“Well, then I guess you’re not eating today.” – a Battle won for ALL PARENTS.

Lessons are being learned today. Difficult, whiny, annoying lessons- but it’s time.

My youngest is almost nine years old. He grabs his own breakfast in the morning, but when it comes to lunch- it’s whine-central. There’s a reason we refer to him as “Picky Parker”- but he’s not a baby anymore. He’s grown out of a lot of the issues with textures and smells he had as a toddler. Now he just clings on to his pickiness to be bratty. I know plenty of kids are picky because they really DO have issues with different things–but trust me when I talk about my kid, it’s because he is growing through an ultra-bratty, ultra-defiant, ultra-NO stage.

He never wants what I’m making. He complains about everything.

When I send him off to school, I don’t have to hear the complaints, but at home, I am the sounding board for everything he doesn’t like.

Not THAT kind of cheese, it tastes weird. NEVER raw cheese, it has to be melted- but again, not that kind of cheese. It’s still weird. Not THAT kind of bread, it’s too tough, it’s a weird color. It’s too spicy. It’s too cold. The lettuce keeps falling off so obviously I can’t eat it.

Today is August 10th, and I’ve had enough.
I don’t run a restaurant. This isn’t Burger King, and you can no longer have it your way.

You might be wondering why I lasted this long. Why didn’t I break sooner? The easiest answer is convenience. It’s just convenient for me to make everyone’s lunches when I’m making my own. It’s quick, it’s easy, and I know shit will get cleaned up. I can’t stand when lunch is a two-hour ordeal. Summer days are long, but they aren’t THAT long.

That’s all changing.

You see, I have TMJ. If you don’t know what that is, just imagine extreme jaw pain. Sometimes it shows up in the form of shooting pains through my jaw during breakfast, but gets better during the day. Not this time. This time it’s been horrible. So horrible that I can only eat soft food. No summer lunch fallback- a good ol’ sandwich. Soft foods ONLY. Which means there are other options in the house. Options you’d think kids would be thankful for, because it’s different than a sandwich.

I made soup for myself. Too much soup for myself, actually, so I offered to share. Actually, I offered the soup OR two different kinds of sandwiches. Holden jumped at the offer of soup. Parker?

“I don’t WANT a sandwich!”

“Okay, I’m making soup”

“I don’t WANT soup”

We’ve been here before. Generally if he knows he won’t be getting anything else, he folds.

“You do realize that I’m not making you anything else? It’s soup, or sandwich.”

“Well I don’t want them.” – he’s now standing at the top of the stairs, with no pants, and arms across his chest in his typical defiant fashion. We were at a crossroads. I could fold, and offer him something else. Or I could stand my ground. My jaw clenched, sending pain into the back of my skull. No. He doesn’t get to win.

“Okay. Then you don’t get anything. If you want something, you will be making it yourself.”

I think he thought I was bluffing. He throws his hands up and walks into his room. Me and Holden sit down at the kitchen table and eat soup together. Parker still hasn’t come down from upstairs when we finish, so both me and the older child retreat to the living room to relax. It didn’t take long before I heard the familiar footsteps following by pantry rustling from my small, picky child. He walks into the living room with a bag of Welch’s fruit snacks.

More decision time. I could let him have snacks in place of lunch, it isn’t like he’d be starving, and technically I still didn’t cave- or I could push this a little further.
I’d come this far, why stop now?

“That’s not an adequate lunch, you know.”

He stops mid steps, jaw dropped in that sassy little “wtf?” face.

“So you’re just going to tell me I can’t have anything?”

I blink a few times. “You can have a sandwich. And you’re going to make it yourself.”

Jaw drops further. “But I don’t know HOW to make a sandwich!”

“You could ask for help.”

“NO!” he stomps off into the kitchen, followed by the sounds of the fridge and cabinets being opened in between “I don’t know how to do this!” sobs.

I call to the other room again, reminding him that he could ask for help. Much like he refused my lunch offerings, he refused assistance. Five minutes pass, the sobbing has ceased, and I decided to go take a look at the damage.
Wouldn’t you know it? There was none. What we had was a kid who had made himself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich all on his own, with a plate and everything.


We’ve made progress today. Not only does my kid now realize I WILL IN FACT LEAVE HIM TO HIS OWN DEVICES IF HE COMPLAINS ABOUT MY FOOD, but I know he can make his own food– so if he starts crying to me about not wanting what I’m making, I don’t have to feel guilty about not making him a damn thing.
I’m proud of him, he learned he was capable of something he didn’t think he could do, but I’m also really happy for me, not just because I stood my ground, but because of how lazy I can be now.

Posted on August 10, 2018 by Holdin' Holden 0 Comment

I’ve been Unfaithful……….. to my Diet.

One year ago, I had a six pack. Not one of those crazy ones you could bounce quarters off of, or anything, but it was nothing to sneeze at. I was impressed with myself. I felt strong, and accomplished. I was working out 5 days a week, paid attention to my FitBit to make sure I got in 10,000 (or more) steps per day, did yoga on the weekends. I made sure to sustain my body with healthy foods. I was doing everything “right” , my chronic pain was at an all-time low, and I’d never been stronger.

Me and health were in a very committed relationship. It’s not to say I never strayed (I’ve learned the hard way not to deprive myself of things I want permanently). But that was our understanding. We had an open, yet very serious partnership.

I was proud of myself. I’d pushed my body farther than I thought it could go. I’d achieved goals I didn’t think I could. I’d given my body what it needed and it responded. I coujld beat someone’s ass if I needed to. Chase and catch my children with ease. I was Jean Claude Van Mom.

That all changed in a matter of moments. I woke up one morning, and my entire neck pinched out. I was immobile for days, injured for weeks. I felt betrayed. I took so much time, put so much thought into caring for my body only for it to betray me. I watched my progress melt away. I watched the person I’d worked so hard to become melt away. I’ve struggled to get back to how strong I felt last summer this entire time.

Once the injury healed, I always tried to push myself back to where I was last summer, and always ended up setting myself right back. It didn’t make sense because I was just trying to give my body what it needed, but instead of responding by becoming stronger, I only seemed to get weaker, feel more pain. Naturally, I got angry. Frustrated. Sad. Hopeless. A mixed bag of shitty emotions that shook up any time I tried to do something I used to be able to and couldn’t. Any time I looked in the mirror and saw a different body than I used to. All because of something I couldn’t control. Even though I was doing everything right.

Just as I was getting back on track, noticing positive changes, beginning to feel good, the third reinjury happened. This one worse than the last two. I should have been surprised, but I wasn’t. There had been signs it was going to happen again, and I’d ignored them.
Reality hit me like a ton of bricks… or a pinch in the neck (honestly I think the pinch is worse). What my body needed then is not what my body needs now. I’m not as young as I once was. I don’t bounce right back like I used to. Injuries aren’t anything to laugh off, and I can’t always push myself just because I want to. I wasn’t listening to my body. It was yelling at me to stop and I was so focused on getting back to where I was that I didn’t want to wait for it to be ready.

Our bodies change, sometimes in the blink of an eye. Working out 5 days a week, being super focused on gains was what it needed a year ago, but what it needs today is different. Health isn’t always low carb, high intensity workouts, and washboard abs. Sometimes health is realizing you need to take it easy and rest, even if you don’t want to– even if it means your goals get pushed a little further away.

I may be cheating on my diet, but I’m cheating on it with my health. The two things don’t always move parallel. This has been a lesson for me in a lot of ways, not only in what my body can handle, but my mind. It’s definitely taught me that I can’t be so focused on the goal that I ignore the hurdles during the journey to get there. Taking care of yourself–doing the best for your body, isn’t always rigorous workouts. It’s sometimes letting yourself relax for a day. Taking a staycation. Letting go of hostility. Cutting off a toxic friendship. Taking a break from working out. Letting the laundry go.

I wasn’t listening then, but I am now.

Posted on August 8, 2018 by Holdin' Holden 0 Comment

It’s Back to School Time and I’m…. sad? WTF?

I’m not sure who made up the saying “having kids keeps you young” but I’m pretty sure they never

A) got trapped inside the house with their kids on summer break for weeks

B) Sat on the floor to play with them

If you’ve ever been trapped with your kids, you know they suck the life force from you. If you’ve sat on the floor to play with them for a few minutes, you KNOW you’ve probably never been closer to death.

I’ve now been trapped with the kids in this house for 3 weeks. I’ve been out beyond my front yard a total of twice in this time. In between the heat and the incessant rain, I messed up my neck- so mobility has been a real issue, and I feel like I’ve aged about 15 years. Why such a specific number? Lemme break it down.

4 years for each of the monster turds I’ve had to unclog from the toilet, because hooray for growing boys with abnormal shit cycles!

1 year for my 10 year old who came stomping into the room while I was live streaming and announced VERY LOUDLY that he couldn’t possibly pee upstairs because his brother was in the middle of a angry spell of diarrhea. “IT SMELLS LIKE SOMEONE DIED!”

3 years for the neck pain

5 years for the Minecraft tantrums I’ve had to endure during these rainy days because there’s nothing else to do and I’M NOT SITTING ON THE FLOOR AND PLAYING MONOPOLY HOW MANY MORE TIMES CAN I SAY IT?

2 years for the 2 days it got so bad I had to ban my children from actually speaking to each other.

That’s 15 years in 3 weeks. And there’s still another month to go. I may or may not have calculated the actual hours, minutes, and seconds left until the start of the school year, so WHY IS IT that when I saw the first back to school ad, I got angry. It felt like- “No, how dare you- it’s still summer!”
And now they’ve completely taken over the airwaves, with tax-free weekend upon us, and I’m not ready!

How is it I’m so ready to get the kids the hell out of this house, but not ready to send them away?
Is it holding on to the last bits of summer because I hate the cold?
Is it not being ready to send my oldest to his first year of middle school and accepting that I have a middle schooler?
Is it that I’m just not prepared to start waking up before 7am again?
Or is it just plain insanity?

I’m honestly not sure at this point. My aged brain can’t figure it out. All I’m sure of is that another game of Monopoly on the floor is not the answer.


Posted on August 3, 2018 by Holdin' Holden 0 Comment

Toy Story Land at Walt Disney World is Open NOW! Explore with me!

This blog was written in partnership with the EZ Dis Travel Agency. All opinions are truthful and my own.


Is if you needed any more reasons to visit Walt Disney World, Toy Story Land is NOW OPEN at Hollywood Studios!

I’ll be honest, I was a bit sad to see the Backlot go (it was so much fun!) but seeing what is in store for my next Disney vacation is incredibly exciting! Change is always tough, and seeing your favorites go to make room for something new is always bittersweet, but this is an amazing change that gives everyone so much more to do on their visit! Which means more for your money, always a good thing.

Let’s explore together what new magic Toy Story Land holds for all of us!


(As I have not been since the new area opened myself, all photos are courtesy of the Walt Disney World official website and blog Hoping to change that soon!)


Become the size of a toy as you are instantly transported into Andy’s Room and take a ride on the Slinky Dog Dash coaster!

This is a family-friendly coaster (must be 38 inches tall) with dips and turns sure to thrill you and your littles!


Will you be chosen by THE CLAW? Jump onboard Alien Spinning Saucers to find out!

A spinny ride for all ages (32 inches & up). The older I get, the less I can handle rides that spin my in circles, but I have been reassured that this is mild enough for sensitive tummies. Still, be aware! If you or your little one can be prone to motion sickness, maybe hold off on chowing down at Andy’s Lunchbox (all new!) until after you ride this one!


Set your lasers to STUN- fam. favorite Toy Story Midway Mania is still open, and now with more tracks (which means shorter lines!) Perfect your aim and see if you can beat your family’s high-score and get bragging rights until your next vacation… maybe defeat Zurg in the process.


Of course, all of the great things you loved about Pixar Place before are still there to enjoy in Toy Story Land now, from pal’in around with Woody and Jessy, learning to march and salute with the green army men

And some great shopping opportunities your kids are going to be begging you to stop at (no matter how quickly you try to usher them past).

Hollywood Studios is my FAVORITE of the 4 Walt Disney World Parks (not kidding!) so I am SO excited to get down to Florida and check it out for myself. What are YOU waiting for? Let EzDis help you plan your ultimate Disney vacation today at absolutely no cost to you! They are experienced, can help you choose the perfect resort, and even book your dining reservations and fast passes! Use the code HH18 when you book!

I’m hoping to get there very soon, and I hope to see you!

Posted on July 30, 2018 by Holdin' Holden 0 Comment

My Technology Impaired Parent… and me.

My dad waited until his thirties to have kids. Although I’m still in my early(ish. Don’t judge me) thirties, we just celebrated his seventieth birthday, but growing up, I never really considered him old. I liked to give him a ton of shit about being eleven years older than my mom, and how when he was a senior in highschool she was in kindergarten (they met when she was in her twenties, so it ain’t as weird as I always made it seem)- but I can’t remember a moment when I was younger that I looked at him and thought “Man. My dad is OLD.”
That didn’t happen until a few years ago.

Aereospace Engineer. Father of two grown adults. Grandfather of three. Years of experience. Science. Space. Knowledge. World traveler. Basically a genius in his own right. Everyone who knows him holds in in high regard.


But it doesn’t end there. Oh no, it gets worse.

I can’t remember the exact conversation (it’s been a while and I’ve had two children and not a lot of sleep, okay?) I just know it was about something I’d been trying to contact him about.

“Well I sent you a text message.”

“I don’t think I have text messages.”

I blink a few times. This isn’t AOL Free CD disk days. Text messages aren’t pay-per-use.

“Dad. Of course you get text messages.”

He stares at his phone blankly. This stare seems to last forever.

“Oh.” This isn’t a sound of shock, or awe, but of slow realization. “So that’s what this envelope in the corner is.”

All those jokes people make about old people not understanding electronics… but I’d never experienced it myself until that very moment. And I never expected it to be my DAD, who works at frickin’ NASA. Who uses computers every day. Can’t work a cellphone.

I never thought that could be me, but my Dad isn’t some ancient beast who writes on stone tablets, he’s a smart dude who uses technology, but he didn’t exactly grow up with it like I did. He probably didn’t use his first computer until this thirties. I grew up alongside technology as we know it. From dialup internet, to Zack Morris dinosaur-sized cellphones, to wireless modems, portable laptops, flip phones, all different kinds of highspeed internet, smart phones, tablets, to wiretaps Alexas that answer questions for you and can turn your lights on and off. I guess it makes sense that some parts of new tech would be confusing to him, because he didn’t spend his entire life growing with it. So that couldn’t happen to me, right? I’m not running out to grab the newest model of my smart phone, but I keep up with the new shit that comes out to make sure I don’t fall behind.

Instead of giggling at the sixty-something year old man not understanding how to find the text message on his decade old flip phone, perhaps I should have been congratulating him for making it this far before having a senior-tech moment. I didn’t last as long.

Me, who brags about growing up with technology when my Dad was playing with a fucking abacus for math. Me, who spent my youth on AIM, and in chat rooms. Who watched phones go from huge, to tiny, to huge again. Me, who literally WORKS. ON. A. COMPUTER. AND. USES. TECHNOLOGY. EVERY. DAY. made it to my 34th year before I needed to ask my children for help. And not my grown children. Not my teenage children. No. My 8 year old.

Yup. That’s right. I forgot how to open an incognito tab. He showed me. I couldn’t figure out my husband’s cell phone (I ain’t snoopin, ok? I was deleting this REALLY FUCKING ANNOYING AIRHORN APP that gets blasted at very random occasions, especially when I’m live streaming. YOU’D DO IT TOO)- he showed me.

And it’s not because I didn’t grow up with these things, so I don’t know how– like my dad. I plum forgot. I’m truly not sure which one is worse. Though, I guess I shouldn’t feel too bad, because this same kid through a massive hissy this morning over not being able to figure out how to turn his shorts rightsideout. All hope isn’t lost for either of us. Yet. I still hold out hope that maybe one day, my dad will read that text message.


Posted on July 26, 2018 by Holdin' Holden 0 Comment