Saturday, May 25, 2013

Whatever Slurpees Are Awesome

15 years ago, I used to pile like 7 of my favorite people into a tiny Toyota, drive to 7-11, buy a bunch of junk, and eat and loiter. All the while thinking that this was just about as good as life could get.* 

Today, I realized that my teenage self was actually right about some things. 

As I blissfully took a bite of a buffalo chicken taquito that had been warming for at least 8 hours, I looked around and took in the awesomeness of the situation, Pete muttered, "I think this is the nadir of our parenting experience." I dunno Pete, things look pretty good from here. I think we're gonna be okay.

*For real, we ALL crammed into Pete's little Toyota, drove to "sev" and dined on taquitos and ice cream sandwiches. You know that you might want to re-think your life choices when the convenience store clerk looks down his nose at you. 

p.s. Still recording my media diet, and you'll see that I'm being completely honest about it because I recorded watching The Bachelor Bloopers as well as Safe Haven. Safe Haven was really really terrible, but I just can't quit you Juliane Hough.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Weenie Boats

Mom: Remember how you kids used to love weenie boats? Do you ever make them when Peter is out of town?

Me: Yeah sometimes.

Pete: Hey, what are you guys talking about over there, what are weenie boats? 

Me: Well, you take a hot dog, slice it open, put mustard and cheese on it and then mashed potatoes on the top. 


  Piping the instant potatoes through the star tip was a little touch that I added myself. Just to make it a little more fancy, ya know? The kids love it, the husbands love it. And you'll find the recipe in just about every ward/congregation cookbook only it isn't called a Weenie Boat in the book, it is called a Stuffed Weener--which seems much less appetizing to me. Not quite sure why. #that'swhatshesaid

Thursday, May 16, 2013


I never realized how much a mom thinks about her kids' friends. Before I got myself into this parenting mess, I knew that I was going to have to oversee feeding, love, hygiene, self-image, education, religion and general well roundedness. But I didn't really think that being aware of friend choices were that big a deal. I'm not sure why that didn't show up on my radar. After all, my friends are the most important thing in the world to me. Right after family and flour/butter/sugar/chocolate.

  Anyway, I've been reminded of things that I knew about friends 15 years ago but have since forgotten. I know that it is impossible to pick your kids' friends. And extreme caution is necessary when you decide to use the words: "You may not be friends with this person anymore." You have one shot, maybe two at using this phrase on your kids and having it carry any weight. Any more than that, and it becomes a dare, not a command. So I've narrowed down 3 traits that I will forbid to be defining characteristics in my kids' friends.

1. Liars

2. Vandals*

3. Kids that are preoccupied with sex

  And that's it. Every other vice is fair game. (I know that vandalism might seem weird, but if a kid thinks it is hilarious to throw rocks through a window, they are hiding a host of other problems that you really want your kid to stay away from. ) I understand how influential friends are so I don't want to take any chances with liars, vandals, or sex weirdos. But it is my responsibility to vaccinate my kids against any other bad behavior through good parenting.

  Okay, now I realize that there are plenty of bad kids out there who don't have any problems with the three vices I've selected. And different parents will come up with different lists of things that they want to avoid. But I would like to give one piece of advice when you are making your list of damning traits.

Don't cast out the foul mouthed kid.

  Yes, there is a chance that the kids with a bad mouth is just an idiot who replaces normal words with bad words, but that kid is harmless. Dum dums are harmless, unless your kid is dumb too, and then you have a problem. But it has been my experience that there is a better chance that the swearing kid is passionate and loyal. They also probably have some impulse control issues, but I think we can all admit, that it's fun to have a wild card at the party.

  I'd like to site Shea's friend Sam as an example. Sam has taught Shea half the swear words she knows. (Her dad taught her the other half but one seems to remember that fact. They only remember the time I screamed DAMN CHICKEN NUGGET at my kids in 105 degree weather after a 7 hour car ride.) Shea has complained about Sam's foul mouth. I feel like I have done my job by teaching Shea to ask Sam not to use those words around her, but that is as much as I have interfered. Then yesterday, Shea had her heart broken. Her little boyfriend Max, the cutest boy in the 5th grade, the one who gave her a heart necklace for Christmas and held her hand at the ice rink, broke up with her. Of course not face to face. No way. Obviously he told one of his friends to tell one of her friends that they were breaking up. Shea didn't take the news well. She was too upset to eat her lunch, and she spent recess crying. Thank goodness for Sam. She wasted no time, she marched up to Max, got in his face, and with her New York Jewish accent, called him a "sack of sh$%." She told him that he was a 'f*c%$#g moron' and a bunch of other stuff. I wasn't there, but I'm sure it was comforting, consoling, amazing.

  It reminded me of my own friend Betsy. She used terrible language, but she provided me with hours of entertainment and is as loyal as they come. I remember one time she used the eff word in the same sentence as the words 'football field,' and it triggered a super sized desk throwing tantrum for 3 football players in our English class. Legendary. Another time, in seminary, she turned to me and in an audible voice, muttered, "This guy is such a damn liar," about the teacher. My reaction 'drove the spirit away' and my parents got a phone call. And I would say that no one should ever accuse a CES teacher of making stuff up but . . . . . . . And once, I was stranded in Provo, and Betsy drove two hours to come get me. She burst through the door of my apartment with a string of expletives regarding all BYU students. She deeply offended my roommates. But I loved that cursing Kappa with all my heart. I also knew that it would be in my best interest to stay on Betsy's good side. A lesson her poor ex-husband had to learn the hard way. Because when the cheater came clean; within hours of confession; his boss had been called, his bank account emptied, his car sold and he was doubled over on the ground from a sever blow to the groin.

*a girl pooping on the East High football field is not vandalism, it's just plain funny.

Friday, May 10, 2013

A Couple of Thoughts on my day at Hershey Park

Over the weekend, I chaperoned a chorus trip to Hershey Park in PA. The trip was for 5th and 6th graders and since I have one of each I figured I would go. I went last year and chaperoned Eliza and her friends. It was fun except for that two of the girls spoke English as their second language and they kept on saying tweeezlers. Come on ladies, you're in Merica now, git it right. Well I thought this year would be twice as fun because I had twice as many kids going on the trip. XXX. Oh boy I would have given anything to have my biggest problem be the mispronunciation of a candy. 
  The trip started out with me stopping to chat with one of the parents about some 5th grade drama. Our two little girls are not getting along in school. In fact, they are arch enemies. Nevertheless,  this girl begged and pleaded to be in Shea's group. When I told this mother that I was surprised at this, and that I wanted the girls to get along, she responded with, "I know Shea, I have her number, I have her totally figured out. You know why? Because I used to be Shea, and I'll tell you what, Karma is a bitch because it sure has come back to get me." And then I had to spend the rest of the day chaperoning this woman's daughter? Yep. Good thing I'm such a kind person and can easily get past these types of comments. 
   Our group of 4 girls teamed up with another group of 4 girls plus chaperone. But after about an hour, my co-chaperone and her daughter ditched us because we weren't riding enough roller coasters and they wanted their $58 worth. So I was left with 7 girls. Two of which were naughty. As an aside, I have been reading The Help, so every time I would see a child misbehave, I would have this inner dialogue in a Southern accent about how that chalt dint git nuff love from huh mama. But I can only amuse myself with my inner southerner for so long. And a day at an amusement park with mean girls goes by slower than downloading Bohemian Rhapsody with a dial-up connection. 
  Shea is a flirt. Not the cute coy kind. The kind boys are afraid of. The kind who will make loud jokes and try to humiliate her target. Don't worry though, Shea learned that's not the way to get a man. On her third attempt at this type of flirting, one of the boys gave her a little pamphlet and told her that if she died tomorrow, she would go to hell. Shea looked at the tract that said, "Jesus Saves," saw a picture of Satan with flames in the background. 

And I didn't even eat one piece of chocolate. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A Couple of Thoughts on Being Special

If you haven't seen this Dove ad, you should watch it, because if you don't, nothing else I say will make sense.

  I hope, really hope that they never ask me to do this. You know why? It's because I think much much too highly of myself. When I look in the mirror I think, "Wow, I am really really something special, go get 'em gorgeous." I'm not kidding, I totally think that. But I'm always sort of surprised that I don't really turn heads when I walk down the street. I rationalize that they either don't see me, or are so shocked by my beauty that they have to look away. And when I see myself in pictures, I think, "huh, that's weird, that looks nothing like me." A few years ago, when someone told me that I was average looking, I was totally floored. Not because-who would say that?- But because, I never believed myself to be average.
  If someone held up two sketches of me side by side; the one on the left, the one that I narrated would be a stunning beauty. A willowy brunette with mysterious big eyes and a perfect complexion. The sketch on the right, the one that was described by someone else who had just met me, would be very different. "Frumpy hair, vacant stare, scarred lips, looks exhausted, and totally forgettable. Oh, and she wasn't nice. Kind of an elitist. And weird, like if Andy Kaufman was an average looking woman with self-imagined beauty." Nailed it! That's me!
  Which leads me to my next point. Where did I get this false sense of self-esteem? Not from my childhood, I don't remember my parents ever really building me up. I always thought they were tryna bring me down. Now I  realize that they were just trying to give me a healthy dose of reality. Oh sage mother and father, I should have listened. Instead, I've floated through life thinking I could get by on my looks, which, shockingly, haven't gotten me anywhere.
  I am going to try to protect my kids from this false sense of superiority. I have an idea. You know those plates that say, "You are special?"
  I swear every family has one and they usually save it for a child's birthday. Well I think instead of one 'you are special' plate, I think I'll buy a bunch of plates that say, "You Are Average!" And then when it's your birthday, you get a blank plate with nothing on it, just cake. That way, you can think whatever you want about yourself cause hey, it's your birthday!

p.s. I'm still tracking my 2013 media diet here. Anyone else doing the same?