One Day, I’ll Get My Shit Together

Hello…. is this thing still on?!?

It isn’t like I suddenly don’t have anything to say. My life is still chaos & fun & stress & all the things…. But being unemployed leaves me feeling a little lost. Work has always been an anchor to help weather life’s storms. I enjoy the sense of purpose. I thrive on deadlines and schedules (and you know – having money to pay for crap)…. and I am currently drowning in my stress of finding my next anchor. But I will write more about that soon.

While I work on getting out of my own way, and reaching some goals – I wanted to share a funny little story (that proves my normal shenanigan filled life is still in full swing)….

Last year, I helped start a non-profit travel baseball team for one of my kiddos. I am by no means a coach or anything important, just the chaos coordinator (my natural calling). I have been collecting fees for start up costs & our first tournament. One family paid cash yesterday. I guess I had stuck the cash in my book (that I take to practice, but never read).

I always read a bit before going to sleep – sometimes a paragraph, sometimes a whole book…. last night I remember reading a couple of chapters & off I went to dreamland.

Around 2 am – I woke up. No clue why…. but I noticed I had something in my hand. I was holding a $5 bill, like someone had just handed it to me. I lay there for a bit, trying to figure out where it came from. Did Jerritt give it to me? Why? Did one of my boys sleepwalk and give me money?!? What the heck is happening???

Then I heard one of the dogs licking something under my blanket. I found a $50 bill! Holy hell – what is going on?!? 2 am is not the best time to try to figure out where money is coming from… but (for a few minutes), I was pretty damn happy that I was finding money!

It was only after finding the $20 on the ground on the way to the restroom that it clicked… $75 found in my bed, the same amount paid to me at the ballpark! I swear – sometimes I just don’t know how I manage to survive.

I don’t do my best thinking at that hour of the morning, but thank God I am able to laugh at myself….

#CrazyAsAMother #GetYourShitTogether #SinkOrSwim #SleepShenanigans #CantMakeThisShitUp

Plot Twist!

Sometimes you have a plan for your life…. and sometimes your life has a plan for you. There are just some things that you cannot control.

I recently was laid off…. again. This time it was different. I LOVED my job. I loved the people I was working with. I loved learning new things every day…. I felt that it was my end game. But, those at a much higher pay grade than I decided that some roles in our group needed to be eliminated. It had nothing to do with my performance. My boss (and her boss), and most of the people I worked closest to, were not very happy that I was “going”…. they have all been supportive and helping me to get my resume seen at other opportunities – I am actively interviewing, but still bummed (borderline depressed), and anxious to find work again.

I have been laid off more than most…. it sucks. Although I can confidently say that it has never been based on my performance, it starts to wear on your confidence. Usually, by the time a lay-off hit – after an acquisition, or management change; the environment was toxic, that while hard to be out of work, it was almost a relief. This time was different…. I walked out of there knowing that I had done an amazing job, that I was leaving my “family”, that I was being asked to leave the role I was meant to be in. But, in true Pisces style, I am going to find the new flow to go with.

I don’t know where this plot twist will take me. I hope in another role that pushes me and helps me grow. I hope for a team that will support and help me succeed.

I know, I know…. all things happen for a reason. Enjoy the time off I get with my kids. Know that I did a great job, and made a great impact and impression…. but damn – it sucks!

I’ll just be over here, doing my thing (while secretly freaking the fuck out), waiting to figure out where the next chapter will take me.

#CrazyAsAMother #PlotTwist #GoWithTheFlow #ChaosCoordinatorLookingForChaos

Hot Mess In Progress

To say that life has been busy lately, feels dramatically understated.  I’m definitely not complaining.  It is the good kind of busy, that burns up your days but leaves good memories in it’s place.

The month of May has been a blur…. and to think that the year is almost halfway done – INSANE!  I mean, tomorrow is the first of June, and I haven’t had the time to start on my New Year’s Goals yet.  Maybe that is just me….

Here is a little glimpse of what the past couple of weeks have looked like, and what more is to come.

Last Tuesday, my sister and I headed to Fresno to see Pink in concert!  The tickets were a Christmas gift from Jerritt, and the show was AMAZING!  One of my favorite concerts ever, so far!  We also stayed with my sweet friend (and phenomenal photographer) – which is always fun, and always makes me wish I had more time, to just hang out with my people.  Anyhow, the start of the week was crazy, busy, and so very good! If you have not seen her show…. you need to!  This is my favorite new song off her latest album:

I had taken the rest of the week off, because the concert, kids birthday, school events… and well, we were coming up on a holiday weekend, so it made perfect sense.  Thursday – my little monsters turned 11 years old.  Ugh…. where does the freaking time go? I swear, it wasn’t too long ago that we were snuggling little babies, or preparing for starting elementary school – now we are a week away from “promoting” to middle school.

In case you haven’t guessed, or haven’t read many of my posts, I fiercely love my children.  I really do.  They are why I am who I am.  They were so very wanted before they were ever conceived.  The medical struggle to become a mom made it all more precious.  And I literally cherish every minute that I get to be their mom.  I am not a super mom.  They are not perfect kids.  But good golly – we are lucky to have each other & all the people in our lives who love and support us.

Eleven years of crazy, stupid love.

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People always say that I go above and beyond for my kids.  I am not looking for praise, or recognition.  I am not trying to make other moms look or feel bad.  I am just trying to give my kids the best childhood, while teaching them to not be assholes.  Being a twin mom is a bit of an additional challenge.  Yep, I have 2 kids.  Yep, they want different treats for their class on their birthday  (I mean… it is their last elementary school birthday celebration – it’s not like I will be cooking treats for all the middle school classes next year!  There, I said it, I’m not going to do it….)  Yep, it was a lot of work.  Yep, it was worth it to make their day as good as it could be.   So I made breakfast kabaobs (doughnut holes and delicious fruit on a stick!), and 2 kinds of cookies to take to school.

It was a busy day too!  I hustled to campus loaded up with treats for the two classes.  It was Field Day at our school (another last for us), AND, the boys’ classes were headed to their future middle school for a feeder assembly!  I didn’t see my boys until they got to school.  A quick hug, an embarrassing picture session by the marquee out front – then hustle to class to hand out all the sugary treats before they loaded up on the buses!

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I helped all day at the Field Day event, well, I mostly walked around and took pictures – but I enjoyed being there and spending time with the students, parents and staff that have made our school experience so far the BEST we could ask for.  The 5th grade classes made it back and had fun out there too!  It was by far the coldest Field Day and birthday we have had to date, but we made the most of it.

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Then, we spent the evening of their birthday at the ball park.  Nate’s team won the championship game for our division/league!  Poor Kevin had to spend his birthday in the stands – but at least we were all together!  We celebrated their birthday (and the WIN) with pizza and cupcakes after the game.  Then home to open up gifts!  Maybe not the way they wanted to spend their day, but we all did all that we could to make the most of it!

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Friday and Saturday, I honestly didn’t do much.  And that was AWESOME!  We had a dear friend visit from Arizona.  Jerritt was enjoying concerts in Monterey at CaliRoots, and the boys were with their dad.  I had a quiet house, and no reason to stray too far from home.  Sunday and Monday were also good – we finally had good weather and I started cleaning up the pool area to prepare for summer entertaining, while the boys tested the frigid water.

This final week of May has me back at work, except for yesterday…. I took the day to go on one of their final field trips of the year… because I am sucking up every last bit of their elementary experience that I can.  We had a fun day out at Hollister Hills, learning about nature and just hanging out.  It always makes me happy when I get to spend the day with these kids that I have watched grow – and when their awesome parents sign up to drive too! Such a good day!

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This weekend is going to be beyond insane.  I am tired already, just thinking about it.  And the week after…. well, there is no rest for the wicked.

Saturday you will find me in San Jose for Kevin’s soccer tournament.  Home to change, and then up to Sacramento for a Maroon5 concert – my second bucket list concert Christmas gift!  Then home again after (3ish hour drive). Back up to San Jose for another soccer game (that starts at 8 am!), then all the way down to Salinas for Nate’s first TOC baseball game of the post-season.  Work Monday, then off Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday for “promotion” stuff and a birthday party for my kids…..  I will be living off caffeine and little sleep.   I apologize now to my family if I fall asleep at the dinner table, but if we get dinner on the table still, I consider it a success!

Again, I am not complaining… life is so good.  And I always remind myself that one day, before I know it – all the hustle and bustle will be a memory.  We are already getting ready to start a new chapter in our lives…. one where mom’s help is less needed at school.  One where my kids enjoy more time away with friend than they do at home hanging out with me.  I am a little scared.  I am a little relieved.  I am determined to suck up every minute and every memory that I can.

Life can be hectic.  That is not always a bad thing.  Be present in all that goes on in your world.  Take pictures.  Share your story (when you can get a minute) – but live and love each and every day.

I’ll just be over here, trying to keep my shit together, raising my kids one mistake at a time….

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#CrazyAsAMother #FrickAndFrack #RaiseThemRad #EndOfAnEra #NateAndKevinTurn11 #HustleAndHeart #LaVidaLoca

My Thoughts Exactly….

If you don’t follow Jenny Lawson’s blog, you are missing out on the good stuff.  Usually there are a lot of laughs and completely ridiculous shenanigans… but this hit me right in the feelers.

You never know what someone might be going through.  Go… read this blog.

Then, when you have hours to invest, go back and read some of the other posts.  You won’t regret it….  she hooked me a long while back with the story of a giant chicken named Beyonce.

via Happy Whatever.

Everyday Appreciation

It is Appreciation Week for Teachers/School Staff!  Always a fun and busy week – full of treats and surprises that show how much we appreciate all that these folks do.  Let me tell you – a week isn’t enough (kind of insulting like one day a year to appreciate Mom/Dad… but I digress).

Look – your child’s teacher is not only dealing with whatever you deal with daily (times 20-30 more kids)…. but there is SO MUCH drama and emotions that are so very different at school than they are at home.  I highly suggest that you hang out at the school a few times a year (note that any time after a break or holiday is 10X worse… and don’t get me started on rainy day schedules).  Kids at school have a pack-mentality, and it is a volatile environment! You need to be in touch with teachers on a regular basis – don’t wait until you are dealing with a major issue.  Being in contact with them also might give them the chance to tell you all the good things going on too… and who doesn’t love that!?!

And if you hear that there is a “problem”…. LISTEN to what they are telling you.  Don’t start out defending your “poor” child.  Actually listen to what they are saying.  Process it.  Understand where they are coming from, and work together to resolve it.  If a teacher is reaching out to you – they are TELLING you that they need your support as a parent – take that gift and BE AN ACTUAL FREAKING PARENT.  Chances are that your child is not a sweet and innocent victim, at least not 100%.  Even if they feel justified in their action – use it as a teachable moment and help them understand that while their intentions were different, the perception of their behavior does matter.  Now, I know of adults that need this lesson too, but I am going to leave that alone for now.

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My kids have had such AMAZING teachers over the years.  I’m not just saying that.  Many of their teachers I consider my personal friends.  I trust them with the well being of my children.  They deserve my respect.  They deserve your respect.  Respect their time.  Respect the rules of their classroom.  Respect the depth of what they are trying to achieve every day, every year…. They are expected to reach certain levels of academic achievement, while dealing with all these emerging personalities!!!  I don’t know about y’all, but I can barely deal with 2 the same age!

By showing your teachers you are human, by showing them that you listen, by working together…. you will build a relationship that benefits your child.  You guys… your teacher should be like family.  They say it takes a village, and I agree – it makes life SOOOO much easier.

My kids are in the 5th grade.  Hormones – UGH.  One of my kids (who fancies himself something as a funny-guy), has had a few “instances” this year.  But because our teachers know I will listen to what they are saying, and address it with my kid – they reached out to me to “fix” what was going on before it became a real problem.  Now, we aren’t talking major crimes…. we are talking inappropriate behavior in PE (twerking instead of squats, telling a classmate that his push-up isn’t good, unless his penis hits the floor), or the day he was enjoying (read: goofing off) a dance class with his buddies, and the visiting instructor found him disruptive, or when his teacher found him just a bit too talkative….  Each time the teachers reached out to me and told me what the concern was.  I cannot tell you how much I value the opportunity to talk to my child about choices and consequences of his actions – that is the bread & butter of raising tiny humans.  After talking with the kid – he explained his side of the story, I heard him, I explained to him that while he did not intend to be disruptive or rude – he needed to understand that his actions affect others.  I had him write an apology for his behavior (or the perceived outcome of his behavior) and have him explain why he was sorry – not just go through the motions.  Whether I agree that his actions were wrong, right or indifferent – it doesn’t matter.  His actions caused an issue that was worth his teachers reaching out.  It is my job to address it the right way.  I did not have him take blame for anything he didn’t do.  I did not run to the administrative staff and complain that my goofy kid is being picked on.  I handled it. #LikeABoss

And you know what I love even more…. when these teachers take the time to send a little text or an email to says – your kid is doing AWESOME, or hey – you are doing a good job as a parent!  Things like that make me so proud and grateful that someone see’s how hard we are working at something so important – so why wouldn’t I want to show them the same appreciation like ALL THE TIME!

Now, let’s talk the administrative and support staff at school….  these are the folks who have their pulse on the big picture.  They see all.  They hear all.  Usually, the only people causing them issues are parents. They deal with those who feel their child is being picked on – when usually they are part of the problem.  They deal with those who show ZERO responsibility – oh yeah, school pick up was at 11:55 today, and my kid is still there will you 2 hours later.  People yell at them.  People demand from them.  People dismiss them.  You guys – these are my people, and I love them!  Years of volunteer work, I cannot tell you the value of an amazing school staff!  I can tell you that they have a lot more patience than I do – I don’t know how they stay so calm and nice to all “those” parents.

My point here today is this – the folks at school are an important part of your child’s village.  An important part of your family.  This week is a great week to celebrate all their awesomeness – but keep in mind that they deserve a little love and respect EVERYDAY.  Try to make it a habit to occasionally pop by (and a Starbucks card is always nice too), and tell them that they are doing a great job.  Or talk to them if you have a concern.  They are hard working peeps who do their best each and every day they walk into their classroom.  Be involved – and be an actual, grown-up parent to your little!  They need that more than they need another friend.

Treat your tribe with the same respect that you deserve & it comes back tenfold.

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Thank you to ALL the teachers and every staff person at Ladd Lane Elementary School!  You are hands-down the ABSOLUTE best school around!  Thank you for whatever part you have played in raising my (not-so) tiny humans so far!

#CrazyAsAMother #FrickAndFrack #LaddLaneRocks #ParentingIsHard #ItTakesAVillage #RaiseThemRad #BeTheCorn #IFreakinLoveYouGuys

Happy Earth Day!

It’s Earth Day! A day to celebrate this beautiful planet we live in, and make an effort to keep it that way….

Now, not everyone can (or will) go out and do an organized clean-up – I get that. I’m not asking you to get out and hug a tree, install solar on your home, get a hybrid car, or to start a petition to your government to make changes for the better (it doesn’t have to be done today, you can do those things any day & you might like hugging trees)…. what would be great, and make the best impact is to take the time to learn something new.

Figure out what you can change in your day to day life, that will make a long term impact!

I’m not a full blown conservationist…. I do what I can, and teach my kids what I know. I try to buy from socially responsible companies. I love my oils for everything. I recycle (and bitch to my family when they forget). My new favorite shoes are made from recycled water bottles (Rothy’s). I can always do more, you can too!

So celebrate Earth Day by learning what you can do EVERYDAY!

Here are some pics from our Beach Clean Up yesterday. It was a very clean beach to start, but Kev & I found 46 pieces of litter & got to play in the sand and waves!

#HappyEarthDay #ReduceReuseRecycle #RaiseThemRad #CrazyAsAMother

Dear MomWhoLostHerShit

This is an open letter to the mom who lost her shit at our kids school yesterday.

This is NOT the first time, and I am sure it won’t be the last.  I don’t need to give your name, or feel the need to public shame you – to give you more fuel for your raging fires of hatred….  You know who you are (and well, so does ALL the parents in the pick up line who watched it go down, and the amazing staff who helped diffuse the situation, and well – it is a small town, so…)

In case you didn’t know- your kid is THAT kid at our school.  The one who no one has to say their name, and everyone knows who you are referring to.  They are the one that the teachers and staff tiptoe around, because every time your kid gets in trouble for his actions, they know that you will be in the office freaking out. No one wants to deal with him (you), because nothing good ever comes of it.  And that makes me angry.  It makes me sad for him.  It makes me resent you.

Maybe you don’t realize the lasting damage that is taking place.  Your kid is smart.  And when he wants to be, he is polite and very nice.  He has the capacity to be anything he wants to be.  But, he needs to learn to respect people.  All people.  Other kids and certainly adults.  Respect for ANYONE is clearly lacking, and you continue to make him out to be a VICTIM – when I have seen first hand that the staff at the school is trying to keep him on task and moving forward.  YOU ARE FAILING HIM AS A PARENT.

You are not teaching him that there are consequences for his actions.  You have put it in his head that when an adult corrects his behavior, they are harassing him.  He thinks that the yard supervisors and teachers pick on him.  I have been in the classrooms helping out, I have been on field trips with your child.  I have seen him on the playground, and I have heard from my own children what they deal with (or avoid) every day that they are in school with him.  Your child has yelled in my face before as I was volunteering at the school, and I was just trying to offer a suggestion to solve what he perceived as a life-and-death emergency…. Funny thing, he was trying to avoid making you mad, mom….

It is no mystery why your child shows no respect or self control.  He learns it from you.

Yesterday your child was reprimanded for physical violence against another child.  The yard supervisor (my sister) stepped in, because HER JOB is to keep all the kids safe.  Then he used his cell phone, that he wasn’t supposed to have out on the playground, and called YOU.

Your son was in my sisters face, yelling at her when she stopped his violent behavior, and he calls you?!?  Did you ask him what he did?  Did you come to office and calmly ask to speak like an adult to the adult that was doing her job?  Of course not!!!

You showed up at the school, and tried to physically assault my sister while verbally berating her – in front of the entire after school pick up line of parents.  There were students and parents RIGHT there!  YOUR CHILD watched this happen – in fact he is the one to call me the authorities! Because somehow he has been raised to think that someone stopping him from being violent towards another student is a violation of his rights.

What makes me sad/angry/anxious about the whole situation is that you will face consequences for your actions – but it will just feed your narcissistic victim mentality.  Somehow the actions of your son that put that days events in motion, and your own choices thereafter – are not your fault….  Somehow, in your mind, it is the system and the staff failing the two of you.

It is time to wake up.  If I wasn’t so angry about the whole situation, I would feel sorry for you.  Like it, or not – we are part of the same community.  As a parent, you need to set an example for your child about respecting other people.  You need to teach him that there are consequences for his actions.   If you don’t do it NOW, the ramifications are going to be HUGE.  He feels like he is untouchable – and that scares the crap out of me.

Lady – my kids are NOT perfect.  And I sure as hell am not a perfect parent…. but, my kids are held accountable for their actions.  I have first hand experience with our school staff  reaching out to me about a behavior “concern”, and working as a team to correct it.  My kids are not victims of society – I will not allow it.  I usually ask my kids to be inclusive of all other kids – no matter what… but sadly I ask them to just stay away from yours – and that breaks my heart.

I wish that you would let people help you.  I wish that you would listen and learn and work with our community to help get your kid on a good path.  It is heartbreaking to watch adults give up on your son’s potential, because all the work they put in is undermined by you.

We aren’t raising kids in some inner city, where they are just a number in a system.  We have amazing resources, parents, teachers, staff in our small town school.  All of whom what to see every child succeed.  I wish that you understood what a gift we have in being part of this community, and that you would use the help that is offered to you.  I hope that someday, someone is able to reach your child on a level that connects with him – and that he is able to break this cycle….

You have attacked a member of my family.  You have gone onto a campus, that I regard as a safe place, and attacked a staff member – making it feel less safe.  My venting here is not going to change you.  You don’t want any help, because I guess you think people would see you are weak, or you would have to admit you might be wrong.  I am so angry, and only YOU can change the path you and your son are on. I wish you luck with that…