What a Difference a Year Makes

PicMonkey Collage

I figured I should try and write at least one more blog before the New Year. With the holiday’s upon us, it’s typical for a mother to look back over the last year and see how much has changed with her child/children. The picture above is Q last year and this year. Last year he was barely interested in anything besides the empty boxes from the presents. This year… it was a complete 180.

Let’s start with our visit to Santa. We were a tish concerned as he is in the “I don’t trust anything in costume” phase. He about lost his marbles seeing the “Alien” at Space Aliens. Jared decided to “prep” him by talking about Santa for a couple of days beforehand: “Santa is SO nice!”, “Santa just wants to give you presents”, “You have to hug Santa or he won’t bring you toys”, etc. After listening to the previous screaming children before us, we braced ourselves for the worst. Instead, our kid walked right up to him, sat on his lap and smiled for the camera. We were confused by this, yet basking in the fact that we had one of the “good kids”. This all ended as soon as Santa asked, “What do you want for Christmas this year?”. Quinn proceeded to tell him he wanted “red presents” (we have no idea where this came from) and when Santa said, “I think we can do that”, Q looked him dead in the eye and said, “Wait! I’m not done…” At the end of the conversation he said, “UNDERSTAND SANTA?!” – Eek. Clearly we say this too often…. Q hopped off Santa’s lap who was confused when we said, “He’s only 2.”

It was the first year Q was able to understand the excitement of presents. As soon as Quinn’s cousins started to ask when we were going to open gifts, my kid started yelling, “GET IN HERE RIGHT NOW!!” while jumping up and down. You’d think we had just given him a Redbull and a puppy. He was shockingly patient when they all took turns opening gifts but once he got going, it was like catnip for clones. He basically wanted to open whatever he could get his hands on, even if it wasn’t his. He had more fun yelling, “LOOK WHAT I GOOOOOT!” – this was said before the gift was actually open. And like every other kid, he’s already forgotten all of his new toys except “Finding Nemo”, which he insists on watching at least twice a day. I’ve never thought I’d be so sick of hearing Ellen’s voice. I wanted to teach him about the true meaning of Christmas; that it was Jesus’ birthday, but at 2 years old he could barely see past his sugar coma. Next year….

It’s hard to believe that my “baby” is now a “big boy”. We’re finally on the cusp of potty training which in my mind is the fast lane from toddler to “Mom, this is my girlfriend ____”. This is totally irrational thinking when we are at least 10+ years away from that but for me, that’s how fast time seems to be going. Let’s be honest – I’m not a spring chicken anymore. I found my first grey hair and my mom signed me up to win a chance to be a “model” for Botox injections (subtle). I can barely have 4 drinks without wanting to immediately go to sleep. Staying up past midnight makes me feel hung over in the morning… without drinking. Pretty soon I’ll be the “embarrassing mom” who should “dress cooler” and “stay out of my room”. Next year he’ll probably want to start driving for all I know! Yup – this is what reflecting over the last year turns me into: A. Total. Drama. Queen. I might be crying as I type….

If I come down from my mini-mom meltdown and reflect on what the last year has actually brought it might look something like this: So many memories with friends and my husband – Traveling for fun and work to places like Mexico, Chicago, Las Vegas, Seattle, Minneapolis, etc. Loving my job and thankful for amazing co-workers! Watching my son grow up before my eyes – Between his love of sports, dancing/”gangsta rap” (he’s a fan of the classic 90’s and early 200’s), the 3 movies he wants to watch on repeat, learning and experiencing new things (ie – sledding this year with his cousins and having no fear of going on his stomach or on his back, going backwards), saying his prayers before every meal and at night and telling me that “Jesus lives in my heart,” and countless other qualities/memories, he makes me about as proud as a mother can be.

Even with all of the ups and downs I have as a mother/wife and what we go through as a couple/family, I am so thankful for all of the blessings in my life. And during this holiday season with the New Year upon us, I wish all of you love and health! See you in the New Year….

Advertisements

10 Years Later….

317680_929496364965_1544249415_n2480_70933215659_7758279_n

I know this blog was meant to be about my experiences in parenting and marriage but I think it’s appropriate for this post to take a slightly different turn. On Friday it will be November 22nd. On Friday it will be 10 years since Dru Sjodin was taken from us.

On November 22nd I called Victoria’s Secret at 2:30pm to see if I had to go in for my on-call shift. I was so upset when they said to come in since I was ready to start my weekend in Fargo with my family. I went in, completely irritated. At work we would get assigned to “zones” during our shift. That day they had me working the front of the store with Dru after she had been at the cash register, steaming new merchandise. Her shift was almost over but that hour and a half she was there with me made it fun. She had me help her pick out things for herself in the store and told me all about her boyfriend, Chris. Her eyes lit up talking about him and what an impact he had made on her life. She said, “I think he’s the one.” And I knew she meant it.

When she left, she was going to do a little shopping before getting ready to go to her second job at the El Roco – the local college watering hole. At the time, I was dating a bartender there who was close friends with Dru. They worked together every Sunday night and every Sunday night I’d go there to eat and hang out with them on what was typically a slow night. She asked if I was going to be in that night and I told her I was off to Fargo for the weekend. She gave me a hug and a big smile and said, “Well… see you Sunday night?” and I said, “As usual!” She walked out, blew me a kiss and said, “Love ya!” It was the last time I saw her alive.

I have had nightmares of her wearing the outfit she was wearing that day, down to those black shoes I used to tease her about. I’ve thought about every possibility of that monster seeing her in the front of the store when we were working. I asked myself why didn’t we get off at the same time so she wouldn’t have walked to her car by herself. I wondered why during what was the beginning of a busy holiday shopping season, no one saw her in the parking lot. These are all questions that haunted me and still do at times.

For some reason I had turned off my cell phone that night in Fargo. I woke up to 10 voicemails. Some frantic. I called my friend Leslie and she said, “Where have you been?! Someone from Victoria’s Secret is missing. It’s all over campus.” My heart literally stopped. I called the store and my manager said, “You need to get back here right away. The police will want to talk to you.” Walking into the mall was out of body – there were already Missing posters with Dru’s picture hanging on the doors.

The next few days/weeks were a blur for all of us. We all clung to each other for support as we sat at our old house on Harvard Street in Grand Forks, ND. We’d all look at each other and think, “This isn’t something that happens here… she’ll come home… right?” The day they showed the picture of A.R. was one of the worst days. Seeing his face and knowing that he was the one responsible for the disappearance of our friend was almost unbearable.

In the years since that awful day we have kept her memory alive – not the way she died but the way she lived. She has touched lives of people who didn’t know her, people who had only met her once and her countless friends and family. For us girls at Victoria’s Secret, we were and still are a family. Some of my best-friends from college came form working at that store. The picture on the right was taken just a couple of months before she was abducted. As many people know, she was a part of the Gamma Phi sorority on campus. We would tease her at work because most of us weren’t involved in the Greek system. Every fall all of the sororities would dress alike and take pictures in the front of their houses for rush. So we decided to do the same 😉 At one point she whispered to me, “Do you smell dead fish? You did shower today right?” and laughed – that fountain smelled awful!

We all have wonderful memories of her. Dru and I bonded over our love of designer handbags. We also tended to gravitate towards the same guys. I remember one night she said, “I met this REALLY nice guy! I want you to meet him!” – it was my ex boyfriend. We all got a good laugh out of it! She could make you laugh even when you were in a bad mood. She was sarcastic and outgoing. She was creative and talented. She had a bigger heart that any of us had, especially in our 20’s. She was always thinking about others and how she could make an impact.

I’ve watched her mother, Linda,  keep Dru’s memory alive and fight for the rights of women over the last 10 years. She has become a part of my family and someone I look up to. Her strength is beyond inspirational. She has dealt with so much loss and agony over the years and her promise to Dru keeps her going. I love that woman. Dru’s absence has brought so many people together.

Now being a mother and a wife, I think about Dru differently. She would have made a wonderful wife and mother. She would’ve been the type of mother who would play dress up and talk in different voices and open up all sides of the imagination! She would’ve been loving, caring and compassionate. She would have been FUN. That is probably the hardest to think about at this point. What could have been. What SHOULD have been.

On Friday, November 22nd, I will remember Dru. The impact she’s made on all of us. The void that will never be filled. And I will be thankful this holiday season like I am every holiday season for my family and friends. For my husband and wonderful son. And for the life that God has allowed me to continue to have on this Earth. I will light 10 pink candles and have a jag bomb in her memory like she would want us to do.

Never forget….

“What’s Your Excuse?”

It’s been awhile since my last blog and I’ve been waiting for something to inspire me. Oddly enough, my inspiration came from what has now become a national news story. I’m sure by now most or all of you have seen or read the story about Maria Kang. Ironically she is the sister-in-law of one of my oldest friends. Before I go any further, I’d like to add a disclaimer: The beauty of having my own blog is that I can write whatever I want. As a reader, you are more than welcome to agree OR disagree. Or just not read this. Maria posted the follow picture over a year ago:

hotmom

For some reason, this picture has only recently gone viral. She received thousands of comments, mostly from women (shocker), who called her a “bully”, told her she was “fat shaming” and even went so far as to call her a “bad mother” because as one comment stated, “Those precious things need their mommy more than they need you to have glamorous muscles.” Is this a joke? So…. she’s literally being “bullied” (even though they’re calling HER a bully) because she’s physically fit?

She posted the following to her Facebook page after receiving all of the media attention and negative comments: “I’m sorry you took an image and resonated with it in such a negative way. I won’t go into details that I struggled with my genetics, had an eating disorder, work full time owning two business’, have no nanny, am not naturally skinny and do not work as a personal trainer. I won’t even mention how I didn’t give into cravings for ice cream, french fries or chocolate while pregnant or use my growing belly as an excuse to be inactive. What I WILL say is this. What you interpret is not MY fault. It’s Yours. The first step in owning your life, your body and your destiny is to OWN the thoughts that come out of your own head. I didn’t create them. You created them. So if you want to continue ‘hating’ this image, get used to hating many other things for the rest of your life. You can either blame, complain or obtain a new level of thought by challenging the negative words that come out of your own brain. With that said, obesity and those who struggle with health-related diseases is literally a ‘bigger’ issue than this photo. Maybe it’s time we stop tip-toeing around people’s feelings and get to the point. So What’s Your Excuse?”

Bravo Maria! I couldn’t have said it better myself. As a mother, this hit home. I have never been one to lie about the fact that I was deathly afraid to be pregnant because I didn’t want to gain weight. I was scared I wouldn’t lose it once the baby came. I wanted it to magically go away like it seems to for celebrity mom’s (my husband had to remind me numerous times that we do not have a personal chef/trainer/nutritionist and that our job doesn’t pay us to “look good”). And what happened? I gained 57 lbs. – most of which was water weight. Because of that I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight in less than a month. I have nothing to complain about in that respect. It’s also true I’ve never been over-weight. But people forget that not being over-weight doesn’t equal healthy.

A few months after I had Q, I started to gain some weight. Probably not enough to be noticeable to anyone but myself and my husband (Truth: He’s my husband so… he’s seen me naked. Cover your ears kids….), but it started to bother me. A LOT. I finally asked Jared if he noticed. The thing I love about him is he didn’t give me the “good husband answer” (basically he didn’t lie). He told me the truth. He said yes. He immediately followed it up with, “Then do something about it. Go back to the gym.” And he was right. Some women might take offense to that if anyone said that, let alone their husband. But I didn’t hear “You’re ugly” or “You need to lose weight”. I heard, “If you’re not happy with yourself, do something about it. Don’t just sit there and complain.” It’s the same way I didn’t look at Maria’s picture and think, “If I don’t look EXACTLY like her, I’m a fat failure!”. I saw motivation… no excuses…. put health and family first.

When I was growing up my parents never had liquor in our house. In fact, I never remember my parents drinking when I was growing up. I used to think that was weird because all of my friends’ parents drank or had alcohol in the house. Looking back, some of them were just like Mrs. George in “Mean Girls” – “I’m not like regular mom. I’m a cool mom!” When I was in college one year I went home for the weekend. I almost passed out when I saw a bottle of Vodka and Bailey’s in the fridge. I literally looked at my mom like, “So… you’re drinking now?” as if she had some massive problem all of a sudden. She said, “We are of age you know” which sparked the “Why did you never have alcohol in the house before” conversation. She said, “How could we as parents tell you to NOT drink/party if you saw us doing it at home?” I realize not all parents agree with this tactic. My 2 1/2 year old already knows what beer is and that it’s for “big people”. But I correlate that story to the point of this blog. How can I tell my kid to be healthy and make good choices if I’m not practicing what I preach?

I’d also like to make it clear that I know health and fitness means something different to everyone. And the great thing about living in a free society is that it’s YOUR life. Maybe healthy means cutting out soda, or only have chocolate a couple times a week or trying to go for a walk when it’s nice out. And maybe it’s just not important to you. But that’s your choice. If you don’t want people to criticize you for your choices, then don’t complain about those who decide to live like Maria.

It is my opinion that people weren’t upset with Maria because of the caption on the photo or the fact that she’s fit and beautiful. A friend of mine summed it up well yesterday: “People are offended because she’s right! No one wants to be faced with that, but she’s 100% right. You don’t have to look exactly like her, but there’s NO excuse for people to not take their health seriously. People should suck it up and face the reality that most of them are just too lazy to care about their bodies. You don’t need to be a fitness model, but you can certainly learn to eat better…They just don’t want to be reminded of that!” – Amen sister. The backlash of my opinion and opinions like Maria’s would be, “You have no idea how much I’ve struggled with trying to lose weight!” or “Do you know what it’s like to have ______ physical ailment that prevents me from exercising?”, etc. My advice: Take “weight” out and insert “health” instead.

It’s not fun to get up at 5:45 every morning just so I can get to the gym before work and then come home to a husband, 2 1/2 year old and super annoying dog. But it’s a choice and a choice I’m proud of. It doesn’t make me better than you. But it’s something that I should be able to say out loud without worrying that I’m “offending” someone who doesn’t make the same decision. I could use every excuse in the book – “I’m tired”, “I have to clean the house/make dinner/do the laundry/run errands”, “I just had a kid… give me a break”, etc. But then I see a story like this and I think, “What’s Your Excuse?”

PS – This is as “serious” of a blog as you’ll see from me folks 😉

The REAL Terrible 2’s….

541831_10100676333075185_333806945_n 1238929_10100683103467265_1559914501_n

It’s been awhile since my last post so I figured it was time to get on the ball. I won’t lie, working 8 hours a day/5 days a week takes a toll on my blogging. Whoever said there’s such a thing as work/life balance is lying to you. On the off chance you’ve found the secret to accomplishing this, please share your magical wisdom with me! At this point, I’d consider keeping up with my DVR’s an accomplishment…

So in the last few weeks Quinn has officially hit the “Terrible 2’s”. I have previously blogged about this. Forget everything I said before – I now know what the “Terrible 2’s” actually are. Q has always been strong willed but now he can vocalize it. He also expresses himself physically which is just lovely. Nothing says, “I want to crawl under a rock” like picking up your kid at daycare and being told, “Quinn got a timeout today. He wanted “Little Johnny” to go somewhere with him and when he didn’t, he pulled him by the hair.” Awesome. He loves hitting Jared and I too. Yup – go ahead kid. Hit the woman that gave you life. The biggest problem – he’s half my size already so it’s not like love taps. I keep telling myself “This too shall pass…..”

When we tell him “no”, the expression and noises he makes reminds me Michael J. Fox turning into “Teen Wolf” (the picture on the right is the beginning of that face). He grinds his teeth together and makes an extremely unattractive face. I took that picture along with about 5 others and showed him. He started to cry to which I replied, “Told you it’s not cute when you do that”. I should be more sympathetic because he’s only 2 1/2 (almost) but he has the vocal abilities of a 3 year old (reminds me of “Van Wilder” – “She reads at a sophomore level!”…. it’s only funny if you’ve seen the movie).

He’s also a MASTER manipulator. He’s perfected the same face that Puss in Boots makes in “Shreck” while saying, “Please daddy?” in the sweetest voice you’ve ever heard. If you let your guard down, you can’t see the spark of Satan glimmering in his eyes. This was made evident last weekend when I got home from being gone all week and we decided to take Quinn shopping. He’s OBSESSED with football right now and he stumbled across a helmet at Scheels – just his size. I don’t know why we didn’t just buy it on the spot…. Instead we left. Helmetless. And moved on to Target where he proceeded to ask over and over and over again if we could go back and get it, all while doing the face and the sweet voice to Jared. Quinn won. He even said, “Thank you for the football and helmet” on the way to dinner. We thought it was so adorable! Then we got home and he put it on and turned into Jared Allen, tackling everything and whipping (yes whipping) the ball at our heads every other minute. Adorable left the building.

On the other hand, he’s so much fun! We re-did his room and made it a “big boy” room…. he says “please” and “thank-you” for pretty much everything. He talks in full sentences, remembers things you tell him that you’d think he’d forget (this can also be something that bites us in the butt), reminds me to say prayers before bed and understands what it means to think things are funny or scary or sad, etc. To me, I love this stage the most… at least so far 🙂

Speaking of changes, I also turned 33 on September 16th. THIRTY THREE! I swear to God it feels like 53. I’m not like some women who think, “I get better with age” or “30 is the new 20” and so on…. I am not one of the people who want to get old. However, my husband made it a nice soft landing when I received my belated birthday gift in the mail upon my return from Dallas last week. You quickly forget being upset about turning another year older when there’s a box with a Louis Vuitton handbag in it – Husband. Of. The. Year.

The picture on the left is right after my birthday dinner with my family. As you can see, he literally is half my size. I’m in so much trouble…

Ode to My Husband

WP_20130817_003

It’s been almost a month since my last blog. Quite frankly, I’ve been busy. I’m sure a lot of you are thinking, “Doing what exactly? It’s not like you work….” – Au contraire mon fraire! As of last Monday, I’m back to being a working woman! So I really can’t use that as an excuse…. “Busy” means going to the lake while trying not to eat my bodyweight in Zorbaz pizza or drinking enough to kill a small pony. Which by the way, I rode a couple of weeks ago. No joke.

So the biggest news in our household really is me going back to work. I’d still like to consider myself to be the “Real Housewife of Fargo”. And instead of it being a sarcastic title for my time of unemployment while my kid was in daycare, I now consider it to be an actual title. Why is that you ask? Because I’m not only employed full time again but I’m still the CEO of my household. Going back to work and re-learning how to manage my days/weeks is like re-learning how to walk. Not working meant I had all day to go to the gym, clean the house, run errands, do laundry, make dinner… etc. Now I have to actually run errands after work… when everyone else is doing the same thing (PS – Target is so much better at 8am on a Tuesday than 5:30pm on any day of the week). I’m at the gym by 6:15am so I don’t have to do it at 5pm. Dinner will more than likely be pushed back to 7-7:30 instead of 5:30-6pm. These all might seem like little things to some of you, but to me, this is a complete re-org of my day. As big of a transition as this can be, I honestly couldn’t be happier. The only person more ecstatic than myself is Jared.

Luckily Jared was not only supportive and understanding during my unemployment, he has at least tried to be patient with me when it comes to me re-entering the working world. I will admit right here and now that I’ve been a complete bitch. Yup, I said it. There is no other word to describe myself. During my unemployment, it was because I was bored and felt like I wasn’t contributing to society (DISCLAIMER: I by no means feel that stay at home mom’s or wives don’t contribute to society – It’s my own personal feeling). Now it’s because I put everything on my plate. It’s what will probably kill me one day – “Type A Woman Dies of Self-Induced Stress”. If you know me, you know I can keep my cool when it comes to work. Nothing really stresses me out. But the second I walk out the door I’m a ball of stress. Isn’t Jared lucky?

Speaking of lucky, the whole purpose of me writing a blog after a month is that tomorrow (8/22/13), we will have been married for 5 years and together for over a decade. Good God that’s a long time…  Even through our trials and tribulations, I hope that tomorrow when Jared thinks about me, his loving and sometimes unbearable wife, he still knows he’s the luckiest guy in the world (that was somewhat sarcastic…)! In all seriousness, I KNOW I am the luckiest woman in the world. I think it’s one thing to love someone but it’s harder to like them. This sounds a bit strange but hear me out… I’ve known many couples who have stayed together, whether it’s dating or married because they “love each other”. That’s all warm and fuzzy but “love” almost becomes something you “should say”. But I’ve learned that LIKING Jared is a big deal. I LIKE talking to him. I LIKE going on vacations with him… even if it’s just us. I LIKE spending time with him with and without Quinn. I LIKE doing things for him (even though this often times leads to my stress-filled mental breakdowns). I LIKE spending time with him. If I had to pick one person to be friends with for the rest of my life, it would be him.

It’s been over a decade and I still think he’s funny sometimes – I say sometimes because half the time, the funniest thing is watching him laugh before he’s even told a joke. He’s my father in that way. He still comes up with ridiculous sayings and if you close your eyes and listen to him talk, his Midwest accent is hilarious. We still laugh about the stupid things we did in college (that’s a whole other blog…), laugh about the stupid things we do now, and love talking about the best thing we’ve ever done together – Quinn Charles. He’s a hoot and a half that kid… takes after his daddy.

So if you haven’t noticed, this is the most puppies and rainbows type of blog I’ve written so far… I’ll try not to let it happen TOO often 😉 But on the eve of our Anniversary, it had to be done. So Jared: You are the greatest husband and greatest daddy a girl and small person could ask for! Here’s to another 5 (let’s not overshoot just in case – ha)!

Best. Night. Ever.

NKOTB6

So it’s been a few weeks since I’ve written a blog. Summer is flying by before my eyes! But we’ve had a great few weeks spending time at the lake with friends the last weekend of June, had one of my best-friends and Quinn’s godmother visit us over the 4th of July week/weekend, played “single mom” while Jared was gone last week for a work conference (PS… God bless the single mothers out there….) and this last weekend went to Minneapolis to experience the best night of my life. Now, some of you may think “That can’t possibly be true? Isn’t the best day/night of a woman’s life the day you get engaged, married or have kids?” Um, no. As you can see from the picture above, this last weekend I lived out all of my adolescent hopes and dreams with one of my besties at the Boyz II Men/98 Degrees/NKOTB concert. This isn’t a joke. This is literally the inspiration of my blog.

Let me take you back to 1988 – I was 8 years old and heard “Hanging Tough”. It was life changing. NKOTB literally took over my adolescent dreams for at least 5-6 years. I had posters, sheets (yes, for an actual bed), cassette players, beach towels, t-shirts, VHS concert series, every cassette and single ever released (remember “singles”? They were $1.99 for 2 songs and usually came in a cardboard cover – classic), board games (my dad frequently likes to talk about that game I never played but just had to own), etc. I think the only piece of memorabilia I didn’t have was a doll because let’s be honest…. they took my semi-stalking tendencies to absolutely creepy on the “you need a life” meter.

Then we’ll move on to 1990 when Boyz II Men hit it big. I’m positive I cried over high school heartaches to every Boyz II Men slow song they ever made. I remember thinking “It’s like they know my life!” This was an extremely dramatic justification considering now that I’m older, I don’t see how “I’ll Make Love To You” had anything to do with a 16 year old….

Then comes 1997 – 98 Degrees came into play. Having a love of boy bands early in life, I didn’t care if I was 16-32. I love a good boy band (currently they’re more of a “man band”). N’Sync, BSB…. I love them all. Nick Lachey – Hi. So as you can imagine, seeing all 3 of these bands in one night for the first time about sent me over the edge. I literally lost my marbles. We were lucky enough to score 2nd row seats. My friend almost had a heart-attack. However, after heavy flirting with the security guard (you learn to do this at concerts), he let us move to the front row.

You also have to understand because of the era these bands were popular in, it was “mom jean central”. I’ve never seen so many 28+ year olds scream as loud as they did and shove themselves into old concert t-shirts from their youth. It was magical. At 3 different points in the night I looked at my friend to say, “Don’t judge me. I have tears in my eyes right now.” but she was right there with me. Ladies (yes… ladies, not girls) around us asked multiple times if we were ok. Nick Lachey laughed at my friend because she gave him the “ok” sign with her hands and mouthed, “Ok? Really?” Towards the end of the NKOTB set, Donnie Wahlberg made eye contact with me and I mouthed, “FREAKING CELTICS!” (we’re bonded by this) to which he pointed and mouthed it back. We could have both died in those seats happy.

Donnie Wahlberg said, “It’s been 25 years since our first album” – It was the one moment of the evening where I realized “Mother of God…. I’m old. And I’m screaming like a hormonal 16 year old at men who are now in their late 30’s and some into their 40’s.” This thought immediately went away and I decided it was best to pretend it was ok to act like little girls do at One Direction concerts. My point is this: I don’t care how old you are. I don’t care if you’re a wife and mother. It is totally acceptable to act like a buffoon for an evening and pretend you’re young again. This has also led me to hope if we have another child, it’s not a girl. I didn’t see men acting a fool…. So back to my statement about this being the best night of my life – The only way anything would have beat this is if a Boyz II Men song had been playing in the background when Jared proposed, NKOTB played at our wedding and 98 Degrees sang “You Are My Everything” as I gave birth. Jared is so embarrassed of me…. Until next time 🙂

 

“When I Was Your Age….”

I was going to skip blogging this week but was inspired after watching a story on the Today Show yesterday. Evidently the new “thing” for kids to do is “smoke alcohol“. I’m not kidding. You could tell times have changed and Jared and I are getting old when we were both staring at the TV and saying things like, “But how…?”, “Who in the world would think to do that?!”, “Kids these days…” The last thing I said as he was walking downstairs was, “Imagine what we will have to deal with when Quinn is a teenager.” For some reason, I keep thinking about that concept – Quinn as a teenager. Dating. Getting in trouble. Driving. Worrying his mother. I immediately had a mini mommy panic attack.

Every time I watch “Dateline” and they expose a new thing that kids are doing it freaks me out. Long gone are the days when it was enough to find someone’s 21 year old sibling to buy you and your friends a bottle of Boone’s Farm and a sixer of Zimas with jolly ranchers. Who would’ve thought things like Jelly Bracelets, The Choking Game, I-Dosing, sexting, bullying, etc. would be things parents even have to think about. Even the way teenagers dress, mainly young girls, stresses me out. When we were at Ribfest, two girls walked by wearing next to nothing. I turned to Jared and said, “If that was your teenage daughter would you let them leave the house dressed like that?!” to which he replied, “You used to dress like that.” Dang it. He’s totally right. But I was in college! And my boobs weren’t falling out of my shirt! Not that I had them to fall out of anything but whatever… DETAILS!

I dread when Quinn comes home and says, “I have a girlfriend.” I remember thinking “I’m going to be a really cool mom one day when it comes to that stuff.” Yeah…. Easy to say until you have kids. I’m not going to be cool. I’m going to be protective and overbearing. I’m going to be the mom who sets the no being in a room alone with a door shut rule. I’m going to probably use inappropriate words to describe the little girl who comes in my house with half a skirt on while Jared and I wait up to make sure Q makes curfew. I’m going to use phrases like “When I was your age” and “One day you’ll understand” – You know…. things I hated my own parents saying to me. I’m going to kiss him on his cheeks and hug him whenever I feel like it, even in front of his friends/girlfriend and remind him that I gave him life. Of course at the rate he’s growing I’ll have to climb a step ladder to do this by the time he’s 14…. I fully plan to have Q tell me how “embarrassing dad is when he raps to his old Eminem songs in front of my friends!” I can already hear Jared coming behind him and saying, “That s#@t’s a classic yo!” Yup, no matter how much we say when we’re young that we won’t be “those parents”, it’s unavoidable.

When I would get in trouble as a teenager or young adult, my parents never said, “I just don’t want you to make the same mistakes I did” because they generally never did those things when they were young. They were both really well behaved during their adolescent years. I know I put them through the ringer many times. I feel like because I did that, it’ll be a vicious cycle with my own spawn. Jared grew up in a more liberal household than I did so I wondered how he’d feel about rules and discipline when it came to our own kids. Between Jared and I, we’ve been there, done that. We both got in our fair share of trouble, made bad decisions…. We hope as parents that will allow for an open dialogue with Q as he grows up and he will feel that he can talk to both of us about anything, regardless of consequences. But I think that’s every parents hope. And as honest and transparent as we hope to be, I hope he never sees some of the pictures of his mother in college… at least not till he’s 30. I can’t imagine any parent wants their kid coming around the corner holding an old photo album and saying, “Is this you? Holding a beer bong at a foam party in Mexico?!” I should probably destroy the evidence now just to avoid that scenario all together….

My kid is only 2 and I’m worrying about this stuff. Is that normal? But when Q is already asking to watch YouTube videos on the Surface, can unlock my phone, discovered his boy parts months ago and already can tell the difference between soda and beer cans/bottles, yeah… I think it’s ok to start worrying about this stuff now. Thank God we have a few years left to try and brainwash him into believing the only thing he should focus on is, “How to get drafted into the NBA so mommy and daddy can retire early.”