Parenting

Toddler Tantrums… Unite!

Posted on December 21, 2010. Filed under: Parenting | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Some days I’d like to revert back to my toddler years.  Like now, I wish I could ignore a few people; just pretend I don’t hear them or see them.  I some times sit and just stare at my toddler in awe wishing that I could behave like her some days.  It may sound silly because as an adult certainly I know better. I know how to communicate but when you don’t feel heard or understood wouldn’t you like to throw a toddler tantrum? NOTE: Not an adult tantrum. As a woman you will be labeled or called one of these disorders: manic depressive, bi-polar, plain crazy, or told, You must be on your period, as if that statement has anything to do with wanting to be understood or heard. Lately, I’ve been studying my three year old during and after her temper tantrums…Oh, how free and relieved she looks after each one. I found myself saying, “Must be nice!” out loud one afternoon as I watched her scream to the top of her lungs because she was denied a piece of gum. I remember wondering what she would do if I started screaming with her. Wouldn’t it be nice? Let’ take a ride and be toddlers just for the few minutes it takes you to read this article. Pretend with me and LET’S THROW SOME TANTRUMS!

Scenario 1:  My boss/supervisor just handed me work that I don’t feel like doing at the moment. I have nothing against her/him but I’m  not in the mood to do it right now…maybe later.  He/she tries handing me the pile of work in my hand. TODDLER TANTRUM: I move my hand and let the pile drop to the floor then run away laughing. When he/she tries to hand it to me again I say, “I don’t want that!” The more he/she tries handing the pile of work  to me the louder I say and eventually scream, “I DON’T WANT THAT!” The boss will then try putting the pile of work on my desk.  This will frustrate me because I’ve already made it known that I don’t want to do it, so I knock the pile of work  on the floor. My boss seems frustrated at this point and begins to reprimand me. He/she even mentions my job being in jeopardy. I can’t take it anymore, clearly my boss doesn’t understand my wishes at this moment. So, I throw myself down on the floor and begin to kick and throw my arms about screaming to the top of my lungs, “I DON’T WANNA  DO IT RIGHT NOW. JUST GIVE ME A SECOND, NOT NOW, NOT NOW!” This, of course, scares the shit out of my boss who has no choice but to walk away and let me be. Which is what I asked for from the very beginning. I lay there on the floor for a few more seconds and notice the pile laying on the floor next to me. I take a look at the work and decide…I can do it now.  I walk to my boss’s desk hand him/her the finished work and say, “Sorry.” End of story.

Scenario 2:  You and your spouse are supposed to be having “alone time.” You ask your spouse if he could please refill your glass of wine. Of course he sweetly says, “Yes”, but something on television has his attention. You wait patiently and ask him again. “Hold on babe,” is what he tells you. You again wait patiently. You move closer to him in hopes of grasping his attention. You tap him on the leg and he says (without even looking at you), “Give me a sec, babe.”  At this point it’s more about him ignoring you than it is the glass of wine. You stand in front of the television in hopes of being seen and heard. He is now annoyed and bobs his head from side to side trying to catch a glimpse of the screen. TODDLER TANTRUM: You take your glass and throw it. End of story.

Scenario 3:  Another adult is chastising you. This adult (choose who this person is to you) is explaining why what you did was wrong or wasn’t the best decision you could have made.  You understood why you did what you did and each time you try telling them your side of the story, they keep going back to their own side. You finally feel as if it’s better to just be quiet than to continue on with the conversation but being quiet doesn’t settle your soul. TODDLER TANTRUM: A) Stare at this person and pretend to not understand a word they are saying. Blink a few times but say absolutely nothing; B) Play possum. Slink down in your seat as if you are either falling asleep or dying; C) Start crying uncontrollably. Let snot run down your nose and make sure to open your mouth wide without any sound for a few seconds. When sound finally reaches your vocals…let the cry sound off loud and clear. Just let it out! End of story.

I can imagine at least a dozen more scenarios. Some days it just seems appropriate to perform any of these tantrums:

Kick and scream, repeat every word the other person is saying to you (just for annoyance sake), cry uncontrollably, play possum, yell, “NO!”, slap, kick, bite, shut down, cry yourself to sleep, and the list goes on and on with toddler tantrums.

I’m not condoning any of these. When my kids do them they are reprimanded or put in time out. But if I can be completely honest with you… I UNDERSTAND! There are moments I, too, want to act out, especially if it will finally make you stop, pay attention, hear me and understand ME.

Concluding with a word from my daughter who often puts the word “different” in front of her name (I believe  she’s on to something), I’ll stop here and admit that there are many days I’d like to have a temper tantrum without being worried about someone calling me  a name for having one.

Thanks for taking the journey.

xoxo Different Journey xoxo

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Do My Big Breasts Offend You?

Posted on December 17, 2010. Filed under: Parenting | Tags: , , , , , , , |

After being bumped by excited Christmas shoppers and tripping over several shopping bags and strollers I decided to seek shelter, a safer place to just enjoy my hour’s lunch. I found the perfect resting place.  Snugly seated at the far end of the food court I exhaled deeply and sunk into the cushioned chair. That’s when I spied him. A middle aged gentleman with such disfavor upon his face I couldn’t help but stare at him while he stared in such contempt at either someone or something. Curiosity got the best of me and I had to get to the bottom of  it.  As I sat closer to this man and followed his stare I came across a young mother trying to nurse.  She was absolutely adorable but struggling with holding the baby, unlatching her nursing bra, and positioning her nursing bib. I giggled while reminiscing about my own struggle with nursing in public in the beginning. She’ll get the hang of it soon. I looked around to see what else this man could be staring at  clearly it couldn’t be this nursing mother. Holy cow! (no pun intended) it was.

So, this is dedicated to that vex gentlemen at the mall.

Dear Mr. Vex,

Do my big breasts offend you? Well, let me explain how this all came about:

It all began with tender breast. So, shockingly, I took the test. Two seconds later… two stripes… mean “Yes.” I’m uncertain if I can even express to you, Mr. Vex, what it feels like to know milk will form in your breast. The thrill and shrill you feel each morning you rise, contemplating asking God, “Can we compromise?”  Certainly, there has got to be another way. Am I really suppose to throw up three times a day? Four months later I feel in the clear only to notice my shape disappear. My body is no longer mine.  At least, that’s how I feel, but the deal has been sealed, soon a baby will appear. I’m elated and terrified I feel unequipped, this job comes with no pamphlet, yet I can’t quit. My belly now rumbles, with kicks, tricks and flips done inside.  Oh, Mr. Vex, you can’t imagine the joy that’s being supplied.

The pain has kicked in so I know the time has arrived to see my new bundle…finally look into their eyes. I sweat, I moan with pain you could never survive. I become someone new in those hours a fighter, a warrior, a mother! My world has changed forever. I am no longer the timid girl who would have feared your dirty stares. I am no longer the shy girl who would have apologized for offending you. So, although I ask, “Do My Big Breasts Offend You?” the truth is, I do not care! Wipe that smug look off your face. My child was hungry. Do you not eat as soon as you are hungry? I’ll have you know that my big breast are filled with sweet nourishment. Perhaps if you ever had a taste that frown would turn upside down.

Motherhood didn’t come with a pamphlet, but it came with one hell of a food supply and tons of warrior love! Your looks do not faze me!

Sincerely,

xoxo Journey Ward xoxo

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I Support…My Son Is Gay

Posted on November 10, 2010. Filed under: Parenting | Tags: , , , , , , , |

I read a fellow blogger’s article last week and her blog stuck right in the frontal lobe of my brain.  I put this week’s  article to the side just so I  could discuss and share with all of you an article titled, “My son is gay.”  The title alone is jarring, but it was the picture of a sweet little boy dressed as Daphne from Scooby Doo, rocking the full costume, orange wig, purple tights, and pink boots that enticed me to continue reading. Before I share my thoughts I want to make a note that I support this mother 100%…she actually makes me very proud!

The truth is that she has no idea if her son is gay or not. This sweet little boy is only five years old and happens to love Scooby Doo (he actually dressed as Scooby Doo a year or so ago). What the article unravels is the bravery, individuality and intelligence of our children verses a society filled with judgment and criticism. The main critics are often times  the parents of the little boys and girls we hope our little ones are playing with throughout the day at school. Oftentimes, when my daughter comes home with something naughty and new I know she has learned it from another child. That child has learned the behavior from either an older sibling or straight from their mother or father. So if your child is the one teaching naughty behavior and he/she has no older siblings…check your own behavior.

We journey with this mom as she revisits the first day her son asks for the Daphne costume. I can personally  visualize how his little face must have lit up when the costume finally arrived in the mail. I’m not a kid and my face still lights up when I’ve ordered something that I really want and it arrives… it feels like Christmas. I can see the happiness in his face when he tells his best friend (who happens to be a girl) what he will be for Halloween, the planning they must have done. Does anyone else remember what it’s like to be that young and excited? I’m excited thinking about his excitement as I read. I’ve already seen the picture and not only do I think he’s a clever kid with personality, but what a great costume!  However, I feel myself tensing up and freeze as I read that he suddenly no longer wants to wear the costume. My mind honestly doesn’t want to believe what his mom discovers. But I understand the world we live in, so I almost want to cry for not only him but his mom when she reveals that he’s  scared of the ridicule he will endure at the Halloween party. At five years old he already senses judgment. I feel for his mother because in that moment I stop reading and flashback to my own son being 5 years old.

We’re at a park in NY and for once I’m not following him around the playground. I’m allowing him to have fun while I sit on the bench and watch. Two kids, one boy, one girl a little older than him, seem to be playing with him. I’m thinking to myself how great it is that children befriend one another so easily when suddenly the little girl says something to him. I can’t hear what she’s saying but her body language tells, it’s not nice. Instantly, I feel rage at the thought of someone else’s child treating my son harshly. I stay calm and remind myself that they are children and will work it out. But then the little boy  follows the little girl’s body language and takes it a step further, he pushes my son. I’m on my feet and there within seconds. To this day I can’t tell you what happened because the look on my son’s face is all I remember.  His feelings are hurt and he can’t understand why they don’t want to play with him.  It was the only sentence he uttered as he held back his tears until we exited the playground.

I can’t imagine what this mother must feel like, when she see’s the look on her child’s face as he watches adults, not children, stare at him with such disgust upon their faces.  I then wonder as I continue  reading,  “how will she comfort him, and who will comfort her?”   I did the best I could in comforting my son that day against children slightly older than him, but this scenario is completely different. This mother is battling adults. They’re not only questioning her child but her parenting.

At the tender age of five this little boy almost learned to mask his joy, his individuality and his creativeness. I say “almost“, because if it wasn’t for his mother having the strength to stand up for her child and simply say, “So what…mind your business,” I can’t imagine the message he would have walked away with.  I’m no expert on parenting but it is my belief that as parents we are here to guide our children on their journey. We are to encourage them by helping them figure out who they are and what they want to do with their lives (whether we agree with their choices or not). We stand as their teachers in figuring out their likes and dislikes. We are here to help them feel safe in this huge world. The words we speak to them, MATTER! The looks we glare at them with, MATTER! Our children resemble us, we even share many of the same mannerisms, but they are Not us. Please remember that. Please understand that your child was born to accomplish something special in this world, so he or she may stand out in the crowd. It doesn’t make him/her a freak, it simply makes him/her special.

So please don’t be the parent sucking your teeth at a child because he/she behaves differently, looks different, speaks different, or even dresses differently then your own child(ren). Wouldn’t it be sweeter and humanely kinder to:

1. Want to understand the child instead of turning your nose up to a 5 year old?

2. Appreciate a child’s individuality and support him/her.

3. Applaud the courage it takes to be different in this world.

4. Remain in Awe, of the beautiful innocence of a child’s mind

5. Love children, be them yours or not, just because they are children, little human beings.

Let’s stop judging one another. What a boring world this world would be if we were all the same.  Please read the article titled “My son is gay.”  http://nerdyapplebottom.com/my son is gay

Thanks for taking the journey.

xoxo Journey Ward xoxo

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The Gift Is Greater Once You Understand

Posted on November 3, 2010. Filed under: Parenting |

Has a realization ever hit you so hard that you can’t help but to laugh and cry at the same time? The crying isn’t because the realization is so funny, but because the realization has touched your heart with such tenderness what else can you do but shed tears of gratitude. The laughter is because all along the answers have been wrapped around your aura caught in a cipher.

Who knows me better than anyone else in my life right now? That was the question pondering in my head like a game of  ping pong for the last year. The answer came to me as I sat still on my bed with the door closed one Monday evening after racing from Marina del Rey at 5 o’clock (rush hour) and taking all side streets to North Hollywood in hopes of picking up my daughter by 6 o’clock, (for those of you familiar with Los Angeles traffic, you understand my dilemma). I made it to her school at 6:08 and surprisingly she wasn’t the last child standing. While driving home,the race continued on as I tried to prepare my mind on tonight’s menu.  I walked in the door and quickly said, “Hello” to my son.  I began feeling overwhelmed but  had no time to relax, it was time to cook dinner.  The kids followed me in the kitchen, my daughter chatting up a storm. My son remained silent this whole time then suddenly picked his sister up and said, “Let’s go hang out in my room for awhile.” As they left the kitchen, I felt myself breathing again. As I walked to my bedroom to sit and decompress for a minute, the answer to that year- long question was suddenly answered.  My children… my children know me better than anyone else in my life right now. The realization not only surprised me…it humbled me. So, I posted this same question on Facebook a few days ago, ” I received a lot of; “Me, myself & I”, or “My boyfriend/husband or BFF.” Only one parent, responded, “My daughter.”  Wow! I was once again over taken by both my tears and laughter.

I’m learning that I see and understand the obvious about my children. Those things that are right in my face, I can’t help but notice them. It’s the little nuances about them I’m overlooking. One of them being just how in tune they are with me. I could say it was the tone I  used when saying hello to my son that snapped him to action and made him pick up his sister in order to give me a break that night, but it wasn’t the tone alone. I didn’t ask him for a break this night, although I have in the past. He understood my feelings because he’s been studying me for the last 15 years of his life. I don’t have to speak a word, and my son will not only sense my energy but he’ll understand what to do. He’ll comfort me the best way a 15-year-old son can or he’ll shoot me a comforting smile and leave me alone for awhile. Either way, it always makes me feel understood.

My daughter has been teaching me to watch my facial expressions. One day I was thinking (going over bills, no doubt), when she asked, “Mommy are you mad?” I snapped out of my zone and replied, “No sweetie, not at all. I’m just thinking.” A week later I must have been in another zone without even realizing it because my little one approached me and said, “Can you please stop thinking? It makes you look mad.”

That day on my bed, everything made sense. These children, my children, cradled in my womb for months, felt every single emotion I felt. How could they not understand me? I noticed it with my son, but this second time around I’m really paying attention. My daughter studies me. She’s aware of most of my moves and moods, and when one catches her off guard her brother fills her in. If no one else in this world gets me, I’m fully aware that my children understand… they get me. They may not agree, but they get me and love me the same.

I’m humbled by this realization. I’ve looked at them both quite differently lately. I allow them to teach me instead of always trying to teach them.  If I can be completely naked with you for a moment?  Some of the things I’ve taught them I wish I hadn’t. Things like being completely upset over the smallest issue, fully knowing that what they did wasn’t the issue, the underlying issue really had nothing to do with them. Or arguing with my love in front of them and not acknowledging that if you argue in front of your children, shouldn’t they be around to see the two of you communicating and making up? I know for a fact, rarely do children see their parents work out the blowup they may have had twenty minutes ago. They just assume things are okay when their parents resume speaking again. What is that teaching them? This realization also made me ask myself, “Am I taking an equal interest in understanding and knowing who my children are as much as their interest is in me?” hmmm…I say, yes and no to that question. I’m very guilty of being caught up in my own world at moments.

As we mature and grow older, we of course break away from mommy, that’s natural and a part of life. However, our little ones are truly focused and pay great attention to us.  For instance, a co-worker of mine told me she was once upset at one of her daughters, she couldn’t help yelling at her in that moment. Her youngest daughter chimed in and said, “Mommy, just breath.”  Sound familiar? Another friend of mine shared a private moment with me by telling me her child grabbed her hand one day and said, “I’m here Mommy, I’m still here.” This friend  lost her mother a few months ago and was still grieving. My point is they listen, they watch, they study…they understand.

For those of you with little ones please take a moment out of  your hectic schedule, if you haven’t already and remember all the things your child(ren) have done or said in letting you know he/she understands you. Marvel in it! Trust in those tiny bodies that have the capacity to intake and retain more then we can as adults. Fully take in and acknowledge that they understand you, your next move and mood swings more than you’ve ever thought possible. More importantly, take the time to enjoy them!

Thanks for taking the journey!

xoxo Journey Ward xoxo

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Peek A Boo

Posted on October 27, 2010. Filed under: Parenting |

Years ago I caught Tim McGraw and his wife, Faith Hill, on the Oprah show. They candidly spoke on how they met, their careers and what life is like after having children, referring to their three little girls. Some how Oprah got them talking about their sexy time together. They mentioned places like the closet, the washroom, the bathroom etc… “How exciting, naughty, erotically whimsical, and fantastic!”  Here’s a couple uninhibited, willing and ready to be adventurous with one another. They didn’t allow their children to stop their fun time. I will admit that I was caught in what seemed to be excitement in Faith’s voice when she said, “We sneak in the closet,” then she let out a nervous giggle and Tim gently squeezed her hand. I thought to myself, “I wanna be like that after I have children!”

What I didn’t realize those many years ago, and what Faith and Tim failed to mention, was that after having children you don’t have a choice! You HAVE to get creative. Children are born with this uncanny radar that signals when it’s intimacy time between you and your husband/partner/boyfriend. The older they get the better they get, so beware.

After having two children I’d love to see that episode again. I took Faith’s nervous giggle as her being coy at the time. I now believe the truth of that giggle was Faith reminiscing on her and Tim getting caught in the act by one of their children.  I’m no detective, so I couldn’t tell you if they got caught in the bathroom, closet or washroom. What I can tell you is, they got caught. Once you’ve been caught, you recognize the twisted smile for what it is. It’s a specific ingredient that produces this type of  nervousness, the measurements are:

1tbsp of –  Oh shoot, she’s up.

2tsp of – Oh my gosh, oh my gosh

3/4  cup of – do you think he knows what we were doing?

3 cups of -Sheer embarrassment.

It’s what we do after being potentially caught that counts. As parents, we can usually play most things off…stay on your toes.

Before moving my now- toddler’s crib into her own bedroom, we kept her crib in our room for awhile. She was almost a year old  this particular time her father and I decided to have our own sexy time one afternoon while she napped. We snuggled together underneath the covers, whispering, giggling lightly while exhaling and inhaling those precious moments of being alone (and not exhausted). We seized our moment for intimacy. Four minutes into our moment our baby girl began to shift in her crib (the beginning of those uncanny signals alerting her). I put my index finger to my mouth and said, “shhh” to my love. Quietly we  resumed, but this time we put our heads under the covers as if this made us invisible and blocked out our sound and movement. “Shhh”, I said again. “I think I heard her tossing again.” We both peeked out from underneath the covers and were pleasantly reassured that our baby was fast asleep. Feeling relaxed we ventured on, abandoning all care, excited once more to be together. We blew caution to the wind feeling totally free and uninhibited until the wind suddenly blew back. Like two deer caught in the head lights, we froze. We both heard the sound this time and giggled…that measured nervous giggle that had us too afraid to take our heads out from underneath the sheets.

My mind suddenly wandered and I begin to think “How on earth do these baby powers work? Their timing is impeccable.” Quickly coming back to my senses I used my own mommy powers and did the only logical thing one does when her head is caught underneath the covers. I quickly pulled the covers down from over my head and yelled “Peek a Boo.”  I startled her and could see that she was the one who was caught off guard now. Again I put my head back under the covers gave my love a wink and then he popped out and yelled “Peek a Boo.” We could tell that she began to forget about the locomotive lumps she witnessed seconds ago. My love came back under and together we popped our heads out in unison just like a jack-in-the- box and sang out “Peek a Boo.” Our daughter fell out laughing! Whew!!!

Another useful game or child story to use is the three monkeys.  My love and I have loads of loving conversations, down time and disputes in the bathroom. It’s private right? That depends on how thick your walls are. I was recently told by my teen, “You know, I can hear everything you’re saying in your bathroom.” I instantly felt the nervous giggle creep on my face remembering the previous time spent in the bathroom with my love. Walking away was all I could do. I played the three monkeys (see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil). I instantly made a mental note,  no more monkeys jumping on the bed…at least not in the middle of the day while super ears (the teen) is home.

The lack of intimacy is another challenge no one  prepares you for while parenting. Who knew you had to be a skilled improvisation actor and parents using reverse psychology to have sexy time. So if  you’re having sexy time in the closet and your little one comes and finds you, I suggest you yell out “hide and seek, you found us. It’s your turn to hide, 1, 2, 3 ready or not here I come.” Peek a Boo works almost anywhere. If you’re in the washroom, perhaps sharing is caring and daddy is only helping mommy with the laundry. If we have to be creative anyway let’s go all out.  The key is to always understand and never underestimate your child’s secret power…the power to impede on sexy time every time.

Learn to make intimate time fun time for you and your spouse. I will admit that sometimes it’s a pain in the ass, but when you put the adventure hat on and play not only does it strengthen your union but it has the ability to put the spark back in your relationship.

Remember you’re clever, creative and an improvisational  master.  Who’s bed is it anyway?

Thanks for taking the journey.

xoxo Journey Ward xoxo

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I Am Not Bi-Polar or Schizophrenic… Just Ask Peggy Lee

Posted on October 5, 2010. Filed under: Parenting |

“Mom, do you know how you get when you’re upset? I mean really do you understand how you get? You like turn into this monster and flip, then two minutes later you’re back to being all sweet, calm and nice. It’s freaky.”  This was told to me by my 15- year- old son. My silent reply: Could it be that I’ve told you 5 times to pick  your socks up from off the floor. Could it be that all 5 times you replied “okay.”  So by the 6th time that I walk into the living room and see the same socks on the floor, I instantly begin to raise my voice to such a high screech (aka the monster that you’ve described) that I’m really not sure if you understand the words that are coming out of my mouth, but I do know that dolphins in the pacific can hear me.  They screech back, “calm down”, you see, their communication isn’t all about mating. Sometimes it’s to simply  calm me down. Once their frequencies vibrate throughout my body, I exhale (it sounds more like a low grunt mixed with a few curse words possibly, but really it’s me allowing the positive vibration from the dolphins to kick in).  I then instantly calm down, you pick up your socks and we’re back to normal.

How about this one: “You’re just so fiery. Your temperament really needs to be handled. I mean, get on something…meds, whatever you need to take, because you literally go from one to ten within seconds. There is no in-between with you.”   This one came from my love.  My silent reply: Perhaps if I didn’t already express what I needed or wanted multiple times, (which, by the way, at this point is to feel heard) .  You wouldn’t feel as if I went from one to ten within seconds. You would have heard me the first time and remembered my request. So instead of telling me I need  “meds“, let’s try putting you on ginkgo biloba to help increase your memory. This way we’re all happy.

My point is, I’m not bi-polar or schizophrenic. I happen to be from the voice of Peggy Lee, a W O M A N.  A woman who has bared children, which means I’m doing more than the average multitasker.

You may not have noticed some of the hats I wear, they change so swiftly at times it’s hard for me to even keep up. But let me introduce you to a few of them. Let’s make a note that most of them I did NOT sign up for, they just happen to come with the territory of being a W O M A N.  I’m a self- made, bona fide chef  and nutritionist. I’m a doctor and nurse rolled into one. I’m a child therapist. I’m a sex therapist, I have to counsel myself some nights to really go the extra mile and satisfy you on days and nights where I just don’t feel like it! I’m a chauffeur. I’m an accountant. I’m a hair stylist, the toddler’s hair has to be maintained. I’m a referee, the kids are constantly at each others throats. I’m a housekeeper (definitely didn’t sign up for this one). I’m a veterinarian and humanitarian (we’ve adopted two cats that would have been euthanized otherwise). I’m a philanthropist (my oldest is in private school and I’ve joined the parent association). I’m an educator… and at this point I’m sure you can imagine how the list  continues on.

So, when I hear things like this:   “She’s freaking bi-polar.  Aw, man, she went maniac on me”, or “she’s just maniac.” How about: “Ever since she had that baby, she’s not the same. So much has changed since the baby got here.” Or one of my favorites: “She’s totally consumed with that baby, it’s like her whole world.” Do any of these sound familiar to you? and by the way, I know I’m missing many more. But where on the same page, right?

So when I hear things like the above it makes me want to take this time to clear up those charges we’ve, excuse me, I’ve, been accused of.

So:

No, I’m not bi-polar or even schizophrenic.  It just so happens that due to all of the changes my body has undergone, (changes like, hosting a living being “ALIVE”  in my body for 10 months, having no choice on how my hormones fluctuate, or being unaware of the levels of progesterone in my body), yes I may be a bit sensitive. Wouldn’t you be?

No, I’m not maniac.  I just discovered the many hats that came along with this job.  I’m sure you weren’t aware of them all. Heck, I wasn’t fully aware of them either until I was already in the seat. What a surprise!

Yes, I am consumed with this little child that has entered our lives. I’ve developed a relationship with him/her for 10 whole months. I’m amazed to see her/his face! Everything he/she does is a first and it’s so exciting, I don’t want to miss a thing.

You are right about me not being the same, I’m not. This experience has completely changed my world for the better. I’m so much more aware of life and how precious life is. I’m also scared to death at times of being responsible for someone else. The responsibility at times is overwhelming!

I’m far from perfect and a bit sensitive at times but what I do, is done with love and to strengthen my family which in return strengthens the world we live in.  Just let me reiterate  so we can all be clear. I am not bi-polar or schizophrenic. What I am, is a W O M A N!!!

Take it away Peggy Lee…

xoxo Journey xoxo

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Who’s Really In Control?

Posted on September 28, 2010. Filed under: Parenting |

Who’s really in control? I kept asking myself this question after watching a documentary titled “Consuming Kids.” Well,  let me back up a bit…the trilogy of The Matrix is what really stood out to me after watching this piece on YouTube.   Dare I engage you further on how my brain really works? Why not…it’s the main reason I started this blog.

Consuming Kids is a documentary pieced together in seven segments.  You may find it  on YouTube. The director takes us on an unpleasant yet real peek into the world of advertisement specifically geared towards our children. This piece sent me on a roller coaster ride filled with emotions ranging from shock, fury, concern and disappointment. Yet, I felt informed and driven to take a stance.  So how does this documentary relate to The Matrix?  This is where I share my brains interpretation of it all:

The meaning of The Matrix as told by MorpheusThe matrix is everywhere, it is all around us. You can see it when you look out your window, or turn on your television. It is the wool that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.

Now, here is the meaning of advertisement as told by the Merriam Webster dictionary -(2c) To advertise is to call public attention to especially by emphasizing desirable qualities, so as to arouse a desire to buy or patronize.

Are you following me? Okay,  good! Let’s continue:

Morpheus stands for every mother, father, grandparent, and/or guardian to a child. Our children, be it a girl or a boy, are who Neo represents. These curious little beings are faced with taking the red pill or the blue pill each and every day. They, too, sometimes fall down the rabbit hole as Alice from Alice in Wonderland did (another thought mentioned by Morpheus in the movie). There is so much for our little Neo’s  to learn & discover. They have to fall and brush themselves off while figuring out who they are and where they stand in this world, while we, the Morpheus’s of the world, behold the challenging task  of educating and sternly guiding them with love… all the while knowing that they are being manipulated.  Our children are caught in The Matrix and still we must  step away from them and simply watch them figure life out.

The matrix, aka advertisers, put our children through extensive research in order to reach, control and steer their minds towards being their consumers for life. Did you know advertisers use a method called “The Nag Factor?” The Nag Factor increases their chances of selling. A team of market researchers actually sit around and discuss in-depth various tactics on how to get kids to nag us (parents). I kid you not! Nagging increases their chances of having our children become consumers. The researchers know that eventually we will give in and say, “yes.” Boom! Product sold!  So I ask you again, who’s really in control,  because The Matrix has been around for years.

Do you remember the Oracle? She was the sweet older woman (grandmother type) who loved baking cookies. For many viewers (myself included) she represented hope and faith for Neo. Remember?  The Oracle gave us a calming feeling. She was wise and gentle, she seemed compassionate. The words she spoke to Neo really mattered to me. She could predict the future and her wisdom reminded us of our grandmothers.  However, later in the trilogy we all came to the realization that we had been tricked, fooled. Our wise trusting grandmother figure,the Oracle, turned out to be another program within The Matrix. Hmm… could the Oracle represent the government? Just asking.  In the 1970’s the Morpheus’s of the world  banded together to protest advertisements directly targeted towards our little Neo’s. Ten years later, during the Regan administration, our fight was preceded by a now stronger gathering (multiple advertisement companies) of The Matrix.

So for the third time, similar to the trilogy, I ask you, who’s really in control?

I believe we can re-gain some control back by turning off our televisions a little more during the day and on weekends: going the extra mile (there’s that phrase again) and engaging our children in face time. We don’t always have to cave in either when the nagging starts (I’m guilty of this too). The word NO actually made me  a stronger person. I fight for what I believe in and for what I want much harder as an adult because of that word. I’m sure there are loads of ways we can overcome The Matrix together. The very first is desensitizing ourselves from The Matrix (we are also caught).  Secondly, let’s be informed. Lets educate ourselves so we can educate our youth. So please view “Consuming Kids” on YouTube. Watch it in its entirety and see how you honestly feel. I’d love for you to share your thoughts with me. Then begin (as I have) to make subtle changes within your own home. We  have control of what goes on there.

Thank you for listening Morpheus(s) of the world.  I salute you. We don’t need the red or blue pill to show us the light and remove the wool from  our eyes. This is where faith and unity step in.

Take the journey!

xoxo Journey  xoxo

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SUPERWOMAN

Posted on September 17, 2010. Filed under: Parenting |

I’d really like to take the S off my chest just for a moment.  I adored Super Woman as a child and remember quite a few episodes. So help me out here, refresh my memory, was there ever an episode where  Super Woman just broke down and cried? She was saving the world and barely got any sleep. This you and I can relate to. But if she never cried during one episode, then I’d like to take the S off my chest for today. Take it off just for a few hours. I’ll even take one hour.

Whether you’re a mom like myself who has spread her children apart (13 years to be exact; a 15 yr old and a toddler), had them back to back, two to three years apart, or you only have one, please take a moment to take the S off  your chest and simply breathe. Take a moment to remember who you are. Feel what you want and need to feel.  More importantly find a way to express it. I’ll go first. Winking smile

I allowed my feelings to get hurt because, well, because I swallowed too much crap yesterday. Let’s press rewind for a moment:

I was so excited! Finally we found an event that our whole family could enjoy. We we’re headed to the Los Angeles County Fair. I told my teenage son  he was allowed to bring a friend (to which he declined – OK, fine). This would be my daughter’s first big fair. My love and I could stroll hand in hand, ride the rides and bring out the teen in each other. We discussed our game plan and the best way to move (get everyone fed and dressed, discuss our budget, buy tickets online and move out, which can be a very timely task). Great! Right? Hmmm, perhaps we should have explained our game plan to the kids.

My teen waited until the very last minute to announce that he actually did invite one of his best friends to come along. Instead of getting into a debate about the incredible late notice, that came along with, “Can we pick him up?” (mind you he lives in the total opposite direction). I decide to swallow the slight annoyance and re-budget quickly in my head.  Done! Let’s move forward, we’re going to the fair!

My love gets our daughter ready to the best of his ability (and he’s pretty good), leaving her hair for me to do while I hop in the shower (besides the little switch in our plan, we’re on time). I shower peacefully, get out and put on my smell goods (this fair is for my love and I as much as it is for the kids) and get dressed. Now that I’m all sorted let me get a hold of that little one and get her hair ready, STOP!!! I’m rolling too fast and too smooth obviously, because the toddler (yes, I called her the toddler) pulls a 2 1/2 -year- old trick out of her bag and screams to the top of her lungs. Okay, we all know about the terrible two’s.  My question is; why do we call it “the terrible two’s” when it starts (for some) earlier than two and lasts for more than a year? Back to the story. Now guys, I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that she screamed so loud and hard you’d swear I abused her.  I hadn’t even touched her head, I simply held the brush in my right hand. Daddy comes running in (of course, his Princess is in distress) to the rescue and I will admit he really tries to help me the best he can. He offers her tons of options then finally says “use your words” (apparently I was to pissed at this point to even think of saying use your words).  She sniffles for a few more seconds and says” I want daddy to do my hair“. REALLY, KID!!! There’s nothing confusing about my feelings… now I’m pissed! For starters, couldn’t she have just said that (no, she’s two and a half)? The real kicker is that I was looking forward to doing her hair. Ever since I returned to the work  force (I’ll blog about that later),  I don’t get the chance to dress her or do her hair in the morning. But okay, I put my own feelings in check and swallow my disappointment. Let’s continue moving forward. We’re running late but it’s okay. We’re going to the fair!

All aboard!!! We are (finally) ready to move out. My little one should be ready to knock out in the car. We planned her nap time around the car drive to the fair. She’ll get a solid hour of sleep.  Wait! Am I delirious? I haven’t been back to work this long! I could have sworn… no, I know her nap time is now… WRONG!!! She sang every Barney, Yo Gabba Gabba and nursery rhyme song to the top of her lungs all the way there.  I mean the entire hour.

NOTE TO SELF: My teen’s constant complaints about me not being cool, our house being boring and me possibly embarrassing him don’t hold that much weight anymore. Well, the last one about me embarrassing him may hold some weight. His face was completely red and disturbed the whole hour’s ride to the fair as he sat sandwiched in between his best friend and his sister in her car seat. He mumbled loudly a few times, “This is why I don’t invite anyone over.” It was a bitter-sweet moment. I felt horrible for him but enjoyed my daughter’s singing for the first non- stop 15 minutes. By the last 45 minutes I’d swallowed more Barney and DJ Lance songs then I care to discuss.  She had the nerve to fall asleep the moment we exited our exit. My smile is frozen in place, trying to keep my cool but damn it, we’re almost to the fair!

We park the car and begin gathering our things. I un-freeze my smile and try to breathe a bit when my love walks around to my side of the car and says, “Should I be getting the stroller out now?” My smile stiffly widens a bit and I reply, “When else are you going to get it?”. Okay,okay I know, I know. That response should have been one that stayed inside my head. It was what I was feeling and I decided to let it out but perhaps something like a simple “yes” or “now would be perfect babe” or even “good thinking my love” would have been a better and more positive  answer (after all, he endured the singing, too). But the all-too-powerful Super Woman in me really thought, “What a dumb ass question. Isn’t that why we brought the stroller with us? Yes, Hello, get the stroller out, she’s asleep.” Clearly, my Super Woman power thoughts came out in my one sentence of, “When else are you going to get it?” As usual, we Super Women are stronger than we ever give ourselves credit for. Who knew or realized my tongue in that moment was a whip. It stung him hard and still he tried his best to be helpful again by arranging her stroller right by my side. The only problem was the damn stroller was so close to my door I couldn’t maneuver to get her out without falling. I couldn’t simply move the stroller because he put the wheel locks on.  Instantly, without me even realizing it, my Super Woman powers come out once more. I quickly stared him in the eye and shocked him with the laser in my right eye (I’m guessing the laser is in the right eye – just a guess).  It means multiple things, of course. “You’re f’ing up and getting on my damn nerves” is one of them.  My actions were so fast and applied without any conscious thought, I barely realized that I shocked him at all. “Argghhh, can you help me move the stroller?” He tries giving me the same stare, only he doesn’t posses the same powers, so it doesn’t work. He resorts to demanding “What’s the problem? Did I do something to you? Is there a problem, because you’re being real curt with me. What did I do wrong?”.  I answer him again and this time my Super Woman powers realize that I must defuse the funk and so I reply, “I’m fine, nothing is wrong with me at all. Maybe you’re just being really sensitive.” Okay, did I defuse the funk or add to it?  Don’t answer that.

I swallow the noticeable tension and decide that if he could see that I really was fine, then he would be fine too. WRONG! His world had completely stopped for a moment. He was no longer at the LA County Fair. I, on the other hand, had let off some steam  and felt great!  So I’m pressing on. By the time my teen and his friend  get on the first ride, my love and I get into a slight argument over my invisible powers. This was  7 minutes into the fair. He expressed that I chewed him up for no  reason, shot him a look of disgust and followed it up with an insult, he’s sensitive. Ouuu wee, had I done all that?  I calmed him down, swallowed my Super Woman pride and made up.  We’re at the fair. Let’s have fun.

We did have fun at the fair but by the end of the night I’m tired, no exhausted it’s a quarter to twelve and I have gobbled every edible treat at the damn fair not to mentioned swallowed a bunch of shit (earmuffs) before the fair. At this point all I want to do is go home, regurgitate and sleep. Once we arrive home I try my best to make it into bed before my love begins to think that I have mustered up some energy (Super Woman is worn out). Sex, XXX  we will NOT be having tonight.

That was yesterday. Which is why today I’d like to take the S off my chest for a little while.  I explained to my love, once he arises from his sleep at twelve in the afternoon (I, of course, get out of bed to feed the cats at 6 a.m. then again at 8 a.m when I hear my daughter whispering, “Mommy are you still sleeping?” as she pokes me in my laser eye aka the right eye),that today I need some alone time. I can feel him tensing up. He doesn’t understand what alone time really means. So I explain that I simply need a few hours to myself to regroup from yesterday’s outing. He hesitantly gets our little one, gets her dressed and announces that they’re going to the park. My teen and his friend aren’t even up yet so I go into my bedroom, lock my door, look at myself in the mirror, exhale, then gently take the S off my chest (I feel the weight instantly removed), and place it gently on the pillow next to me. I reach for a novel I’ve tried to read for months and enthrall myself in this fantasy until I’m knocked out. I was able to take a nap (can you believe it?) in the middle of this beautiful  afternoon with no interruptions for two whole hours. That was the sleep I needed, and talking to you was the regurgitation I needed to rejuvenate. Oh, and let’s not forget I took the S off to rest as well!

In a minute or two I’ll take a nice long shower or maybe a bubble bath. I’ll shed a few tears as I allow the warm water to trickle down my body. I’ll finally RELEASE! I find that when the S is on my chest I rarely release. I take on everything and all that I feel I should take on due to guilt or the infamous MOTHERLY DUTIES!  Not now. These precious few hours are MINE! I’m allowing myself to just BE!  Feels good!

So in a little while I’ll gently awake the S (she deserved the rest, she does a damn good job) and place her back on my chest. We will pray, laugh and love before we unlock the bedroom door. Then it’s back to enhancing the world, taking care of one family at a time.

Thanks for listening,
xoxo Journey xoxo

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