humor, motherhood, parenting, self care?

Post Traumatic Tiki Bar Disorder

IMG_4971As Mad Dog and I gathered around the corner table with his colleagues from the weekend awards’ summit, someone asked me if I had recovered from the Tiki Bar from the day before.  My hands immediately went to my ears at the sound of the words ‘tiki’ and ‘bar’ as my body shuddered at the memory.  Not because of my day spent at the Tiki Bar, more likely, because of the after-effects of my day at the Tiki Bar.

It had all started out innocently enough.  Mad Dog and I had a rare opportunity to go to the hotel’s gym for a workout together.  We were making the most of our kid-free getaway while also celebrating the enumerable accomplishments of Mad Dog’s incredible work team.  You can’t not have fun celebrating other people, this awards’ summit is seriously one of my favorite events of the whole year.  Post-workout we continued our charade of having zero responsibility.  We parked ourselves at table by the Tiki Bar for an oceanside lunch accompanied by some ridiculously awesome cocktails.  Our intent was to enjoy a drink or two, then head back to our room to get dressed up for dinner date.  It quickly went off the rails (in the best possible way) from there. We found some friends hanging out at the bar, pulled up some barstools and proceeded to not leave for another 10 hours.  I tried to blame Mad Dog later for not supervising me better, but he promised he had done his part.  The problem was all his friends and colleagues were courteously buying me cocktails without his knowledge.  I honestly don’t know how many drinks I had.  This all eventually led to an epic day/night of fun and laughter but, you know where this is going, the aftermath of which I payed for dearly.

I was extremely disappointed I had to miss a good portion of the events the following day.  I truly wanted to support Mad Dog and his team for all the hard work leading up to this summit.  However, I simply could not.  Mad Dog had to tuck me in and with lots and lots of Gatorade, I made a slow and steady recovery.

I was so worried about how people would react to my absence but across the board, everyone was so supportive and understanding.  I had no reason to feel guilty or ashamed.  They all said that a mom should be allowed to have a carefree night of fun.

I’m in no way suggesting that you need to go on a massive bender to reclaim your individuality, but it’s okay to let your hair down on occasion whatever that looks like for you.

Never forget the wild-child that lived in your heart as you grew into womanhood and beyond.

She deserves a day at the Tiki Bar.

children, family, gratitude, humor, kids, marriage, motherhood, parenting

Cruise (Part 6)

Mad Dog and me enjoying our time together.
Mad Dog and me

When you are a stay-at-home parent it is hard to put into words what it feels like to be away from your kids for four whole nights.  Our annual cruise without kids is something I look forward to all year-long.  Having to only worry about myself is liberating.  Being able to walk into art-filled stores and not worry about someone breaking something is a revelation.  Sitting at a leisurely meal enjoying a glass of wine (or several) and not having to cajole table manners out of my boys is amazing.  It’s nice to be at a table of adults who realize knives are for butter or meat, not for stabbing your brother in the face.  This time away helps me remember that I am more than somebody’s Mom.  It reminds me that I was a whole and interesting person before kids and it’s comforting to know I can be that again.

Our kids are not ours to hold onto forever.  The second they are given to us is the same instant we must begin to let them go.  It’s up to us to keep hold of ourselves and be who we are throughout this process.  Time away from them is a great way to do this.  It’s also great because when you return, you realize you were missed.  You realize that even boys who seem to need so little except their determination to make it in the world, do in fact still need their Mom.  Even T.Puzzle, my recently turned affection-resistant kid, easily gave up a hug or two upon my return.  Those hugs were some of the best hugs I’ve had in a long time.

It’s good to be home!

children, family, humor, motherhood, parenting

Mad about Soccer

Mad Dog in coaching mode

There is something maddening about playing cul-de-sac soccer with Mad Dog.  He brings out the competitive fire in everyone, even former social workers like me.  Sure, I have no problem letting T.Puzzle score a goal on me here and there, but I would sooner give up wine and chocolate than let Mad Dog score a goal.  I can’t stand it.

I’m not the only one he affects this way.  We had friends over yesterday for our usual Saturday cul-de-sac soccer rumble, and they felt the same way about him.  He’s out for blood.  You rest or take your eyes off him for a moment and he attacks.  Soon, you lose track of yourself entirely.  You start kicking the ball as hard as you can, sacrificing your body in ways you no longer thought your middle-aged body can handle (and in reality, really can’t) and fire off shots that sometimes hit your own off-spring in injurious ways (sorry, T.Puzzle, hope your face is better).

I dare you.  Play one game against him and logic will leave you.

You also will have the time of your life (please don’t tell him I said that).

children, humor, kids, mommyhood, motherhood, parenting

Road Kill

Battery display
Image by aminorjourney via Flickr

The usual group of neighborhood Moms and their assorted kids had gathered in our cul-de-sac.  There were trikes and scooters scattered here and there as well as a rather fancy battery-powered jeep to ride. 

I’m not going to lie.  I was nervous.  Not for my own children but for the children of my friends.  I jokingly asked if they wouldn’t mind signing waivers releasing me from all medical and legal claims against Full Speed and T.Puzzle. 

My initial fears seemed to be unfounded.  Turns out Full Speed was an incredibly skilled jeep driver.  He maneuvered through the obstacles of running kids and toys with complete control.  He knew exactly when to push it, when to let up and when to spin it back away from the gaggle of little ones. 

It was rather entertaining to watch.  I guess all those training hours of  ‘driving’ video race cars at speeds topping out at 200 mph had really paid off.

T.Puzzle looks on as Full Speed hones his driving skills.


Inevitably the other kids needed a turn behind the wheel.  T.Puzzle took over and what does Full Speed do?  He tries to run along next to the jeep and hold on to it.  All the Moms are screaming at him to “LET GO, FULL SPEED.  GET OUT OF THE WAY!” 

Does he listen?


Does he become instant road kill?


Does Mom nearly pass out at the image of a jeep driving over and trapping her oldest son?


Will she ever recover?


Thankfully, Full Speed did make a full recovery with only minor road rash injuries.  As for me?  The psychological damage is beyond repair.

children, gratitude, happiness, humor, kids, life in pictures, mommyhood, motherhood, parenting

A Really Good Week

While Full Speed has been honing his basketball skills at camp this week, T.Puzzle and I have spent much quality time together.  T.Puzzle didn’t make the age requirement for camp so I tried to plan some special things for him and me to do.  Here’s the breakdown along with T.Puzzle’s assessment of the each day:

Monday- Chik-fil-a lunch and play time at the indoor playground

T.Puzzle said, “Monday is a very good day!”

Tuesday- Storytime at the library concluded with an art project

T.Puzzle said, “It was probably a little bit good.”  Apparently the quiet sitting and the craftiness were not truly his thing.

Wednesday- Pool time along with pizza from the Tiki Shack

T.Puzzle said, “This is probably a very awesome day!”

Thursday- bike ride to the park and playing hide and seek with Mom

T.Puzzle said, “I’m getting boring (referring to his boredom over the bike ride), when are we gonna be there?”  As for the rest he highly enjoyed himself.  Here’s a video of him ‘sharing’ a goldfish (his favorite snack) with his Dad.

Friday- We had to stick around home as the laundry situation had reached emergency status.  While Mom tackled the laundry problem, there was still time to read some books together.

T.Puzzle said, “Friday was a really good day.”

I completely agree, except for the laundry part of course.