Showing posts with label motherhood. Show all posts
Showing posts with label motherhood. Show all posts

my kid's favorite bedtime lullaby

On top of spaghetti, 
all covered with cheese
I lost my poor meatball, 
when somebody sneezed.

It rolled off the table,
And onto the floor,
And then my poor meatball,
Rolled out the door.

It rolled into the garden,
And under a bush,
And then my poor meatball,
Was nothing but mush.

The mush was as tasty,
As tasty could be,
And then the next summer,
It grew into a tree.

The tree was all covered,
All covered with moss,
And on it grew meatballs,
And tomato sauce.

So if you eat spaghetti,
All covered with cheese,
Hold onto your meatball,
In case you sneeze.

And yes, I'm 100% serious. They love it and ask for the song every night.

how to travel with kids without the stress

So later this week we are headed out of town for a little late birthday, mid-winter, vacation. Usually at this point in the travel prep, I'm searching the internet trying to find great ways to entertain my young children on the plane. I'm heading to the store to buy toys and candy and other patented parenting bribery. Just last spring we went on a long flight to NYC from Montana. I was mildly terrified of flying for +6 hours with two kids under the age of 4. Thankfully, even despite the fact that our flight was majorly delayed, we were able to have a pretty stress free travel day.

So how did we do that? Even when we sat on the tarmac for hours with a plane full of cranky adults and seats in coach? Let me tell you that first of all, there wasn't any magic gadgets or treats involved. The key was my husband and I both spent time playing and focusing on our kids. I do think my children are relatively easy going, so that is definitely a BIG help. But most kids can be easily entertained with playing with the SkyMall magazine for at least an hour or more if you go through it with them and play with them. As long we kept calm and interested in what they wanted to do, everyone was happy. If the parents are cool and calm and not stressed, the kids will be follow that. Having toys and books with you is always a good idea, but don't be surprised if you don't need half of them if you do it right.

Take my advice for what it's worth (unsolicited and free) but you don't need to spend time individually wrapping toys for each hour of your flight. You don't need to pay money for iPad games that they'll only play once. Just be prepared to spend 95% of your time (if they are awake) playing with your kids. They love you, they want to play with you, and they might really enjoy the flight more that way.

Also, I usually get air sickness, to some degree or another. I noticed once I was fully engaged on what my kids were doing, I didn't have enough time to stress or worry about the plane falling out of the sky. I was too busy figuring out to make paper airplanes out of SkyMall pages. Win-win.

how does she do it

Alright, I'm beyond excited to share this post. I'm delighted to have the opportunity to share a little wisdom and advice from a smart and impressively talented gal. Her name is Susie Meister and since I probably won't get her bio 100% correct, I'll let her do the talking:

Left-brained Susie Meister was born and raised in Pittsburgh, but after high school joined MTV’s Road Rules Down Under for the ride of her life. She has since participated in eight shows on MTV (but don’t judge her). All Susie’s reality winnings went towards her education, and in 2014 she completed her PhD in Religious Studies from the University of Pittsburgh. In addition to her academic work, Susie has begun diversity training with the legendary activist Jane Elliott who created the famed Blue Eyes Brown Eyes Exercise. Susie now works for organizations and businesses as a diversity trainer where she uses Jane Elliott’s techniques to teach people about racism, sexism, ageism, and other prejudices in American culture and how to combat them effectively. Susie is working on a book for RothCo Press called Being Jesus on the experiences of actors who have played the iconic character. Her work has also been featured in the Huffington Post, The Good Men Project, Salon, and Maniac Magazine. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Adam, and their son Lincoln.  Even though things are pretty great, the best day of her life is and will always be when she sang on stage with the Beach Boys. (via Brain Candy Podcast)
And now after that introduction here is a little bit about how Susie balances it all.

There are lots of little sayings about women that speak to our never-ending workload, and the way our attitudes set the tone for the whole house. While these idioms seem trite and overused, they tell an important story about the important role of women and often come to mind when I’m trying to pull the old “balancing plate” routine.

I am an independent scholar of religion, freelance television personality, podcaster, and a mom to a 4-year-old. Compared to some folks I have a very easy workload—I get to work from home most days, my son has a nanny, and my husband has a job that allows him to be off for several months of the year if he chooses. Yet even with that forgiving situation, just getting me to write this post took several gentle reminders from poor Johanna.

I’ve found that the blessing of an active mind is that I’m always coming up with new ideas for my research or ways to grow my podcast, but the curse of your wheels always turning is that it can get awfully noisy in my head. Sound familiar?

You know what I’m talking about. Those middle-of-the-night torture sessions when your brain suddenly remembers that time in the seventh grade when you pants split or that fear that you’re going to end up homeless. Just me? Nevermind, but you get the idea.

In the age of social media, it can feel like everyone has everything under control. They’re getting ahead. They’re having all the fun. The truth is actually that we’re all in the same boat. We get it right some days and other days we feed our kid a box of Ho-Hos just so he doesn’t starve to death. Whatevs. He’ll live.

So, the truth is that the question of “how does she do it,” is the same for everyone. We’re all just getting through this life and trying our damnedest to have a giggle along the way. I consider any day a success in which I use the bathroom without someone barging in.

I love being a scholar of religion. I love hosting a podcast. I love being on television. And I love my crazy kid. But that doesn’t mean doing all that stuff is always easy. I’m comforted, however, knowing that time is the great equalizer. Nobody gets more than 24-hours a day.

So, for me, the big question every single morning, and one that I ask myself as a ritual is, “What are you going to do with your 24 hours today?” You can do everything or nothing, but as long as you’re making a conscious decision to use your time doing the things that bring you joy, peace, and/or satisfaction, well then that’s a pretty damn good life.

Maybe your work is never done, but at least choose to do the things that improve your life because if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.


Many thanks to Susie Meister for stopping by and telling her story. I've linked to a few (okay maybe a lot) of her written work, her podcast, and some TV clips.

> her Facebook page

> her article for Huffington Post

> her TED talk

> her Salon article

> a Vox article by Susie

> and finally, her blog

how to raise a tough girl, part 2

So there is this cute little thing that my oldest daughter does. Whenever something isn't working around the house, like our fire alarm beeping our the remote is out of batteries, she runs to find her Dad. In her mind, her Dad is the fixer-of-all-things. He's the magical guy at our house that anytime something is broken, he can usually fix it.

It's really pretty cute to see her tell her Dad 'you can fix anything' and to see him take pride in that. Because, let me tell you, it wasn't always that way. When we first got married, his fixing skills were mostly sub-par. My husband is nothing if not a quick study, so with a little bit of YouTube and a lot of advice from his Dad or my Mom, he almost always can figure it out.

I, on the other hand, dislike fiddling with things and trying to make them work. If it only takes say, 20 minutes, I'm in. If I have to spend all Saturday trying to fix something, with multiple trips to the hardware store, I'm out. Call me when it's done. Also, I know that I don't do things the way my husband does, so he also gets annoyed with me getting involved. It's a win-win when I bow out.

It sounds like a good deal, right? Well, the only thing that has me concerned is that I really don't want my daughter growing up thinking 'Moms can't fix anything and only Dads can fix things'. I'm all about women power and equal opportunity to waste a Saturday fixing the water heater. So I'm at a tough spot. I should probably start trying to fix an occasional household item, but I also really don't want too.

My hope is that she keeps on helping her Dad with his tools and makes all those trips to the hardware store and realizes she can fix things too. Being a feminist is a tough thing, because women are equal to men, but it doesn't mean we ALL need to do ALL the things. I guess as long as my daughter knows she has the opportunity to do all the things, but she doesn't have to do any of them if she doesn't want too. Except clean her room...