Thursday, February 26, 2015

My Life Feels Like the Great Llama Escape

I watched this video today and laughed so hard I hurt myself!  The entire time I was watching, I was armchair quarterbacking and telling the people in the video who could not hear me how to catch the llamas. Honestly, it looked like a Keystone Cop movie for a while there! Having been raised with and among cowboys much of my life, I kept wondering where the ropers were!?!  It's Arizona, right?  No shortage of ranch hands and cattlemen and horse trainers there, so surely someone in the area had a rope and could use it!

(video courtesy Fox News 10)

Then, like magic, right at the end of the video the cowboy comes to the rescue!  He didn't ride up on a horse with a big ten gallon hat.  He actually arrived in the back of a work truck wearing a ball cap and a tee shirt. But you could tell by the way he swung his lariat that this wasn't his first rodeo. Just a few turns of the wrist, a quick flick of the rope and the loop landed right over the top of the llama's head.  Cue fist pumps from his buddies (and probably half of the citizenry of the Valley of the Sun) as Dude leaps out of the bed of the truck to hold the rope so the llama doesn't run off.  It was a triumphant, albeit humorous live TV moment that made me and the boys giggle and cheer!

After the boys went to bed tonight, I started to think about the chaotic, traffic stopping scene that had unfolded when the llamas escaped.  I feel like one of those llamas right now - actually, ever since we lost our home in Phoenix and ran helter skelter to a new home in Idaho. I thought it would be a good move for us. I pondered and prayed about the move for 6 months before we left and felt in my gut that this is where we needed to be.  So we took off down the highway like the streaking llamas and landed here in Boise. That was almost 4 years ago.  And I don't feel like we've actually ever settled down to live here since we arrived!

Instead, I feel like I'm the crazy llama in traffic, running full speed while dodging cars, spin moving past people who want to get to know me, and wildly darting from one street to the next, all while looking for a place to rest for a few minutes until I can figure out how to get home. Or at least get to a nice patch of grass where I can relax for a bit.

I don't want to be trapped by someone or something I don't know, but I don't want to run around in traffic any more either. This lost llama needs to find her her family's place in the world.  Running through the streets without a plan isn't fun and it isn't getting my family anywhere! And while it may look like an adventure for some, right now it feels like a freaking circus to me!  I need a good roper to ride up (or drive, or fly, or even appear out of thin air...I really don't care how they arrive or if they are human or angel or an inanimate object!)  and toss the lasso of stability and calm around my big, fat, mama llama waist so I can stand still long enough to figure out where home is and what the hell I'm supposed to be doing right now!  The grandiose escape isn't fun anymore!

disney animated GIF

I hope the llamas go home and laugh about their "Big Day in Town!"  I hope when they get back to their green field that they recognize the blessing of having a nice home where they can chill and eat grass and hang out with their llama buddies.  Because as this Mama Llama is finding out, while adventure and escape adds variety to life, there's a lot to be said for a tranquil life of peace and stability.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Blog Neglect

So how does one rebound from blog neglect?  Just start blogging again, I guess! I've been gone a little over 6 months.  Mostly because I got a job and working and blogging for me don't mix.  Balancing work life and family/me life is not something I do well.  I can do one or the other fairly well, but not both. 

I know that makes me seem lame.  Whatever.  Some people are great at doing both.  Just not me. Being a good mom is hard for me on my best day.  Add a job into the mix and things like blogs, laundry, groceries, social engagements, important dates and parent/teacher meetings start to fall by the wayside. Hoping I can become an expert juggler in 2015!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

MIsadventures of a Parenting Yogi - Book Review

I appreciate people who can talk honestly about life, especially when it comes to subjects like childbirth and parenting.  I also appreciate funny people.  I really adore people who can talk honestly about life and make me laugh while they do it, which is why I am happy to share a book I just read!  The book is titled Misadventures of a Parenting Yogi.  The title had me at “Misadventures”.  Any book with a title containing that word has got to be filled with some hilarious stuff, right?  Add to that the words parent and Yogi?  Yeah…I’m in.

Misadventures of a Parenting Yogi is all that it purports to be.  It is, just like I surmised, a candid and humorous look at parenting from the viewpoint of Brian Leaf, a yoga instructor (one of his many titles) from Massachusetts.   Brian has managed to create a memoir/parenting book combo that is neither preachy or self-indulgent.  The glimpses into his family life and his attempts at conscious parenting are both funny and poignant and although I did not agree with all of Brian's parenting choices, I could totally relate to his struggle to find his "happy spot" as a dad.  I love that rather than offering advice, he simply shares his experiences and the lessons he has learned while raising his own children.
Here is an excerpt from one of my favorite chapters: 
It’s 5:00 AM. I have to pee very badly. 
And I’d like to go meditate.
Someone else would simply get out of bed, pee, and blithely head off to their cushion.Not me.
To do this, I must pull off a CIA operation.
I must remove the covers, inch by inch — in the dead of night our comforter sounds like a crinkly bag of potato chips. I must crawl to the edge of the bed (our bed is pinned against the wall to make room for Benji’s changing table). I must step off, and in the pitch-black, follow the border of the bed frame.
I must round the corner of the bed, where someone who designed our bed has very cruelly placed a jutting protuberance at exactly shin height. At five in the morning I forget this every time. I must stifle my cries. Power through the pain. Eyes tearing, I round the corner and toe the balance-beam width between Benji’s changing table and our bed, ever careful, ninja-like, to step lightly.
I am almost out. But now I face my greatest challenge. The small distance between me and the door, maybe five feet, is a minefield of creaky floorboards. Gwen has them memorized. For some reason I do not. At first I pause to consider my options, and then I panic, sprinting the short distance to the door.
My feet land extra heavy, and the floorboards creak like mad...yet no one awakens. Hashtag grateful.On the way out, I shut the door in one motion, careful that it does not squeak, promising to myself that today is the day I will remember to oil the hinges.
Failure in this operation is not an option. Benji is not sleeping more than two hours at a stretch. Neither, therefore, is Gwen. She is grumpy. I must not wake her or Benji.
So totally relatable, right?  Every parent can picture themselves in this exact same predicament!  And here's one of the answers I liked best from his Q and A session:

Q and A with author Brian Leaf

The subtitle of your book is Cloth Diapers, Cosleeping, and My (Sometimes Successful) Quest for Conscious Parenting. What do you mean by Conscious Parenting?
Conscious Parenting is really no different from conscious anything else. It could be conscious Monopoly playing, conscious eating, conscious hiking, or conscious Texas Hold’em. It simply means being aware of whatever is happening – the challenges, the joys, the anxieties, as well as our reactions to all of this. When we are aware of something we are separate from it. So, instead of acting from frustration, elation, or fear, we act from our deeper selves. We see more clearly and are more free to behave as we choose.

And finally, a glimpse of the author in action:

YesWhat he said! You can find Brian's books on sale at both Amazon and on his website. Perfect Father's Day gift!!

Disclosure: I received a copy of Brian's book from publisher New World Library to help facilitate this review, but was not compensated in any way.  All opinions are my own!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Don't Stop Me Now - My Declaration of Action for Summer

I'm not one of those moms that maps out the entire summer of activities so my kids have things to do to keep their brains and bodies occupied.  I want to be that mom, but I am not.  Mostly? I feel like I am this mom: 

This summer will be my attempt at breaking the cycle of procrastination when it comes to getting my kids organized and active while they are not in school. Oh my gosh, how many times have I uttered that phrase?!   Well, this time I'm pretty sure I sort of mean it.  At this moment, as I type this?  I kind of feel like this: out world!  No.  Seriously.  Could you just move to the side a tiny bit so I can try and do this?  You're kind of in the way.  And I'm a big, unorganized woman, so I need some space to get things done.  Seriously.  MOVE!  Cuz I am sooo doin' this thing.  For Realz.  

Come back tomorrow and catch my Summer Activity post!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Celebrate National Mom's Nite Out with Papa Murphy's #PapaMurphysMNO

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Have you heard about National Mom's Nite Out?  It was started 5 years ago by Maria Bailey as a way to encourage busy moms to take a night off by getting together with friends to celebrate Motherhood our way!  The event always takes place the Thursday before Mother's Day. That's May 8th this year.  That's TODAY, people!! 

And to help you celebrate?  I have a fantastic deal to tell you about! really is fantastic.  Both in price and taste. How do I know?  Because as a #PapaMurphysMom, I have had occasion to sample a few pizzas and sides from P-Murph's.  Chicken Artichoke Bacon Pizza?  Freaking. Awesome. Also delicious?  The Cowboy (pictured here all wrapped up for transport) and the Smores Dessert Pizza.  
Photo: Celebrating a really great job interview with Papa Murphy's Pizza for dinner, 'cause my reward for a job well done is not spending a lot of time in the kitchen tonight!  Oh...and some chocolate. #PapaMurphysMom 

But on to the deal before I start drooling.
This year Papa Murphy’s wants to help feed your family on National Mom’s Nite Out! Today only, May 8th, you can take advantage of the Mom’s Meal Deal* at participating Papa Murphy’s locations. For only $12, you can treat your family to any large 2-topping pizza and your choice of 2 sides: Cheesy Bread, Cookie Dough, Cinnamon Wheel or S’mores Pizza. This is a great option for Dad to feed the kids while Mom is out celebrating, or simply a great excuse to take the night off from cooking! Can you say BARGAIN!?!?
You can print this coupon out or pull it up on your phone, but make sure you show it at your Papa Murphy’s location in order to redeem the offer.


*Valid on May 8, 2014 ONLY. Limited time offer. Limit 3. Not valid with any other offers. Valid only at participating locations. Coupons cannot be sold, transferred or duplicated.

Booyah!  Dinner tonight is covered. From Papa Murphy's and Mom's Nite Out and Me -  to you.  Now hand those delicious discs of doughy, cheesy goodness off to Dad or the neighbor or the babysitter to throw in the oven and head out to your local Mom's Night Out event for some fun and entertainment!  Do it!  You'll be glad you did and you can relax knowing everyone at home will have full tummies!

Proud Partner

**Disclosure: As a #PapaMurphysMom I have received free samples to try with my family and to share my honest opinion. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Boymom Parenting Confession: I'm Not Ready for Teenagers

I have major writer's block.  I have had if for like 3 years now.  I keep trying to compose witty or compelling blog content, but nothing coming from my keyboard seems very readable these days. Okay, the truth is, there are lots of things I want to say, but I am kind of self-censoring because I want to make sure I say what I have to say the right way.  It's pretty raw right now.  So I will wait until I can share it in an impactful way.

Until then, I will proudly post this photo of my growing boys and share the fact that along with the brain fog that keeps me from being able to create a decent blog post?  I am also kind of having parental paralysis.  I have a teenager and a pre-teen, y'all!  Parenting at this stage is so different than it was when they were little!  I think I was a much better little kid mom than I am a teenager mom.  I am having a hard time engaging with them as they get older and that worries me.  I know these are critical years and I know how important positive parental interaction is for teenagers.  Being a teenager is tough!  And I don't want to be the person making it harder for them than it needs to be.  

I am so lucky that I have good boys.  But I know how quickly things can change.  One wrong choice, whether it be choosing the wrong friend or experimenting with drugs, can have such a negative impact on a kid's life.  So I need to step up and make sure that I am as equipped as I can possibly be to deal with life as a mom of teenagers.  I hear many of you laughing right now.  Not giggling...loud guffaws and head shaking coming from the internets.  And I know why. Because I think the answer to that is that there is no way to be fully prepared and equipped for what's coming. Because it's different for everyone and it changes daily.  And I must be insane if I think I can adequately prepare for what's coming.  Am I right?  I'm pretty sure I am right.  And to your laughing?  I respond with this:  "I know. Shut up."
So this is a shout for help to all my mom friends who have teenagers.  How do you make the transition from being a kid parent to a teenager parent?  How have you improved your relationship with your teenage boys?  How do you engage with them in positive ways when their hormones are raging and yours are changing and you both want to scream at the top of your lungs and cry instead of having a calm conversation? What if you have nothing in common with your son anymore?  What tips do you have for a struggling Boymom of teens to help her create a loving, safe environment for her sons?

I'm reachin' out, Boymoms!  Don't leave me hangin.'  Drop some knowledge on me.  I am open and willing to listen. But you should hurry, because the hormones are all over the place and my window of openness might shut without warning tomorrow!  

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Celebrate Mother's Day with a Mom's Night Out

Sometimes as moms we get so busy and wrapped up in the care of our family that we forget to take care of ourselves.  And when we start to feel tired and burned out, maybe we start feeling guilty about wanting a little down time.  What helps me when I get to that place?  Is being reminded that I am not alone in the struggle to keep from feeling that I'm not doing a good enough job of raising my kids.

So when something comes along that lifts me up and helps me soldier on in the parenting department and maybe even makes me laugh about it? I wanna share!

Mother's Day is just a month away and this year Moms can celebrate the ups and downs of motherhood by seeing Mom's Night Out, a movie by Provident Films.  It opens in theaters on Friday May 9th, making it the perfect way to take the night off with a group of mom friends for a night of fun!!

The movie stars favorite TV mom Patricia Heaton, beautiful Sarah Drew, Sean Aston and Trace Adkins.  I was privileged to see a special screening of the movie a few months ago and I found it both hilarious and heartwarming.  But more importantly?  The movie reminded me that the most important work I will ever do is within the walls of my own home and that I need to not judge myself so harshly when I feel like the job is hard and frustrating and overwhelming.  Because sometimes it is all those things.  Seriously.  Go see the movie.  You will leave the theater feeling so much better about the work you do in your home.