Thursday, March 27, 2014

On Dating with kids.......

Remember dating before kids?

When you got dressed up to go on a date? When you tried on multiple outfits while your husband watched football and patiently waited for you. And when you finally made your entrance, his jaw dropped and he remembered how lucky he was to have married you? And vice-versa?

Fast-forward 13+ years and 3 kids........

Our last FIVE attempts at date night have been thwarted. Twice to a sick Owen, twice to icy roads, and once to a migraine. Seriously?

So we finally gave up and did the next best thing.

A Monday lunch followed by running errands together.
(I know. Our lives are so exciting you just can't stand it.)

Was it totally worth it?

But it was still not the same as a Friday night reprieve from the dinner and bedtime routine. The bedtime routine that's also known as "look at how inquisitive, insightful, and thirsty my kid gets when it's time to go to bed" in the parenting world.

So in case you're married but don't have kids yet, let me help you. This may save you some heartbreak down the road. I would hate for you to suffer the delusions that dating your spouse after kids is the same as before. That's like saying your body won't change after pregnancy. And that's just downright hilarious.

Here's my list. Don't say I never gave you anything:

1. I know you're probably tempted to wear a shirt that shows of your toned belly. I did that too. Don't. Find something that hides that toned belly. Preferably a black mumu. That way, years down the road, when that cute little belly has turned into a roll of gushing waves full of saggy skin and your black mumu is too small, your husband won't have anything to look back and compare it to.

2. Instead of putting on lots of makeup to make your already perfect skin look even better, try drawing on an extra chin and some forehead wrinkles with your eyeliner. Then put makeup on one eye but forget the other because that's what happens when you're getting ready for a date with kids and your son poops and you have to go wipe his bottom and you wash your hands before finishing your make-up, and then while washing your hands you realize you never finished the dishes and now it's three hours later and you're sitting at the restaurant looking like a foxy lady, but only on one side of your face.

3.  You probably have money right now and so your tempted to go to a fancy restaurant with awesome drinks and atmosphere. Try chilis instead, but only if you have a groupon. If not, McDonalds and Taco Bell are pretty cheap. And make sure you split a meal because the price of that second entree needs to go into the savings account for swim lessons or basketball or piano, or in our case, formula for our five year old. What's more important? You getting your own entree or your son being able to play on a basketball team that doesn't keep score during the games because apparently that would be cruel.......

4. Remember staring into each others eyes? Now this is called "checking to make sure the other person is still awake." If they are, great. If not, no judgement; just be glad they're finally getting some rest. Plus, you get to eat their portion of the entree now while they nap. It's a win for everyone. Oh also, on this note, you should probably have sex before you leave on your date because after 7:00pm hits in the parenting world, our bodies and limbs are no longer our own and the only thing we want is sleep or a minute to ourselves with nobody touching us. And I mean NOBODY.

5. When the check comes, instead of him graciously paying, you get to play the game of let's both search our wallets, pockets, and even the booth cushions to see if we can scrape together enough money to pay for the this meal.This is of course after asking the waiter if anybody in the restaurant did that whole "pay it forward" thing with your bill? Unfortunately they didn't.

6. When you're leaving the restaurant and your aging digestive system finally starts processing the cheap processed crap you couldn't afford, don't worry about letting it rip. You lost all modesty in the birthing room. And he did too apparently.

7. Don't even think about dessert or a movie or a bar. It's after 7:00pm for crying out loud. Your yoga pants and Friends re-runs are ALL YOU CAN THINK ABOUT.

8. Last but not least and this is probably the most important piece of advice:
Do not, I repeat do not attempt any of these steps before you are safely married. On the other hand, if you do, you will probably be able to enjoy a child-free dating life for much longer.

And that's Dating With Kids in the Real World.

You're Welcome.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Dear Random Mom

Dear Random Mom I've Never Met,

Kudos to you. Seriously. I don't know how you do it. I have one child with special needs. One. And I can barely do it. You have at least four kids, two of them with special needs, and two of them toddlers. (And let's face it.......toddlers aren't always a walk in the park......) 

And I watched you in the waiting room as our kids were in the back getting occupational therapy. I watched you chase and cuddle and scold and wipe your brow and sweat and wipe noses and request words instead of screams and pick up keys that had been thrown at somebody's head and scold again and hold a sobbing toddler and find shoes and pick up the contents of your purse and sigh and laugh and look embarrassed and apologize profusely and I knew: Your life is so so hard. HARD. And I wanted to give you a hug and a cup of coffee or maybe a glass of wine. Instead while you were trying to listen to the therapist and your toddler was climbing up the bookcase, I put down my kindle, scooped him up and read books with him. And he was a delight. I'm guessing 18 months of all boy with chubby cheeks and a snotty nose and a smile that wouldn't quit when we got to the page with the zebras on it.

And we kept reading as you gathered your things, tried to put shoes back on one child, and searched for lost keys. We kept reading as frustration built up in your face. And I watched as you announced to the waiting room that you were going to have to figure out a different way to do therapy, apologized again, thanked me, grabbed your toddler and sprinted to the safety of your twelve passenger van.

And now I can't stop thinking about you. I wish I knew your name or where you lived. I wish I could send you a card and tell you what an amazing job you're doing. You are a warrior mom.

And you don't owe anyone an apology, especially the parents in waiting rooms at therapies. We get it. We've been there. We get it and we applaud your efforts. Waiting rooms suck. Waiting room with special kids and toddlers? It can be a personal version of hell on earth. So next time, when you exit, do it proudly, knowing you just survived another 45 minutes of hell on earth. And you did it for your kid that needs help. You're a warrior.

So as Glennon Melton would say, "Carry On, Warrior."

Carry On.

A Mom in Awe of You

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Holy Skeletal System, Batman

This crap is HARD! 

I am struggling in Anatomy and Physiology.
And believe me, it is not from lack of trying.

Science and math do not come easily to me.

I'm acing my psych courses though.

So basically, my sister and I decided that if I make it out of school and into a hospital, some of my conversations with patients may go like this.......

"I'm so sorry you're sick, Mr. Smith. I want to sit and listen and help you emotionally in any way possible, but first, could you remind me where your upper arm is, because that's where I'm supposed to give you this shot...... So what you're saying Ms. Jones is that you don't need your leg amputated just because you have a headache?.......I'm so sorry, Dr. I didn't realize that hydration was important, I thought the IV bag was optional. I know you're upset, Dr. but look at how happy my dehydrated patient is. I just psychoanalyzed her and gave her a personality test. And also, she's a virgo. A dehydrated virgo, but still!"

Okay so my nursing career may not last very long like that.......

But it's hard to study SOOOOOOOOOO much and still only get average grades on exams. So here's to the tutoring I'm about to start getting. Here's to busting my tail even more the next two months. Here's to not seeing these people as much as I like because my nose will be buried in books. And here's to hoping that this will all be worth it in the end! Because nothing worth having is easy, right? Oh Lord please tell me I'm right.

And here's to the people that rock my socks and put up with my lack of involvement in their lives right now:

(Character Day at school.)
Laura Ingalls Wilder

And of course, RGIII

And a gap tooth grin.....

My big fatty who is still rocking the tenth percentile.

Owen and his BFF

And my BFF for spring break?

Awww yeah. 
I know you're jealous.
Muscle girl is rocking that pose.