Surprise Trip to Disney World- Reveal Video!

Ever since we got back from our LAST Disney trips, the kids have been asking when we’re going to go again. My response? “ehhh, I dunno guys. It’s a lot of money. Maybe we’ll save up and go again in a year or so.”

Truth? I was already planning to take them for their birthdays before school starts. What made it even more perfect is that we found a house we really like and are going to be moving when we’d normally have their birthday party, so pulling that off didn’t seem possible. The trip was even more perfect!

I didn’t tell them, at all, until this morning- the morning we were going to leave- and here is their reaction! (Don’t mind my PJs. It was frickin’ early!)

Posted on August 27, 2015 by Holdin' Holden 0 Comment

Learning Teamwork with Dinotrux- Netflix’s NEW Original Series!

I’ve made no secret of the fact that my kids have NOT gotten along this summer. It hasn’t changed as the summer has neared its end, either. I’d hoped it would, but nope. I think they’re just at the ages where this is going to happen. Constantly. No matter how many times I tell them it’s pointless, or threaten to sell them on Craigslist.

They began running out of things to fight about. Who would brush their teeth first, who was playing with one stupid tiny Lego before the other, even what they were watching on TV- so when Netflix told me all about their new series, Dinotrux–a brand new action-packed original series featuring characters that are half-dinosaur/half-construction vehicle, mixing action, comedy and adventure while focusing on teamwork and friendship–and said they thought it would be something the boys (both of’em) loved, I was skeptical. It seemed a little young… like maybe Parker would really enjoy it, but Holden would complain about it being too “baby-ish” (which he does with just about everything on Disney Jr. now)

Dinotrux follows Ty Rux and Revvit, two unlikely best friends, as they build a bigger, better world and battle against the biggest creature of all: D-Structs, who threatens to wreck everything they’ve built. My kids love dinosaurs, and they love vehicles, so I figured, why not?

Much to my surprise, both kids fell in love with the show. I’ve watched as they binged many a series on a rainy afternoon, but they’ve never inhaled one quite like Dino trucks. The characters are relatable, but not so over-the-top cheese that older kids (like Holden) can’t enjoy it.

Even better was when we received a surprise box from Netflix and the boys got to go on a Dinotrux scavenger hunt. The catch? They had to work TOGETHER! I had Holden read the clue cards, and Parker do the searching.

001

 

 

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This had real home-implosion possibility, but–SHOCKER–they actually did it! Without fighting! Without imploding the house!

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Now, if only there were more episodes available, I might be able to make it through the rest of the summer! MIGHT.

 

Check out Dinotrux on Netflix now. All episodes are streaming!
Posted on August 25, 2015 by Holdin' Holden 0 Comment

The Second Child

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I am one of two children in my family. My mom planned to have my brother, and then me. She got what she always wanted, one boy, and one girl, and none after that- leaving me forever as the youngest child, and the second child. I never got to be an only, or a middle child- just the one had second.

My brother, the typical a-hole Alpha oldest, seemed to relish his position. To me, it always looked like he could do no wrong, meanwhile, I was always told I could do nothing at all.  I grew up being jealous of him. He seemed to be the favorite, while I had to scream just to get noticed, which always got me in trouble. I didn’t stay jealous of him my entire childhood, but I always wondered why he seemed to be treated so differently than me.

The life of a second child looks much different to the second child than it does to the parent of a second child.

As someone who has both been one, and has one myself, it’s pretty weird to finally understand why I felt the things I felt, why my mom did the things she did, and why it seemed like my brother was the favorite, when really- my mom disliked us both equally. Okay, kidding (sorta)- but seriously. I get it now!

The first child has overly cautious parents. Helicoptering hovering, but still learning- so many things first child should NOT to, parents of first child do not know first child should not do. Trial and error. Human guinea pig. First child (assuming first child is not a twin) got to experience being an only child. To have a loud, red-faced potato come in to a place where they feel like Lord and Ruler, the Golden Child, Master and Commander, and take attention away from them? Bring on the A-hole Alpha effect. The First Child is self-assured, which causes them to be sassy, and stubborn. Soooo very stubborn. Since they have a taste of being an only child (even if not for very long), they don’t feel the need to scream to be heard. They are contemplative.

The second child is stepping into a territory that has already been claimed. They may get more attention at first, but second child learns quickly that more attention is gained by being louder than their older sibling. And assholier. Parents of first and second child already had guinea pig child to fuck up, so they know a little better with second child, meaning the second child may get to do less things they want to do, because the parents now know that it’s just a bad damn idea and will not end will. Second child will feel stifled. The parents, who are now more knowledgeable,  may seem more strict to the second child, yet less strict to the older child- who couldn’t get away with half the shit the second child does, because the parents didn’t just learn what is a bad idea, they learned to lighten the hell up and give more leeway. Second child is a tester, constantly pushing boundaries and buttons. Second child tries to act older than they are in hopes of getting to do the things their older sibling gets to do.

Both kids think they have it worse than the other, but the fact is, neither of them have it either way. They just have it different. Of course, they don’t know that, and so, Second-child Syndrome rages hard against the A-hole Alpha First child in between these four walls. Save me.

Posted on August 24, 2015 by Holdin' Holden 1 Comment

“This Will Hurt Me More Than it Hurts You”- Not BS After All?

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As someone who spent the majority of my childhood swearing my parents were wrong about … well…. everything, it’s never fun to have to admit when they were right.

Parenthood swung open that stupid door–paving the way for the content of my next book– but as I sit and listened to my kid SCREAM at the top of the stairs, I came to realize that there was one I missed. One I’ve never uttered until that very moment. One that makes me die a little inside, because, damn, it’s so parental I almost can’t handle it.

It was the night before Parker’s physical/check-up so he can begin kindergarten. I’d already said my goodnights, brushed their glorious hair (seriously, it’s amazing), and gone downstairs to get to work on whatever the hell it was that I needed to do that night. Thomas is the master of storytime, so he stayed up with the boys. About five minutes pass, and I hear this loud howling ringing down the stairwell and echoing through the house. Great, a child is crying. It’s not abnormal ’round these parts, but this wasn’t just any cry. This was a “Daddy ripped the head off of my favorite stuffed animal and told me that Santa isn’t real and that the Tooth Fairy promotes prostitution!” type howl.

Ten minutes of screaming later, Thomas descended the stairs, looking completely exasperated. Don’t ask me why, but he’d decided that right before bed would be the best time to inform Parker that along with his physical, he’d be getting shots–and before you get your ass all chapped about vaccinations, you should first know that I don’t care what you believe about them, okay? Moving on.– I don’t recall Parker ever being terrified of getting them, but of course, he was never exactly excited, either.

It’s not that I don’t get it- I do! When I was his age, I was so terrified of needles that I had to be physically restrained in order to receive shots. Over time (a lot of it) and with age, and a boatload of tattoos, bloodwork, and intimate knowledge of the pain of childbirth, and I know that shots are nothin’. They don’t even rate on my pain scale. They come and go so quickly that there’s no point even freaking out about it, yet still, my kid does, and still, I try to reason with him.

That was when the words came to me, without even having to think about it, amidst his brain killing screams. “Honestly, kid, this is gonna hurt me more than it hurts  you.”

Did I really say it? Yes. Yes I did. For shame. Do I believe it? Absolutely, and NOT just for shots.

Time outs? Ugh. It’s not even painful for them, JUST US. The crying, the whining, the pleading, the bargaining, the complaining.  Whatever vegetable/food they deem disgusting any given day? I’m not giving it to you to torture you, child. When you’re done, you’ll be better off- healthier. stronger, even- but you’ll have left me with a searing stress headache. Thanks a fucking lot. Booboos? For you, it will heal. For me- the mental picture of gunk buried under your skin with blood oozing out can never be unseen. Ever.

Oh, and then there’s the guilt that goes along with all of it! Even if I KNOW I’m doing the right thing, that it has to be done, is for your benefit, will make you better/smarter/stronger/less of an a-hole, when you act like it’s KILLING you (and it isn’t. gah)- it fires up the big ol’ pot of mom guilt that sits in the bottom of every mom’s stomach. It usually loves to bubble up during trips to the grocery store when you act a fool, and during doctor’s appointments, but makes a special exception for your mega-meltdown hissy fits over a teeny-tiny splinter in your foot and other complete overreactions.

So yes, children, it IS going to hurt me more than it’s going to hurt you. Pretty much always. Deal with it.

Go on. Go for it, older generation. Go ahead and say it. “I told you so”- you know you wanna. You know it will be sooo very satisfying. And you KNOW it’s gonna hurt me more than it hurts you. Damnit.

Posted on August 21, 2015 by Holdin' Holden 1 Comment

I Hid in the Closet Today

 

 

 

 

This is a guest piece written by Heather of 360heather.com. Be sure to stop by and check out her blog!

 

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I hid in my closet today. I cleared a space between my shirts and sat. I was quiet. My youngest was crying in his room and my oldest was yelling at him, “What did you do?”

I close my eyes and envisioned the beach. A beach with a crying child. No wait that’s not right. Ok, I’m trying it again. A beach with only the waves and wind. “Mommy??” a frantic wave said. A wave? Ugh, it is my oldest.

“Mommy where are you?” the panic in his voice making him sound younger than his 12 years. I said nothing. I kept my eyes closed and watched the waves. I breathed, deeply.

“Moooommmmmmeeeeee!” he was getting closer; it sounded like he was in my room. I only had seconds left. I put my toe in the water and felt the waves caress my feet.

“What are you doing?”

He’d found me.

“I’m breathing and enjoying the waves,” I said. I opened my eyes. He was staring at me. I knew he was confused. So was I. How had being a mother become so hard? How did I become so out of my element, so out of my mind and so out of patience that I was curled up in between my shirts on the floor of my closet envisioning talking waves while my kids played a game of hide and seek where no one knew the rules?

He looked at me expectantly. I would have an answer, I always did. Right? I had no answer. I had no energy left to answer even if there was an answer.

“Are you ok Mommy? Why are you on the floor of your closet?”

I wanted to tell him the truth – that they had reduced me to this. Their fighting, their constant NEED of me, his inability to complete the tasks I asked of him, his constant singing, all this had sapped me of my strength and the only place that felt safe was the dark corner of my closet. Surrounded by my clothes that smelled clean. I opened my mouth to speak and nothing came out. I was like a fish gasping for air. I felt horrible.

It’s amazing as a mom because I can feel this way, like there is no hope and I will never be able to stand again, or cook them dinner, or referee another fight, and then something kicks in and I do stand. I don’t want to but I do. I stand and I walk out and I do what I need to do. Everything is heavy and I want nothing more than to sleep but I do cook, and I referee and I bathe and read a night-time book. I do it all without complaining and they are none the wiser.

I’m not sure how life turned into this. When I look back to 10 years ago, if you’d told me this was how life would be I would have died laughing. In some ways it is exponentially better and in others, well it leaves me sitting in the corner of my closet.

I’m a divorced mom of 2 boys, 7 & 12, now remarried and a step-mom to an almost 11 year old boy. My 12 year old has ADHD and my youngest is hard to see in the ADHD shadows. My step-son is having some troubles adjusting to our new family. So my hands are full.

But I’m a mom on a mission and I’m passionate about raising awareness of not only ADHD, (because let’s be real, who these days has NOT heard of it?) and what is means, but also how it affects the family unit. How it affects us moms. I want people, especially the mother’s out there, to know they are not alone. I want you to know that at night, after the kids are all down and the house is quiet, it is TOTALLY normal to stuff the entire red velvet cupcake into your mouth, then wash it down with a diet coke. And to tell yourself the two cancel each other out. You are not alone.

Posted on August 18, 2015 by Holdin' Holden 0 Comment