  We encouraged him to put music on and have fun while he does it, but instead he chooses the sound of his own whining and passing the time with playing and creating more messes, he is a kid none the less............
To try to make things smoother for the second weeks cleaning, we have tried to prepare him letting him know that Wednesday was going to be room cleaning day, we have encouraged him to keep his clothes picked up off the floor, we have reminded him about his last experience and in return he has been trying to keep things from being totally out of control in his room.  Last night, when he was getting ready for bed I said to him "Remember tomorrow is room cleaning day." He said "I know mom and tomorrow is gonna be better than last time!"
Today is Wednesday, we woke up negotiating, followed by a breakfast of pleading and by 10 am the battle had begun....where is Mary Poppins when you need her?

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Next Great Artist!

When Lottie first came to live with us we discovered she was going to be an amazing artist one day- her choice of medium- pooh. Her talent was first discovered by my husband when he called me at work to tell me that nap time had turned into a disaster beyond cleaning proportions! He went into Bug's room to find that she had literally coated herself, her bed and the wall with her fingerprint art. Yes, I know I'm disgusting but I didn't do it- I am just writing about it- 2 year olds are gross! I have to admit because it did not happen to me I laughed...I laughed a lot...and came up with cute little puns to drive my hubby insane. I couldn't help myself, "Sorry you're having a crappy day honey!" just felt so natural to say. He hated me for a few hours, but he got over it. It appeared that our daughter only liked to do her art work for my husband, I figured it was something special she wanted to share with him- their bonding ritual. She would create and he would spend the next few hours scrubbing her and the entire room down.
Because Lottie became so good at her art, we had to come up with something to slow her down. We tried duct taping her onesy, but she found a way our through the top arm sleeves (Maybe she'll be an escape artist). We tried safety pins but I freaked she might hurt herself. So the only conclusion I came to was, duct taping her pants around her waist. However, duct tape leaves residue and is not so easy to take off. So in our lack of wisdom we sought the experts and we shared our news with others, seeking out ways to help control this medium so that her art did not get out of control. I know some would probably label us crappy parents (See how easy it was....) for stifling her creativity, but we were willing to take on the title!
Imagine our surprise when we discovered that our child was not the only artist out there. Why had we never heard these stories before? I don't recall hearing them...ever..I know I would have laughed at them. Why did they hold these stories in, what was the secret? I'll tell you what the secret is... if you knew that your baby was going to turn into a pooh artist you may reconsider having children and so they keep these horror stories a secret to get you to join the parenting club and then they laugh at you when it happens and say "Oh yes, that happened when Matilda was a year old" It's almost like a hazing ritual for parents!
The best and most effective advice we got was for straight-jacket jammies! Straight-jacket Jammies or SJJ's are feet pajamas with the feet cut out and put on backwards. I fondly call them that because if you are an adult who created pooh art they would put you in a straight jacket and you would be committed, but as a child it's more socially acceptable so you just get the straight-jacket jammies. The SJJ's worked wonders and the art work came to a screeching halt. Which was convenient because summer was here and all our SJJ's were winter ones! That is until yesterday's nap time and this morning's lovely arrival...I guess Lottie wanted to share her art work with mommy this time! Daddy is so proud!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Promises, promises

The boy comes up to me today and says "Mom can I please go outside and ask Kayla if I can swim in her pool with her?"
"No Brent, it's not nice manner's to invite yourself over to someone else's pool" (Reminding me of all the million times I did it as a kid, but hey I am a mom now...I have to say this right?)
"Mom, I promise I won't go ask her."
"Brent you can go outside but you can't go over to Kayla's" (Notice here how I said he could go out...but pay close attention to what is to follow)
"But mom, I promise" (Did you catch it?)
At this point, I said nothing for the next 10 minutes, why would I? I already gave him permission to go outside, however he then proceeded to use his imagination to try to convince me he wouldn't go over to Kayla's.
*Mom why can't you trust me for once in your life
*Mom I promise to fix everything in your life
*Mom I know I frustrate you but I promise
*Mom this will fix all that is wrong in your life, if you just trust me
*I won't break my promise to you mom
*This time will different

I have still said nothing...

*It's not like the last time mom, I promise
*Mom I won't let you down I promise
*I promise I won't break it...I promise
*I don't want to ever let you down again mom
*I keep promising because I don't ever want to let you down mom
*I won't break the promise this time mom, it will be different watch and see
*If you let me do it mom, I promise I will never disappoint you
*I promise even if I got into a car accident Iwon't ever let you down

I am still quiet...when he bust out with his best line yet...
*Mom, I am telling a promise to God and that means I promise to you!
"Ok Brent you can go outside but not to Kayla's"
"Thanks Mom!" and out he went to play....keeping his promise!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Potty Training Survival 2 Electric Boogaloo

We started our morning with the two year old saying "I go potty?" Why not right? This is what we wanted, I mean really, who likes paying for diapers and pull-ups? The sooner the better! I figure that if I purchase the paint, I can start the bathroom remodeling to fill the hours and hours that I am spending in there- hey I am a mom, I am a multi-tasker! I have come to the conclusion that I have already made two mistakes in this potty training adventure. The first parent error is I realize now that maybe my tactic and strategy may not have been the best choice, but what do I know about potty training? Brent came to us already potty trained and I have heard of people using this method- however nobody warned me of the brilliant mind of a 2 year old. The reward- one sweet tart heart candy every time we go potty- and thus we spent 52 hours in the bathroom yesterday! After a half of box of candy hearts (sugar buzzing my child up) I decided that maybe candy wasn't the answer, so we switched to fruit snacks. Did I mention Lottie loves fruit snacks more than sweet tart candy? So I am thinking my friend Steph had it right- stickers on a Tinkerbell chart, thank God Lottie loves stickers too! Otherwise I would be supporting Huggies and Disney Fruit Snacks!'
Parent Error number 2: Never trust a two year old to sit on their little potty when it is located next to the big potty for more than 3 seconds. Lottie has discovered a few amazing new things: She can pull the toilet paper to her before she sits down and keep pulling...causing lots of fun white paper to surround her, she can lean her head over the side of the big potty and either spit into it or sing Itsy Bitsy Spider or for lots of fun she can play with the water! And sadly yes she even tried to eat the toilet paper- did I mention Lottie likes to eat bizarre things? I'll save that for another blog posting!
I saw a picture on my friend Kerry's Facebook page the other day and I laughed at the silliness of the picture, her daughter's potty training seat was located next to her desk and it was facing her computer screen- apparently her daughter Amy learned how to use the computer to put a movie in while she is potty training- but after 2 days of potty training I am ready to take Lottie over there and have her observe Amy......I think she might be on to something!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Potty Training Survival

Today my daughter went to the bathroom 497 times...that's an average of about once ever 69 seconds in a twelve hour period. Out of those 497 times, she actually made it to the potty about 75% of the time, we went through 163 big girl pull ups and the rest were diapers. I think maybe I can keep Huggies in business no matter what!

Dawn Wells Potato Peeling Video

The Secret

I have found the secret to parenting relies heavily on understanding and accepting these three truths:
1. There is no such thing as perfect parenting, no matter how much you read in books or on the internet. It doesn't matter how many classes you attend or how many professionals you speak with it can not be done. The most perfect parent that ever exsisted- God-had two screwed up kids. God gave his children free will because he didn't want robots, and that includes our children. Although, Stepford children may sound appealing when we want to rip our hair out, we all know that movie didn't end well.
2. You are going to screw your kids up. It's inevitable and unpreventable- at one point or another in your child's life you will say something or do something intentional or not and it will mess up your child's thought process and view points.
3. When they grow up and are old enough to understand- give them permission to seek therapy!