sticks, stones and the screen.

So, I have some autoplay video ad pop up every once in awhile and I’m not entirely sure where it’s coming from. Sorry about that, I’d fix it but then nothing would come up because when I go in my backend things get messy. (See also: Backend jokes will never cease to be funny.)

I was told tonight I need to “Get Help.” in order to “spare my daughter the vicious cycle I am in.” Which is, um, raising her? I guess? You see, I wrote an article about why I put ‘no gifts please’ on Addie’s birthday invitations. I was still kind of in the throes of pneumonia so everything I wrote during that time was kind of grumpy and pessemistic, maybe even a slight bit snarky? (True story, my editor had to have me to make an article a little more ‘perky’ because I sounded like the harbinger of doom in the written word. Oops.) Anyway, when I wrote it I told Facebook I *knew* I was going to get a good solid reaming on it, because Babble. But facebook , oh Facebook, being comprised of people who know me and consider me a friend said nice supportive things like “I think it’s great! You’ll be fine!” Then the random Internet commenters HAD! THEIR! DAY! *pitchforks! RAAAR!*

There were supportive comments , but the mean ones were really mean. What bothers me is the people who have no problem calling me a name from behind a screen are probably also raising people — and kids learn a lot from their parents behavior. Three years ago I would have begged everyone who disagreed with me to “Give me a chance! I THINK YOU’D LIKE ME!” but now? Clearly those people don’t know me, at all. Despite the fact I feel terribly inadequate as a parent — I’m doing okay. My kid is well adjusted and if she ends up using drugs and making bad life choices because I asked that her friends come to her birthday party simply to enjoy hanging out and not stress about bringing gifts? Then so be it, I’ll take those therapy bills when they come.

Please, if you disagree with me TOTALLY FINE, but I don’t think you need to call me names or tell me I’m denying my child her childhood simply because she doesn’t need more stuff and most families these days don’t need to be spending more money on other peoples’ kids. I took Addie to see Frozen on Friday and she clapped like a seal and kept her hands clasped right underneath her chin the entire time, which is exactly what I do when I see something I love. We traipsed through a magical forest yesterday and cut down the most perfect Christmas tree ever then danced around like fools to hipster Christmas music as we decorated the tree and put some form of snowman on every flat surface in the house.

She is not being denied the magic of childhood, but you’d never know that if you based your assumptions of me off of the 100 comments from people who do not like me much at all because of one thing. Up until the ‘vicious cycle’ comment my favorite one said “You sure do write about you a lot in your post.” Which would be funny if it was sarcastic, but *whispers* I don’t think it was.

I have wild and vivid fantasies of filling our loft with @lovesac. I've loved them since they first creeped on the scene in Utah when I was a kid.

Oh kid, when you read this someday I hope it is deep within your bones how much I love being your mom and how proud I am of you for being exactly who you are and constantly blowing me away with your ever-developing personality that teems with kindness and empathy. I mean, this parenting gig is no joke, but if I can take even one smidge of credit for how spectacular you are? Then I really did do something right.

(So I just read through this again, and I still sound pneumonia grumpy. I just wanted to say something like “I LIKE ME ENOUGH TO NOT BE BOTHERED BY MEAN STRANGERS!”  “Don’t let one (or 100) stranger’s opinions of you ruin who you know yourself to be!” and “If you disagree with someone either keep quiet or be civil about it, is that too much to ask society?” But clearly you already know all of that because you’re here and you’re all really nice people. I have the emails to prove it. So sorry about that, I have a feeling the pneumogrumps with fade once this fractured rib heals, because OW.)

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swearing with addie

Last week I had a few hours alone with Addie, a lot of it in the car where she was forced to listen to whatever I had to say and answer whatever I asked.

I took a deep breath and had the swear word, sex, molestation, touching, and your body is your wonderland talk.

Part of it was to find out how much she knew, while the other part of it was to have her hear most of this stuff from me first.

Also to make sure she knew she could ask me about rough stuff and not have to be shy or embarrassed by it.

They're reading Spider-Man. #LookForTheLovely

At the suggestion of a friend I bought her The Care and Keeping of You book and it’s been a treasure trove of information for her. Aside from her chasing Cody around the house with her book open to the different stages of breast bud development I’d say it’s gone really well.

I know this raising girls thing is going to get a whole lot harder before it gets easier. But with this first big conversation out of the way (and knowing that no one has approached her about touching, seeing or other terribly inappropriate things) there is a weight of my shoulders. The conversation has been started, it’s up to me to keep it going and up to her to keep listening.

The best part is was when I spelled sh*t out for her and after a long pause, she asked “Now, is this said with a long i or a short i?”

How have big/awkward/weird/uncomfortable talks gone in your family?


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end of august.

august 19th-1609
august 19th-1608
august 19th-1639Reading Before Bed
Reading Before Bed

Reading Before Bed
swimmin' sistersswimmin' sisters
swimmin' sisters

swimmin' sisters

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fits right in.

Scene: Vivi has just woken up from her nap, she is grouchy and losing her damn mind. You are in the midst of dinner prep but dinner is still 30 minutes away.


CODY APPROACH: Give her whatever snacks she demanded (CHEESE! CEREAL!), put her in front of the TV with Addie and not give a hoot about her ruining her appetite. Then wonder why she won’t eat anything he made for dinner when it actually came time for dinner.

MY APPROACH: Cut up the fruit and/or vegetable portion of dinner and offer it at the table. Refuse to give in to screaming for cheese and cereal and insist that if she really is hungry she can SIT AT THE TABLE AND EAT WHAT IS OFFERED. Resist urge to use TV as babysitter, ask Addie to step in as a distraction and hope they don’t end up screaming at each other over some random sequin or marble. Grit teeth and convince yourself that home cooked family meals are actually worth all the trouble.

ADDIE’S APPROACH: Convince Vivi to sit at the table using soothing tones and funny voices. Ask Vivi if she can pretend her cantaloupe is cheese and proceed to tell goofy stories as Vivi happily and quietly eats her cantaloupe with you. Once the cantaloupe is gone, ask Vivi if she wants her nails painted while mom finishes dinner. Paint nails, dinner done, everyone eats, everyone’s happy.

Here’s a hint as to which approach went down tonight:

There are moments when Addie is a lot older than 8, her patience with Vivi is astounding.

Cody and I have always worked together because where I am weak, he is strong. Where he falters, I step in.

As Addie grows I’m seeing more and more how perfectly she fits into her role as daughter and sister.

God knew exactly what He was doing when He sent us these two little girls to us when He did.

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yesterday was magical.

Feeling hoppy. #LookForTheLovely
OKAY FINE. One more, bus reunion. #LookForTheLovely
Last one, promise. These two were just too much tonight. #LookForTheLovely
This is what -_- looks like on a cat.
In training.
These two. #LookForTheLovely

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i hope i’m not screwing this up.

Addie was still crying as I tucked her in tonight, she didn’t do what I had asked and ended up missing out on 15 minutes of iPad time before bed.

Parenting this child is taking all I have.

Her heart is so huge and her spirit so loving that keeping her on the right track without breaking her is a daily challenge.

Addie's Bubble Zen

I could tell something was off yesterday, and after asking a few questions she broke down into heartbreaking sobs. She misses her daddy. She wishes we could all spend all of our time together as a family. She wants to be with Vivi more than she wants to be at summer camp swimming and playing with friends.

They were the kind of sobs that make you feel terrible as a parent, yet so glad that your child is willing to talk to you about what’s hurting them.

I’ve been praying overtime, asking for all the help I can get to raise this child into the best human she can be.

As I kissed her goodnight I whispered “Do you know what goes on in my head when I think about you? I think about how magnificent you are, how much you love us, how amazing you are as a big sister, how well you take care of others — I don’t ever dwell on the things you’ve done wrong. When I think about you my heart gets so big it feels like it may explode.

She smiled.

I am so proud of her.

Addie's Minnie Style

Tonight a little boy was trapped at the top of a big slide, too scared to go down alone. Without even being asked, Addie had him sit in her lap and rode down with him.

This, this is the heart of my child.

I hate that I sometimes have to do things that make me a bad mom in her eyes, if only to make sure I’m the right mom she needs to grow into a good kid.

We all feels this way, right?


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callouses, by addie.

Two years ago I was sitting on the couch holding Addie’s hand when I felt a big rough spot on her little Addie hands.

“Dude, Addie? What are these calluses from?”

“The monkey bars.” had she known how to roll her eyes and properly use the term “Duh, mom.” she would have.

Addie moved up another level in gymnastics last week, which means her regular class is now a half hour longer and she attends an ‘intense gymnastic training’ class on Saturdays. Ten minutes into her Saturday workout I texted Cody and told him if I were doing what she was doing I’d be dead. The kid is crazy strong. I’m crazy proud of her and I love watching her.

I love it.

Seeing her learn such control over her body without even realizing how strong she’s becoming, makes me happy.

She decided to share with you a little essay about calluses, since she’s had them for the last two years. Again, this is exactly how she wrote it. I only helped her with spelling or grammar when asked. She’s pretty sure she’ll write about New York next.


My post is how you get callouses because I get them all the time from doing the monkey bars. My dad gets callouses and I don’t mind that because callouses can happen when you do the monkey bars to much and I do the monkey bars way to much but that doesn’t stop me from doing the monkey bars. At my school there are a bunch of monkey bars so  my family has a monkey bars season when I go to a new school year. The only people who don’t get callouses are my mom and vivi and the only pets who don’t get callouses are wink and percy. The callouses that I get happens almost all the time because I do monkey bars not only at school but I also do the monkey bars in the summer at the park to. It’s fun to do the monkey bars even when I get callouses.


monkey bar master.
One day I’ll show Addie a picture of my feet from when I did ballet. Ain’t no callus like a pointe shoe callus and a pointe shoe callus don’t stop.

Happy Monkey Bar Season y’all.

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