Monday, March 19, 2012

Spring Break Day Five: Of Course Target

First, I've left you all hanging for three days without the recap from day five of spring break.  Please accept my deepest apologies.  I can only imagine how your minds have been racing with the endless possibilities of how our day played out. 

Let me put you out of your misery...or in your misery, it really depends on how you look at it.

I decided we were all spent by Friday morning.  The week had been fun and exhausting and it was time to do something exciting, but not too crazy.  I was thinking we needed something that could entertain us, and give us something to go home with and enjoy there too.  I wanted all of us to leave feeling like better people for having been, but not depleted at all by the experience.

Target people. 

Where else can you find such simple, though at time financially crippling in the most baffling of ways, joy?  Target was calling our name.

I made a brief list of things I "needed" to look for there, something I can do at any moment, of any day, regardless of how recently I have visited a Target or comparable store.  Target elicits need from me that I didn't even know existed before the potential of a visit there is mentioned.

It's a dangerous place, in a fun way.

I made a secret plan to purchase each of the kids a "surprise" while we were there, as well as a sticker book to buy me some peace during rest time. My list consisted of things like body wash, play-doh, and ambiguous enough ideas that really anything I decided I wanted could be considered "on the list" without too much difficulty like, decor or shirts. 

It was going to be beautiful.  They were going to call me "Most Wonderful Mom on Earth," and I was going to deserve it for all the joy distributed (purchased) that morning.

Things didn't work out like that.

Big surprise.

Aiden wanted to learn to tie his shoes so we used that as our jumping off point.  We headed straight for the shoe section for cheap tie shoes.  We quickly found a pair for $12.99 and threw them in the cart.  Cole, unfortunately, also found some Darth Maul Star Wars sandals that light up, which he had to have.

I instantly knew those damn light up Star Wars shoes were going to jack with my Target joy...I'm really smart.

Cole started out just crying and quickly moved to the floor of the Target shoe section, refusing to remove the sandals from his feet unless I conceded and purchased them.  I could have just sucked it up and made those his fun toy purchase, but after spending $35 on a pair of Crocs for him earlier in the week, my tolerance for over priced plastic shoes was VERY low.  It wasn't happening.

I tried to sympathize with him and tell him to put them on his birthday list...for his August birthday.  He might drive me bananas with a conversation about the definition of the day after tomorrow, but his lack of time knowledge is really handy during moments like this. For all he knows, August could be the day after tomorrow...and that seems reasonable to him, usually. 

He suddenly became an expert in the phases of the moon though and was fully aware of exactly how long six months is and screamed "NO" while clutching the sandals, that's forever!

Which is sort of true, and Target probably wouldn't even have them anymore, which would be a blessing.

I continued to search in my brain for any other strategies of dealing with tantrum throwing four year olds, ignoring the most obvious one, pick up the kid and jet. I didn't want to jet.  I wanted to work through my list, buy three fun and reasonably priced toys, maybe grab some Starbucks on the way out.  I continued to try.

The entire time I am trying to turn Cole around, Stella is tearing apart the lingerie section.  I didn't realize Target had such an extensive selection of lace and sexy unmentionables.  Stella tore apart the assortment of Xhiliration mini-shorts that I pray are only meant for sleeping in, but I fear young girls might be out and about in those shorts. Those girls should have to take Cole with him around town for a few days and they will surely revert to the safety of  "shorts" my Mom refers to as pedal pushers.

I sent Aiden to rearrange said shorts, which felt wrong, but I needed to "catch" Stella and get back to getting Cole to focus on the prize of a Target excursion.  Stella proved very difficult to find and pin down though, further complicating my focus by running among all the adorable spring clothes that I believed could make me happier and forget about all the child madness I am subjected to on a daily basis.  I deserved those spring clothes, right?  

I pulled it together though, found Stella and got back to Cole.  After re-hanging all the shorts, Aiden was put in charge of watching Cole to be sure he didn't run away,or wasn't kidnapped by some extra nutty child abductor looking for a really cranky child. 

I decided my second to the last resort was to lie on the floor next to him and whisper semi-threatening things to him.  I think the whisper can have a lot of power during a tantrum because they have to focus to hear, and it sounds extra creepy which keeps them guessing about just what the hell you are going to do.

My threats were pretty weak though because I really didn't want to go so I didn't want to throw that out.  I found myself saying relatively ridiculous things like, "Cole, you need to take those shoes off and stop crying or I won't buy you anything from the dollar section."  I don't think he knows what that is, and I was planning on him buying something bigger anyway, I was just still clinging to the surprise factor.

Then, "Cole, get it together or you can't ever play the Wii again."  That's just a lie, which I am fairly confident you aren't supposed to do during discipline.  Ever. Or maybe ever in general.  I think. 

Finally, "Cole, Aiden and Stella really want to shop at Target today, can't you just take off the shoes so we can walk around this pretty store and you can be the best brother ever?" 

Really Leslie?  This kid is screaming on the floor of Target and had recently fought with his brother over who saw a fire truck first, immediately after ripping his baby sister's pacifier from her mouth and thrown it because he thought it was funny.  Appealing to his desire to be a good brother might be grasping a bit. 

I knew it was going to happen.  I knew what I had to do.  I finally told him he had to pull it together or we were leaving. I really didn't want to do that.

By this time though, Stellla was screaming from the cart, where she was strapped in tight, and Aiden was gloating about his new shoe purchase and stellar behavior.

"I guess Cole just doesn't want to make good choices today.  It's too bad he isn't old enough to learn to tie his shoes since he can't stop screaming."  Thanks Aiden.

I did it though. I walked over, extracted the Darth Maul sandals from his tantrum grip, picked him up, and put him in our large, empty cart and headed for the exit.  We paid for Aiden's tie shoes and simply left, with nothing else.  We didn't have extra purchases, nothing from the "need" list, and very little joy.

Day five was rough. It got better after Target, but not much, and by the time Alex got home I was ready for spring break to be over, forever. Next year I am sending my children to my parent's house like all the smart people I know. 

Waking up for school this morning never felt so good.  It was fun, or fun-ish, but five days is possibly one day too long for me to be alone all day with all three of my kids.  Happy back to school everyone!



Thursday, March 15, 2012

Spring Break: Day Four, Berry Good

Today really should have sucked.  Cole threw a massive fit in the middle of the night that kept Alex and I up for hours, completely throwing my early exit in the morning.

We were going to leave at 7:30 so that we could arrive at the strawberry farm mere moments after it opened, first on the scene to score the best berries.  I envisioned a Starbucks stop and then baskets of bright red strawberries which would allow us to make pie and muffins and smoothies galore.  We were going to sing songs the entire van ride.  We were going to skip and frolic. 

It didn't work out like that. 

I kept it together though.  I didn't panic, and at 9:30, a full two hours after my desired time to leave, we calmly pulled out of the hood for a day of strawberry fun.  I wasn't exactly optimistic, but more apathetic.  I figured we had to go or we would be left here all day to pick on one another and no good could come from that....better to pick strawberries.

It took an hour and a half to get there, mostly with someone complaining about radio volume, headaches, water out of reach, snacks, or something small and annoying, and Stella telling me, "done," every 10-15 minutes and handing me a piece of chewed gum which I didn't even know she had. 

Where the hell did all that gum come from?

Once we arrived though...it was pretty fantastic.  We hardly filled one basket with strawberries so we won't be making anything, but it was fun.  I'm exhausted because we didn't get home until 3:30 and then I had a seizure and decided to clean my house.  I'm not sure how that happened, but I feel like I can't move so you're getting the day in photos....more or less.
It was very farm like.  We would never survive as actual farmers, but we loved pretending for a bit.

Fresh strawberry ice cream.  Yummy.

This was marketed as a "train." It was $4 per child.  It was insane, but cute.
Goats are fun.
This very interesting young girl would not leave Stella alone.  This is what happens when you are adorable in public.
The end of the farming for us.  Cole was scared to get his face painted, but Aiden and Stella loved it.

Very....
tired.



It was great.  Really, really wonderful day.



*****************************************

Again, please take a moment and vote for me on the Circle of Mom's Top 25 Funniest Mom blogs.  You can vote once a day and I will love you for it.  I'm pathetically 40th, which is really lame and not at all in the top 25.  Please!

The link is on the right side of my blog, cleverly under the Vote For The Mommy Therapy heading...I should get some points for that for sure!

Thank you!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Spring Break: Day Three Was HUGE, Or Not

Today was a slow day...a very slow day. We did a whole lot of nothing.  I was very worried that some of you wouldn't be able to function though without my daily spring break updates, so I'm hear to tell you officially, very little happened today.
I went to the gym, we got frozen yogurt, there was laundry and soccer practice, and not much else. 

There was one, very exciting thing that happened though and I would feel awful if I didn't share this type of joy with you all. There was a big change here, one that makes me smile every time I think of it.

Today, we did....
PIGTAILS!!!!!!

It's just so cute. Made my whole, boring day.






She finally has enough hair to do this for real.  So adorable.  I think it was enough to make a  day complete.

Stay tuned for Day Four of spring break.  I think I am taking my three kids, an hour away to pick strawberries.  I have sweet images of all of us with baskets and giant smiles and lots of song singing, possibly even whistling....we're going to be so happy in that field. 

Or miserable, it seriously could go either way, check back tomorrow night!

*******************************************************
If you have a mere 30 seconds to spare, please click on the Circle of Moms link on the right side of my blog and vote for The Mommy Therapy for Top 25 funniest Mom blogs.  PLEASE! 

If you don't have a mere 30 seconds what are you doing?   Why are you still reading this?  You could have voted already. 

Thank you!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Spring Break: Day Two, I Discover I Could Find Employment As A Magician

Over the past few years of writing this blog, several people have suggested I get a job to get away from my kids, which I sort of agree with in theory.  I think I could use a break, even if only to pay for the childcare.  It would probably be very healthy for my mental state.

I want to be home with my kids, but even two days a week of something I could do that does not involve them, that requires me to think beyond laundry and meals, sounds spectacular. 

The idea is full of logistical problems though, like finding employment for my unskilled self which could even come close to paying for childcare.  Or, simply finding employment.

I think I need to be a therapist, or a nutritionist, or a physicist...any kind of 'ist' would probably work for easier employment than the laundress, cook, maid, and taxi driver I currently am. 

Wait....maybe I could drive a taxi? 

Must explore further.

Honestly, the problem really lies with Stella. She may be adorable, but she really puts a kink in tivities or really doing anything at all.  I love doing things with the boys.  They are both out of diapers, done with naps, capable of eating anything, able to tell me when they need something, understanding-ish of consequences. Stella isn't there yet and it frankly makes doing almost anything exhausting to balance her needs with the boys.

It is life right now though and I swear I will try to not let the complaining dominate this blog, at least when it's not done in a fun sarcastic way....because I know the sarcasm is not going away.

Moving on....

Good news everyone! I tried this new trick I heard about where you think positive thoughts and decide to be happy and see if you actually start to feel happy. Has anyone else done this?  I think it's new.

I woke with a fierce determination to not be annoyed or overwhelmed by my kids, but rather just go with the flow today. I was pretty good at being easy yesterday, but I didn't thoroughly enjoy day one of spring break.

Day two was all about enjoyment and positive thoughts.  I was basically a yoga instructor, or a hypnotist, or a magician, or something else that is zen and happy.  Wait...are magicians happy?

The day started with coffee with this guy.

It usually takes me a few minutes to accept that I will have zero moments without a child in my face, but this morning it was tough to not sit with my coffee and watch this guy color his self made Jesus coloring book.  It was all sorts of adorable.

I also agreed to play war with the boys and was rewarded by the Spring Break Magician Gods in the manner of losing almost immediately and getting to just watch and commentate while I read a few blogs. 


We then had Cole's first swim lesson. I didn't yell once getting all of them dressed and out of the door, or on the thirty minute drive.  I'm amazing!

Cole also swam really well, which I can only assume can be credited to me also.  I also kept Stella from jumping in to the pool and drowning, so I am an awesome Mom and maybe even a swim coach. 

Maybe I could be a swim coach two days a week?

I then lost my mind and went to the outlet mall to buy all three children the worst shoes on Earth.  $115 of plastic shoes that often shrink in the sun and rub Aiden's feet the wrong way.  It was fun though, even amusing when Stella continually tried to leave the store wearing her unpaid for shoes.

You know how fun stealing can be. 


This is the worst $115 I have ever spent (possibly)...but I kept smiling!

You know who was not very zen though after the shoe purchase?  Stella.


She refused to accept that I didn't have money for any of the mini rides in the middle of the outlet mall.  She had a full blown fit about the bus she climbed in never singing or bouncing.  It's tough. 


She was much happier when we got home and she could spend 15 minutes finding a roly-poly to watch.  I really tried to stay happy during this time, but this part of the day was really, really boring. The boys even abandoned me and went inside the house to clean up...they were that bored.

I did receive a fun pick me up in the mail from my Dad.  Always the source for amusement.

That is my coloring from back in the day when I actually had to use my brain during the day. 

I think it was third grade.

This was my Dad's note.

Wouldn't it be super fun if I could figure out how to rotate this picture?  It just wasn't happening tonight.  Sorry folks.

I would like to point out that my Father didn't try to fit in the word refridgerator on one line.  He's particular like that.

The afternoon really tested my determination to enjoy the day when I took the kids to this park.

It's their favorite so I scored big with that, but it's basically a giant wood fort, which creates several problems.  Stella isn't big enough to climb through this by herself so I found myself in small wooden nooks and crannies trying to save her life, time and time again, which became a bit stressful.

It's also challenging to know when my own child is screaming, "Mommy!" as opposed to every other child there.  They all sound like my kids and I can't see any of them so it was a bit disturbing...but fun! I persevered with the good thoughts.  I am a champ.  I also am obviously super kind because I comforted and helped several stranger children.

There were also several injuries, surprisingly none of which were splinters, which is what I feel should be happening here every 3-7 minutes. Aiden scraped his back and bumped his head four times.  Cole fell off a rope bridge and cried a lot, though the specific pain couldn't be determined.  Stella was actually injury free, but she did try to go home with another family when we were leaving.  I guess she didn't dig my whole new positive thinking vibe.

I totally agree with Stella.  I'm not a positive thinking magician sort of gal.

I am a turkey burger picnic accompanied with wine (only for me because I'm responsible,) sort of gal though.

I think I'll take the day off from forced enjoyment tomorrow for Day Three of Spring Break, but in all honesty the spring break thing is going much better than I thought it would.  I'm confident I will survive.

There's still a good chance I'll devote at least 45 minutes to Monster.com tomorrow.  Is that still where people look for work?  Do people say look for work if it isn't physical labor?  I am in no way interested in physical labor, just to be clear.  I'd like to be a human resources professional, like the head of HR.

Do you think that requires experience?

***************************************************
Again, if you have a moment and could vote for me on Circle of Moms I would LOVE you.  Seriously. 

Just click on the Circle of Moms link on the right side of my blog and then find The Mommy Therapy, and vote!  Please. I'd love to get back in the top 25 so I don't have to go be a taxi driver or magician.

Actually, getting in the top 25 wouldn't mean I definitely wouldn't have to have either of those jobs, but it would probably help a little.  I think.  Let's not take any chance though.  I'd probably rarely have time to blog if I had to learn a shitload of magic tricks. 
***************************************************

Linking up with Shell's TWO YEAR ANNIVERSARY of Pour Your Heart Out!  Go check it out!  Congratulations Shell, you are awesome!

Monday, March 12, 2012

News and Spring Break: Day One

Bad news first: I was not picked to be in the Austin Listen To Your Mother show. I feel a lot of things about that but, mostly disappointment which seems to be flowing over in to other areas of life. 

It felt huge to be rejected, and it felt worse to walk around my house afterwards looking at the insurmountable piles of laundry, the fridge of unprepared food, and the children with constant needs.  After reading the email I cried and thought I should never write again, or I should try to get a part time job at Starbucks or the mall, just to get out of the house more without my children. 

I am really good at keeping things in perspective when faced with bad news obviously.  In my defense I had just started my period and was almost immediately pooped on by Stella.  That's bound to elicit a few downer emotions, right?

To be honest, I've been feeling a little bored, and there are few things less productive and happy than boredom with your life.  I am trying to regroup, because that seems a lot more reasonable.  Unfortunately, being reasonable isn't my favorite action when I am upset, but I'm working on it.

I don't want to do a whole post about it though. I feel a bit embarrassed about it, though I know I shouldn't, and discussing it at length only amplifies everything.  No need for that.

Moving on.

*****************************************************

Today marked the beginning of spring break for my two older boys. 

(Stella is permanently on spring break, she's so wild.)

I have had mixed feelings about this week. One the one hand, it's spring break and that phrase alone is a powerful expression of fun and excitement.  It's supposed to conjure up images of freedom, fun, sun burns and tequila shots.  I have had some of my favorite weeks of life during spring break. 

Surely one of my kids will be old enough to do tequila shots.  I mean, Aiden's six and a HALF.

One the other hand, spring break, along with summer, vacations, TV watching, shopping, going to the bathroom, going out to eat, etc. have lost their luster since having children. Mostly spring break means five days of all three kids with just me.  All it screams to me is. "NO BREAK!  NO BREAK!"

It's really loud.

I used to plan my spring break excursions months prior to the prized week. The perfect location, flight, swimsuit, and of course spending money for souvenirs like plastic yard glasses filled with margaritas that I can drink out of until I pass out on a Cancun bus, and then use later to wisely save pennies.  I am really good with money. 

(Mom and Dad, I did not pass out on a public bus in Cancun.)

(I fell asleep.  I was tired, it wasn't my fault.)

No more though.  Now I'm just out there searching for a play date people.  Desperately seeking the right activity that can occupy ages 1-6 without me totally losing my mind, which is simply not easy. 

Today, we went to a new park, which is right by our house and AMAZING. It is gated so no one can run off to the parking lot to be run over, or to smoke, or whatever else kids under six get in to these days.  There are also all sort of different sections, including an entire music section, a fantastic playscape, and a huge simulation of a town complete with a grocery store, car wash, school, and house so my kids can learn early how mundane life in the burbs really can be.  There is even...shade. 

Praise God, someone in Texas realized it's really freakin' hot here and shade is key when you want to take your young children outdoors in July and not have them ignite in flames.

I would like to point out that my enthusiasm about this park is testimony enough that I need to get out.

After the playground we came home and I fed the kids cheese puffs and fruit juice for lunch. 

No lie.  DO NOT FREAK OUT MOM.  I know that menu was difficult to hear, it was difficult to type.

I don't know what I was doing. I can only assume I was in some sort of spring break induced trance when I let Aiden choose what we had for lunch.  I am NEVER that much fun. 

I reigned them back in though by demanding two hours of silence while Stella napped so I could do things like fill my virtual shopping cart on Land of Nod with $400 worth of kid room accessories which I will never, ever purchase and search for reasons why my leg is itchy.  I either have poison ivy or psoriasis or leprosy, Web MD wouldn't confirm my diagnosis, clearly Web MD didn't know it was spring break.

Alex called multiple times to check in on my sanity today.  He couldn't care less about what the kids were doing, he called to be sure I would still be here when he got home from work.  I know he's afraid he'll find Aiden distributing cheese balls and Izze sodas while Cole throws Legos on every inch of our floor and Stella walks on our iPad.   He's right to be concerned.

He suggested I spend $400 on a blender I want and didn't balk when I told him I opened a Gap Visa yesterday afternoon to save 55% on a bunch of kids' clothes.  He is so scared of me this week.  I have all the power for the next five days.  I've been working on my list of requests and shopping on line compulsively. 

To wrap up our day we went to Sonic and purchased red colored drinks, because I'm clearly brain damaged, right before I hauled all three of them to the grocery store. We had one of those car carts with a bad attitude, refusing to be told which direction to turn.  It made the whole experience extra exhilarating, but in all honesty the three of them were pretty well behaved for having to go to the grocery store for their Monday afternoon of spring break activity. 

I credit their good behavior with years of teaching them to keep their expectations for fun painfully low when Mommy is in charge all day.  All my hard work is really paying off.

Tomorrow I'm going to wear my bikini and bring all the kids' beach toys to Cole's first indoor swim lesson, just to up the spring break fun factor. I assume they don't mind extra family members in the pool.  It's going to be an awesome thirty minutes.  I wonder what we'll do with the other nine hours of the day? 

Whatever it is, it will be WILD for sure.   I had t-shirts made for everyone that read "It's Spring Break With My Mommy Bitch." 

Mom, I did not.  I wouldn't waste my money on custom tees for my children when Alex is giving the green light on fancy blenders and Gap apparel.  I'm not that girl passed out, I mean asleep, on the Mexican bus anymore. I'm responsible and probably taking the kids to buy Crocs tomorrow.  Nothing says grown up like plastic shoes.

Pass the red drink and cheese balls please, Day Two of Spring Break happens in a mere 11 hours.

Wish me luck!

I'll report back tomorrow night with details, surely even more exciting than today's mind blowing experience.  I might even take a photo or TWO.  Watch out.

************************************************************
Also, I have been horrible at harrassing everyone to vote for me on the Circle of Moms Top 25 Funniest Mom Blogs.  PLEASE click on the icon under Vote For The Mommy Therapy, then click vote next to my blog...which is currently in a pathetic 44th place. 

Sad folks. 

Remember how sad it was to hear that I didn't make it in to the Listen To Your Mother Show? 

Let's cheer me up, right? 

Thank you!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Five Quick Confessions

I have been having a rough week with Cole.  It's been one of those times when he spins out of control at the slightest request for shoe finding or bath taking and it makes me want to run away.

Unfortunately, I usually don't run away.  I say unfortunately because I think we all might be happier with a bit of space during these moments of emotional unbalance.  I never leave though, primarily because I'm still clinging to the hope that jail for child abandonment might be worse than enduring a few more of Cole's tantrums. 

I think.

Instead though, I find myself crying or yelling, and feeling washed in guilt at my inability to help either one of us get it together.  We'll have a good few hours and then suddenly I ask him to come talk to me about dinner and he's rolling on the floor and crying about how I'm not ever going to take him to the fair again or let him see his Grandparents.

I can't explain it, but I don't think I can fight that sort of logic...or lack of logic.

I wonder if it's possible that Cole is involved in the use of heavy narcotics? 

I'm honestly sick of feeling guilty about not being able to handle it well. I feel as though it's all I think about, all the live long day.  It's just not a super fun feeling.

I decided it's time for me to make some confessions that have nothing to do with Cole. It's important for me to remember that there are other areas of my life in which I may, or may not, be jacking things up.

One: I don't believe in fabric softener. I don't use it because I don't understand what it's supposed to do or why I'm supposed to care. Whenever I hear someone talking about dryer sheets, it's rarely in relation to their use in the laundry room, but more how to keep away mosquitoes or de-nasty their shoes. I think the stuff was made up by that company with the cuddly bear, Snuggles is it?  Should I be using it though? Maybe I'm failing my family in the laundry realm of our life.

Two:  I allow Stella to chew gum. I realize she's only 21 months, but she's really good at it. It just feels mean to not let her develop her talents.  What if this is all she has?  She usually hands it to me when she's done or throws it in the trash. She's probably swallowed a few pieces, but that's bound to happen regardless of her age, right?   I try to sneak it to her in public though for fear of being judged by other Moms.  In my defense though, it's Trident, not Hubba Bubba....yet.

Three: I have a stack of serious, non-fiction books to read on my nightstand, but I really just want to read another one of those Janet Evanovich, Stephanie Plumb novels in hopes that there will be some romance in the next one.  I'm also craving more vampire novels. Perhaps my literary desires are something I need to work on redirecting. 

Four: There are black worms in my shower, which I fear may be leading to these little fly things in my bedroom and bathroom.  I feel like I should expand and explain how this is happening, but I'm grossing myself out even bringing it up.  If only I weren't too embarrassed to talk to my quarterly exterminator about this situation.  I feel like he would judge me and I just can't have that.

Five: When I get my $30 or so check every few months from BlogHer for having such a powerhouse of a blog, I view that money as extra money and basically spend it four or five times over before I've even deposited it. That wouldn't be so bad if I didn't also use this check to try to convince my husband that I am financially contributing to our household, which is a blatant lie.  If it can't even pay for the electricity my computer uses, much less my Starbucks habit, am I really even bringing anything in?

Thanks for letting me do a little confessional dumping.  I needed that tonight.


******************************************************
Don't forget to click on the top Circle of Moms link on the right side and vote for The Mommy Therapy to be in the top 25 funniest Mom blogs. I appreciate it!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

This Is Where I Tell You I Might, or Might Not, Soon Be Famous

This weekend was extraordinary.  I did something extraordinary. 

It had all the elements of normal life with three children out here in the suburbs; a six year old soccer game, lunch at a burger place, lots of time mowing grass and asking small people to pick things up or stop crying, we even got a little crazy and had two families over for dinner. There were sandbox castles and bubbles and lots of messes.

All of that was wonderful, but normal.

What made it extraordinary was that I took a risk. I tried to do something that is beyond my everyday routine, and it was exhilarating.  It was empowering.

I auditioned for the Austin Listen To Your Mother Show.

If you don't know what that is, check out the link here.  Basically it's an opportunity for about ten or so selected woman to share their live readings of motherhood with an audience.  It's an empty stage with a brave woman sharing her, at times, thoughts and emotions about motherhood in general.

I attended the show here last year with a good friend and it was amazing.  I was so impressed with the women.  The whole show was funny, heartfelt, and honest.  I loved it. 

I immediately wanted to be a part of it.

So when I saw the tweet (can we all agree that's a horrible word that sort-of sounds like teat?) about auditions for this year's show, I spent hours working on what I wanted to say.  In Austin you submit an essay and then are either asked to come audition or not. 

I was blessed with an audition.

It felt amazing to even be honored with the opportunity to try out for the show.  I loved working on that piece and finding the words that meant the most to me about my story.  I loved putting myself out there and doing something that felt like a risk.  I loved that it had nothing to do with my children, well except for their existence so that I could have material to discuss, of course.

I loved saying that I had "an audition."  I had a reason to curl my hair and put on a dry clean only shirt and leave Alex with all three kids in the middle of the day.  I love that he was wishing me good luck. For once I had something big to do and he was being left to make peanut butter and jelly and beg children to nap.

It felt so much more powerful than my blog, and I LOVE my blog.

I write this blog because it keeps me sane. I love dumping all my thoughts and feelings into this blank space and then spending time, sometimes not enough, constructing those emotions and experiences in to something someone might want to read.  I'm even OK with that someone simply being me....though the comments and the rising number of page views don't exactly depress me. 

(It's possible I absolutely find a thrill from them.)

But I write for me.  I sort of write for the idea of leaving a mark about this insane, confusing, and sometimes confining time in my life so that my children and I can all look back at all of it to reflect, but maybe none of us will want to look back?   I can only assume the future is going to kick this time in my life's ass...but maybe not.

I also sort of write for the idea that some other woman out there that I don't even know might need me.  I love that woman.  I like that she thinks she sees a bit of herself in me, or at the very least finds me amusing enough to periodically read.  I cherish that.  I love you woman I don't know.

I don't know if I will make it in to the show or not yet, but the thrill of trying was so sweet.  I would be lying if I said that it was sweet enough that I am OK not making it, but there is something to be said for feeling like I went for something, no holding back, no excuses, no kids....just me and my words.

It reminded me to try more.  It brought back a feeling of wanting something that was sort of scary to do, but worth it because of the joy of taking the chance on me. 

I strongly urge any of you in a Listen To Your Mother city to go see it.  It's raw and beautiful and simply awesome.  I think most of the auditions are done, but if you like to write at all, think about auditioning next year.  You won't be disappointed.

And if you live in the Austin area, I'll be there either way and would love to hang out. 

There's a cash bar after the show so really there are no losers here. 

Thank you Ann Imig for staring this very cool opportunity for the very "normal" Mom like me.

*******************************************************
Side note:  Despite the fact that this post was not funny at all, unless you have a really strange sense of humor, I would love it if you would mosey to the right side of my screen and click on the Circle of Mom's icon under the Vote for The Mommy Therapy heading.  You can then scroll through and vote for me, or someone else, but let's remember who led you there. 

I was in the top 25 last year, and though it really doesn't mean much, it was fun to get some new readers from being in it.  Also, I make t-shirts that read, "I Voted For The Mommy Therapy, What The Hell Have You Done?" for everyone that votes for me*, and that's difficult to turn down. 

Just do it.**



*Lie.
**Nike did not sponsor this post....just to clear up any confusion.