I Didn’t Think my Son was Anything like me Until…

Sometimes when I look at my 7 year old, who has my eyes, my hair, my chin, my long limbs– I don’t see myself.meparker

He’s super-personable, never shies away from any social situation, meanwhile, I avoid other humans like the plague. He loves school and and is sad when it’s summertime, when I couldn’t wait for it to end. He is a MORNING PERSON. I’m not even an afternoon person. He wears socks to bed. He can’t take a joke to save his damn life and that’s basically all I do, and most days, I swear he just doesn’t get me. Seven years and you’d think he’d kind of know how things are around here, how I am, how I react to the things he does, the kind of mood I’m in from day to day by the level of resting-bitch on my face. But no.

Even though I saw him ploop out of me covered in my insides, I can’t help but question if I brought home the wrong kid from the hospital. If perhaps he was body-snatched in his bed by aliens during the night and the kid in my house is just the shell of my kid but the inside is an imposter. MAYBE he’s some weird kind of clone. It kind of kicked me in the gut a bit. This kid I carried, birthed, spent all day every day with- and other than physicalities, is nothing like me? NOTHING? REALLY? I got nothing?? Not a laugh, or a quirk, or even an aversion? What a rip off! I didn’t have children to NOT have mini versions of myself, I mean, come on!

It always happens that, just as I’m considered calling the authorities and telling them the hospital made a grave mistake by switching my child at birth– the kid does something so intuitive, so incredibly insightful, so ME that there is no denying that he is my crotchfruit. Not even if he wanted to deny it, could he. Not that he’d want to, I mean, I am pretty great at this whole parenting thing (STOP LAUGHING).

Yesterday, I was tired. Not just the regular run-of-the-mill “can’t stop yawning” kind of tired, but the level of tired where I was grumpy, nodding off, back hurt, brain hurt, no amount of caffeine was pulling me from my funk kind of tired. All I really want to do was sleep, but damn things called “responsibilities” were keeping me from being able to do so. That’s what I get for staying up too late streaming on Twitch like I’m all young & shit when I clearly can’t hang. I CAN’T HANG! THERE! I SAID IT!

I guess Parker must have picked up on my exhaustion (or, I guess it could have been my attitude coupled with the fact that I kept saying “I AM SO TIRED!”) because he made what is the single most amazingly ME suggestion he’s ever made… especially for a kid who doesn’t GET me.

“Mommy, if you’re so tired, why don’t you go crawl in bed, watch some TV and eat chips?”

WHAT? DID HE JUST SAY THAT? Suddenly, this little stranger with no sense of humor wandering my house knew me better than I knew myself. That is EXACTLY what I wanted to do, and I had no idea until I heard him say it.

This kid, with my eyes, my hair, my chin, my long gangly limbs, who is absolutely nothing like me… is definitely mine.

We’re in there, y’all. Sometimes way deep down. Sometimes hidden behind our partner’s faces and personalities. Sometimes lying dormant and making us believe that we’ve been duped–we are there! It’s kind of terrifying.

Posted on December 1, 2016 by Holdin' Holden 1 Comment

But, Really– Who WILL Win “Mom of the Year”?

Me with a "Best Mom" Award. No, I didn't take it home.

                                        Me with a “Best Mom” Award. No, I didn’t take it home.

As this year comes to a close, it is time to reflect on the goings-on of the past 300+ days of our lives. For parents, that doesn’t just include our own lives, but the lives of our children. Did they have a good year? Did WE give them a good year? It’s a hell of a lot of pressure!

People always told me that parenting would get “easier” as the years passed. First, it was when baby started sleeping through the night, then when they were potty trained, then when they started school. Yeah, sleep is nice, not cleaning out poopy pants all day every day and grody plastic toilets is great, and actually having peace and quiet while the kids are learning from someone other than me is awesome–but I would never say parenting has gotten “easier”. The challenges are just different.

Making your life, and their lives happy is not just different between age rages, but from day to day, hour to hour, minute to minute. The surprises, they never stop! And I don’t necessarily mean that in a good way. So, when I say we now take the time to reflect upon the past year, we reflect upon all the shit that went awry because we either weren’t prepared, didn’t see it coming, or just didn’t have the patience. We see people on social media posting all of their “thankfuls” and bragging about their most awesome year that we know wasn’t really all THAT awesome but it still, for some reason, gets under our skin the tiniest bit- and we wonder- “did I suck as a parent this year? Would I ever win mom of the year?”

If your instant reaction to that question was “HAHAHAHA HAHAHA AH AHAHA” and once you caught your breath, let out a resounding “no”- you are not alone.

Who WOULD win ‘Mom of the Year’? I mean, if anyone on this planet could, who would it be?

The mom who seems perfect and is constantly posting about how thankful she is to have children? The mom you know goes to all the PTA meetings, volunteers all her time, and always has a smile on her face? The moms you know work really hard all day only to come home and work even harder at home, barely getting any time to sit down?

What about the mom who hid in the closet just to get a 5 second break from her super needy kids? How about the mom who said her drink had alcohol in it so she didn’t have to share? The mom that put the kids to bed early because she seriously didn’t think she could handle another whiny kid-filled second without snapping? The mom who got a call from a telemarketer and put her toddler on the phone telling them it was Santa on the other line? How about me, who is sitting here now wondering why I have to pick my kids up from school when I’m just gonna have to take them right back the next day?

NONE OF US WOULD WIN. No matter how amazing or how shitty you think you’re doing, none of us are winning any mom of the year awards, why? Look, I’m gonna say it again, and I don’t care how many times I’ve said it before, and I don’t care how cliche it is, or how tired you are of hearing this- MOTHERHOOD IS NOT A COMPETITION.

Why do I feel the need to post this if I’ve said it before? Because this is one of those times of years where it’s really easy to get down on yourself– to, instead of seeing all the great things you’ve done as a person and a parent, focus on the negative things (or at least things that you see as negative, because we’re all our own worst critics).

No awards needed. You’re doing this shit, and you don’t even have to do it well all the time. You’re DOING IT. Give yourself some credit. It might not be a trophy, or a ribbon, or come with prize money (wouldn’t that be nice?) but you’re doing it, and that’s pretty medal worthy all on its own.

Besides, I’d rather have cheesecake than an award for a job decently done- and we can buy that shit at the store any time we want, so who’s the real winner here?

Posted on November 28, 2016 by Holdin' Holden 0 Comment

How To Ruin Your Kid’s Day in Ten Seconds

Last night, my husband admitted to me that one of his “secret” favorite movies is “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days”– you know, the one with Kate Hudson & Matthew McConaughey, where Kate’s character acts completely batshit stereotypical clingy female, names his penis, buys a dog that pees all over everything and I have willed myself to forget what else in order to get Matthew’s character to dump her so she can prove some kind of point in an article? Yeah. That one. I’m pretty sure this wasn’t a secret to me…. well, it isn’t anymore even if it was.

TEN DAYS. She thought it would take her TEN days to scare a dude away. That doesn’t even sound absurd to me because I live in a house with all boys, and lemme tell you what- I’ve got her beat. The husband has managed to stick around for almost 10 years now, but while I can’t seem to lose him, I can ruin my kids entire days in less than TEN minutes. Without even trying! I already had that very morning before Thomas divulged his dirty little not-so secret to me.

You see, I had made the dire mistake of, while my child was throwing a fit about hit seatbelt locking before driving car2him and his brother to school, to tell him to “chill.” Y’know, calm down, take a breath, re-evaluate. JUST. CHILL. My child, instead of thinking about my words and reacting accordingly, yelled back at me “I HAVE NONE!”

No chill. Nine years out and completely barren of chill. He proceeded to grumble the rest of the short trip there. Day ruined- 5 seconds flat. Beat that, Kate Hudson!

Today alone, and as I type this, the day isn’t even close to being over, and I have ruined my kids days multiple times. HOW have I pulled this off, you might ask?

Let’s see…

I asked what they wanted for breakfast
I asked if they were wearing socks
I DARED to pick out a shirt that was too big for the 9 year old, even though he could pick out his clothes himself but won’t
I told them to hurry up
I decided to heat up the car
I made them wear coats
I asked if their bookbags were packed
I reminded them not to forget their lunches, because they were totally going to
I told one his shoe was untied
I made the other say “please” before I would help him reach something on a tall shelf
I told them we were having leftovers for dinner (ones they LOVED last night)

I’d be annoyed by it if I didn’t consider it a public service. How else are these kids gonna learn what stupid shit in life doesn’t really affect your day unless they deal with it? If their lives are good enough to have these insignificant things bother them, their lives must be pretty good, right? BUT- it’s important to learn to let little shit go. My job is to teach them.
More day ruinings, embarrassments, and awkward moments are in their futures–as they should be.

Posted on November 22, 2016 by Holdin' Holden 0 Comment

FlapJacked: A Delicious Review & GIVEAWAY!

Let’s be honest- most mornings when I wake up, the LAST thing I want to do is make my kids breakfast. I’m tired, I am not a morning person, and they can never seem to decide what they want and we end up bickering to the last second where I just toss cereal in a bowl and scoot them out the door so they aren’t late to school. That always leaves me feeling like they aren’t getting proper nutrition- and breakfast is IMPORTANT. I didn’t believe that when I was their age, but it’s the truth. I spend way too much time worrying about them being starving all day since, apparently, “snack time” only happened in schools back in the stone age when I was in school.

That’s why FlapJacked is my new morning BFF. And NO ONE is my morning BFF.

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If you have never heard of FlapJacked, prepare yourself, because you’re going to thank me SO HARD. I’M NOT KIDDING! ARE YOU SITTING DOWN?

FlapJacked are protein-packed & fiber rich pancake & baking mixes that are naturally sweetened with fruits & veggies, fortified with whey protein isolate and pea protein. Each serving is about 200 calories and 20g of protein! Now, I know that was a lot of information I threw at you all at once, but here’s what I can tell you- they’re super good for you, made with no artificial sweeteners, GMO free, they keep you full for a LONG time and really help fuel you through your day- which is not just perfect for you, but for your kids.

BEST PART? THE KIDS CAN MAKE THE MIGHTY MUFFINS THEMSELVES!

That’s right, it’s not just pancake & baking mixes (in assorted delicious flavors) but MUFFINS! Muffins don’t inherently sound healthy, but these definitely are, even though they might not taste like it (because they’re so dang good!)

I was first introduced to FlapJacked at the MomsMeet WOW summit where I got to try a few samples and I was instantly in love. So much so that I grabbed my kids and said “YOU HAVE TO TRY THIS” and they decided to be super embarrassing by stealing extra samples. I absolutely jumped at the chance to work with such a great family company.

They sent us some mighty muffins and pancake mixes to really try for ourselves and put the kids to the test (at 7 and 9, you never really know how much they’re capable of until you give them a chance, and that can be scary).

Mighty Muffins (which are GMO free) are just as simple as a bowl of cereal and so much better.

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You just pick your flavor (my personal fav is the maple pumpkin- OMG),

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peel back the film, add water, stir,

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and then just pop it in the microwave for 35-55 seconds (depending on your micro’s wattage)

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Last, but most certainly not least- ENJOY!

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BAM- a healthy, protein-packed, fiber filled, natural breakfast so easy, even my messy kids can make them! Oh, by the way, they also contain GanedenBC30 probiotics to support those immune systems- so you’re even more confident sending them off to germ-filled schools.

And let’s not forget the pancake & baking mixes, because they are SO YUMMY, and simple to make, too! Just add water!

We tried out the carrot spice mix

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One word: Awesome.

You don’t just have to make pancakes with them, though. You can substitute them in for banana bread, or donuts, or even pizza crust. The possibilities are endless, and they’re all good for you!

Choose from Pancake & Baking mixes in Banana Hazelnut, Carrot Spice, Buttermilk, & Cinnamon Apple. Mighty Muffins come in Peanut Butter, Double Chocolate, Maple Pumpkin, Cinnamon Apple, S’mores, & Chocolate Peanut Butter.

Even better news? I’m GIVING AWAY A BUNCH FOR ONE OF YOU TO TRY!

That’s right!

FREE FLAPJACKED!

One lucky person will win:
A 24oz bag of the new Gluten-Free Pancake & Baking Mix
A mixed 12 pack of Mighty Muffins (6 flavors, 2 each)

SO. MUCH. DELICIOUS.

I CAN’T STOP TYPING IN CAPS!

Find out more about FlapJacked at Flackjacked.com

No, but seriously- enter to win below! And go get yourself some FlapJacked- your tummy (and your sanity) will thank you!

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Winner will be drawn on 11/23 at 12pm EST. Winner must respond to notification e-mail within 48 hours or a new winner will be drawn.

Posted on November 16, 2016 by Holdin' Holden 23 Comments

What Parents Should be Saving for OTHER than College

I thought I had more time. More time to prepare. More time to think it over. At least 5 more years should have been allowed before this happened. My world is spinning. My mind is reeling. How could this be my life now? How could I have been so blind to how it all played out? I wasn’t ready! Maybe I wasn’t ever going to be, but I never had the chance to really come to terms with it before it happened. WHY? WHY ME?? WHY NOW? HOW DID IT COME TO THIS??

I opened the door and all I found was emptiness. Cold, dark, emptiness.

The pantry door.empty

Because my kids ATE ALL THE FOOD.

They’re not teenagers. They aren’t going through puberty. They don’t need the extra fuel you do when you’re growing like a mofo and sprouting hair in weird places. They are 9 and 7. I understand a love of snacks. I LOVE SNACKS. Snacks are amazing! But we go shopping multiple times per week. We spend a stupid amount of money on food. We are constantly stocked to the brim with fruits, veggies, crackers, other random crap we picked up along the way. Yet, still, every other day I hear the pantry door creak open, shortly followed by a whiny voice yelling through the house “THERE’S NOTHING TO EAT!”

HOW DO SUCH LITTLE HUMANS EAT SO MUCH FOOD? WHERE DO THEY PUT IT? Do I have extra family members I don’t know about? Are the sock elves really food elves? Have house mice become intelligent super-beings and learned to steal food from my pantry? DID THE DOGS DO IT? HOW DID THEY MANAGE WITHOUT OPPOSABLE THUMBS? HOW?!

All these years I spent thinking I should be putting money into a college fund when the REAL money should go into a snack fund, because if this is how rabid they are as children, once they’re teens I’m totally boned.

Heed my warning: Start saving now!

 

Posted on November 14, 2016 by Holdin' Holden 0 Comment