One of those days

You know one of those days when you wake up tired.

And because of it, your children have the energy of 30 hamsters drinking from a chocolate fountain.

You know one of those days when you decide (bravely) that you’ll go to Target with the tots to get some spring clothes — but after taking 2 hours to get ready because of baby diaper blowouts and toddler meltdowns, you decide to just watch Ice Age: Dinosaurs instead?

You know one of those days when you’re feeling a bit bad for letting the kiddies watch a lot of TV, so you attempt a super mom hour where everyone eats healthy and practices writing letters and sings songs? And then the toddler girl knocks all the baby food on the carpet and the baby knocks over your extra large cup of ice water and the toddler boy whines for 30 minutes about how bananas have strings in them?

You know one of those days when you say “OKAY EVERYONE QUIET TIME!” in that kind of creepy mommy enthusiastic sing songy voice? And you put the toddler girl in her crib to sleep and the toddler boy in his room to read and the baby to sleep?

OH — and then, you smell something?

And 20 minutes into quiet time, when the world seems rosy again and you have a moment to breathe, you walk into the toddler girl’s room and want to stop breathing because of the horrible stench that’s present?

You know one of those days when your toddler girl takes off her diaper full of poop in her crib and smears it all over 1. herself 2. her sheets, blankets and dollies, and 3. in between all the wooden slabs?

Just wondering.

Thank the lovely heavens for Clorox Wipes.

How to exercise with toddlers

My husband and I are going to a destination wedding in the not-so-distant future.

Therefore, I have a bit of motivation to get back into pre-3-babies-ago shape.

However, because aforementioned 3 babies are constantly with me, I don’t have a lot of time to take long, relaxing runs like I did back in the day. I’ve tried different times of day to establish a consistent exercise routine, but there’s never a “good time,” and so I’ve invented a backyard cross-training program that goes something like this.

1. Say “Okay everybody! Let’s go out back and EXERCISE!” This gets them pumped up.

2. Change into sports bra and spandex, put children’s shoes on, emerge into the backyard.

3. Put on the Pandora radio station,”Call Me Maybe.” Don’t worry about the neighbor’s opinion of your musical taste.

4. Jog a few laps around the yard while everyone is happy — this won’t last long.

5. When boy toddler starts whining because the grass is pokey and his truck has dirt on it, play “Chase me with the dirty towel I had to get you so you could clean off your truck.” The fun will last for… minutes.

6. When girl baby starts getting fussy because you’re not holding her every second of the day, hold her and do squats and lunges. She will giggle. You will feel the burn.

7. When girl toddler starts getting fussy because the other ones are getting more attention, lay down on the ground and bench press her.

8. When boy toddler is mad because his miniature-rake poked him, do the Hokey (Rakey) Pokey dance. When you put your “left foot in,” make it a round house kick.

9. When girl toddler starts eating leaves from across the yard, sprint over and squat to remove leaves. When she starts tasting a stick, sprint over again. When she starts climbing off the deck in an unstable manner, sprint over and squat to catch her. This could go on all day.

10. When works-from-home husband peeks out the window on his lunch break and sees you Jazzercising in spandex to Call Me Maybe in the backyard with three fussy children, just smile and wave.

11. Resume Tae Bo punches.

Texting with Darren

I thought I was texting my friend Lori about her recent birth story yesterday. Turns out she has a new number.

After admitting to a home birth, “Darren” finally fessed up.

What I find most awesome about this too-long text conversation…

(besides the fact that I discussed a home birth with a (who knows how old) “guy”…)

(and besides the fact that he said, “You know ima guy right???” as if he were surprised I didn’t know…)

(and besides the fact that he used correct punctuation in the charitable, “It’s okay homie” at the end…)

…is that he chose to end our little chat with the “poop” emoticon.

A smiling poop emoticon.

Well played, Darren.

10 things Facebook has ruined

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think Facebook is a bad thing.

In fact, I have a very happy/grumpy/love/hate relationship with it. It’s great for connecting with family who live far away (we have family all over the world and love seeing pictures of parties we can’t attend and babies we can’t cuddle). But there are some things that this ever-accessible world of social media has replaced — things I’ve noticed more and more as time passes.

And because becoming a mom suddenly makes you nostalgic for the things you had that your kids won’t (Honey, this is called a Walkman!), I’ve reflected on 10 things that Facebook has kind of, well, ruined.

1. Reading words off of paper

Remember when people used to go to restaurants alone and eat chicken salad sandwiches and catch up on the latest novel from John Grisham? Or when, at the DMV, people were in line reading Stephen King or doing crossword puzzles? Remember when newspapers were commonly left on tables at IHOP or Starbucks so that coffee-sipping patrons could share the world news? Not anymore. This isn’t totally Facebook’s fault — but I bet if you glanced over the shoulder of any smart-phone user getting their oil changed, 91% would be posting a status update about it. “Getting a tune up — at Jiffy Lube.”

2. Christmas cards

I love Christmas cards. I love opening them almost ceremonially as a family. I love seeing how our long lost friend’s babies are growing big and strong — and oh, look, Katie Marie is taking ballet lessons! But now, my Christmas card list almost mirrors my Facebook friend list. They’ve been looking at my family all year — and I’ve been looking at theirs. And Christmas card updates? No need these days. I’ve seen pictures of Katie Marie ballet dancing for 6 months in my newsfeed. [The trick is saving a special picture JUST for Christmas cards!]

3. Breaking up

Remember that kid in middle school that was your friend when you were going through a weird phase and wasn’t a really good influence and, well, you’re glad that life naturally evolves and moves forward? Oh wait. Nevermind. Oh, and remember that ex-boyfriend or girlfriend or husband or coworker or boss or cashier that you wish the best but kind of want to forget about? Nope, not an option. With Facebook, it’s like we all live in the same small town in Texas and there’s only one corner store.

4. Being bored

My grandmother used to say that “only boring people get bored.” But, I have to say — I get bored sometimes. (Maybe I’m boring.) But I LIKE to get bored. And maybe I’m phrasing it wrong — what it really is is “carefree timelessness” when suddenly, you have free time to sit for a moment and think, “What would I like to do right now?” Unfortunately, that all too often results in looking down at your smart phone and thumbing through your Facebook feed. When, really, without that option, you may have built a fort out of diaper boxes or written the next great American novel.

5. Being a teenager

All I have to say is this: I am so thankful, thankful, thankful that Facebook was but a glint in Mark Zuckerberg’s eye when I was a teenager. I can’t even imagine what annoying Facebook statuses would’ve been stained into internet history. And for all of my teenage readers who are posting pictures, videos and statuses of themselves intoxicated, scantily clad, flipping off the camera, cursing and sticking it to the man — all I can say is: hindsight is 20/20 — especially when it’s not only in your memory, but FOREVER ON THE INTERNET. Someday you will be 30 and bearing children and tearing up at Hallmark commercials and you will wish you had not been such a public punk.

6. Toilet time

I wasn’t going to go there. My husband wrote a, well, ahem, classy(?) blog post about it recently. (12 Tips for Pooping with smartphones.) There’s not a lot to say about this subject except: isn’t anything sacred anymore?

7. Email

In times of fasting from social media (i.e. Lent, vacation, etc.), I’ll often still check email. However, I’m surprised by how many people use Facebook as their primary form of “email.” I suppose I could set my settings somehow where Facebook messages are just sent to my private email — a cozy little place that feels warm and comfy and devoid of a thousand other things fighting for my attention. I’ve decided that email is the Log Cabin of communication and Facebook is Times Square.

8. Reunions

Remember when it was really fun to go to your 10-year high school reunion where you probably only really keep up with 2% of the people just to see how everyone had grown (both life wise and girth wise)? Well now, there’s no point. You’ve seen the slow evolution of life over Facebook for 10 years now — and so that big reveal at the reunion is much less exciting. At least you can always enjoy the surprise of Christmas cards from your old high school friends. Oh, wait. Nevermind.

9. Political season

I am not particularly affected by people with differing political beliefs shouting all over my newsfeed. However, I know multiple people who deleted multiple Facebook friends based on the statuses they were writing during political season. Back in the good ole’ days you could just play nice and talk about the kids when you bump into each other at Target without any internal dialogue of, “Oh no, there’s the guy who’s voting for _______.” OK, so I do see purpose in sharing beliefs and trying to contribute to positive change — however, it’s hard to debate via Facebook and unfortunately, many of us don’t always know how to share our opinions effectively. Like this blog post, for instance.

10. Community

Yesterday I said to Matt: “You know, Facebook is like the soda of community. Lots of empty calories, not a lot of nutrients.” That’s a bit harsh, as I do believe that we can use Facebook as a very meaningful tool for building and enhancing real relationships. But if we’re spending too much time “liking” and “commenting” on photos of people we haven’t seen in years and wouldn’t invite to a dinner party — and NOT nurturing the real relationships that feed our spirits — then it can be a filler that makes us feel “full” in a somewhat deceiving way.

And now that I’ve said all that. Want to connect on Facebook? Make sure you’re a fan on my blog Facebook page where I often engage readers in fascinating discussion such as “I need a good chocolate chip cookie recipe.”

Morning thoughts

1. I used to think Jerry Maguire was old. He was going through a sort-of mid-life crisis and all. Then today, I remembered the line from the movie when he was all pumped up after writing his mission statement:

“I was 35. I had started my life.”

I’m 31. I’m almost as old as Jerry Maguire.

I also realized that Renee Zellweger’s pouty-lipped character is just 26 in that movie. This also baffles me.

2. I went to a Kenny Chesney concert the week after he got married to Renee Zellweger. When he sang that song with the line, “Saved two months, bought a little diamond,” he held up his hand and the whole crowd cheered. The next week they were divorced — and I’ve never been to a Kenny Chesney concert since. This has some profound meaning, I’m sure.

3. When out in public, people have mistook my 3-month-old — sitting snuggly in a FLORAL carseat wearing PINK–  as a boy. Recently I had a woman in line at JoAnn’s Fabrics say:

“His big brother and sister must adore him.”

“Yes. Yes, they do,” I responded.

I don’t correct people. It doesn’t matter.

4. I’ve worked out really hard for two days. I think I truly look physically more buff. This is not just a figment of my imagination.

5. Do people say “buff” these days? The kids call it something different I think. But I wouldn’t know. I’m almost as old as Jerry Maguire. I would look on Urban Dictionary, but I’m always afraid of what other words will assault my eyes.

6. This is a picture of my 97-year-old Great Aunt celebrating her recent birthday. When I am 97, will someone please make me a cake like this? I think that the single most profound example of a life well-lived is a birthday cake that is also a fire hazard.

7. My son loves fire engines. He cheers and gets really excited when he sees them — although, sometimes, they are at the scene of a not-so-happy incident. Someday soon-ish I will explain this to him so he doesn’t grow up cheering at car accidents. But for now, it’s kind of a mark of childhood. And it’s nice to go a little while focusing on the fire engines, not the fire.

8. Unless the fire is on that awesome cake!

That’s all for now.