Baby Bump or Constipation?

Baby Bump or Constipation?

After I shared that our blended family was expanding this June I was flooded with questions. I know some people don’t know what they are saying sometimes… but I can’t help think of obnoxious answers to some simple (as well as some totally offensive questions).

I may or may not have actually said these responses. Okay, so who am I kidding. I did. Thankfully most people I know get my humor or just smile, nod and walk away.

“Are you going to find out the gender?”

Um, hell yes! I cannot wait. That would be torture. I like to plan! I do not like surprises. Right now is the time I am waiting for the big reveal… why wait 20 weeks longer?

“What are you hoping for?”

A unicorn… or Batman. Maybe I could birth a Time Lord.

“Are you nervous having that many kids? 5 kids! Eeek!”

You are all seeing this wrong. Our five kiddos ages will range from newborn to 14 years old. Do you know what that means? A whole lot of helpers!

“Where is the baby going to sleep?”

Initially, I prefer to co-sleep. Then I will have a pack and play and move the baby into the room of the kids that are pissing me off the most. This serves as a bonding opportunity for the kids, punishment and hopefully birth control.

I may or may not actually consider this after the baby arrives – hehehe

“Do you remember what to do with a newborn? It has been 6 years…”

I forgot everything about raising a new human. I’m going to equip myself with duct tape and chloroform and hope for the best.

“Are your kids happy about another sibling coming into the picture?”

Was anyone happy about you coming into the picture?

“You don’t look pregnant… are you sure?”

Hmm… maybe you are right. Maybe I’m not pregnant and everything I am experiencing is really bad constipation!

“Why would you want to start over?”

I enjoy not sleeping. I also enjoy becoming a milk factory where my boobs become rock hard torpedos and I feel like my nipples are going to fall off. Diapers are rad. Pushing my body to the limit and creating a cavern of chaos in my low region is amazing. Another 18 years of parenting torture is better than a luxurious vacation to Fiji.

I also want to scar my teen and tweens into fearing having babies.

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Ninja Family And a Baby

When you have a big blended family of four kids, ages 6 – 14, it may seem crazy to add one more.

But, who cares?! hehe

In June we will be bringing another little ninja into the world and I couldn’t be happier. I’ve been wanting to announce it for awhile but couldn’t think of how I wanted to go about it. I do plan on doing another trashy preggo photo session but I’m not quite rockin the pregger belly, yet, to make it entertaining enough.

If you missed these pictures from before here is my favorite:

Funny Face Friday : Pregnancy Pictures

I started writing this weeks ago and got caught up on the visual part of it. Do I want to take some picture with a bunch of shoes? What about wookiee slippers? Ninja masks? Oooo Ninjas! I thought about how I wish I was able to use illustrator so I could make a family of ninjas.

Then I realized that I love learning new things, the internet is a free resource of information and I spent hours, while sick with a cold, learning how to make ninjas in illustrator.

I officially had no more excuses to procrastinate on the announcement! I’m terrible at making announcements like this. It’s a somewhat obvious quirk of mine. Plus, look at those cute ninjas!

Look, I just got around to officially announcing my engagement that happened well over a year ago so I know I kinda suck at this whole announcement thing. I probably would have waited even longer had it not been for the ninjas.

I also broke the news to my Dad about the baby in an e-mail because that seemed like an okay thing to do, if you are me. Yes, in an email. In my defense I hadn’t seen him much lately because he’s been crazy busy and I had my head in a toilet for months. Apparently, this is not a normal way to break the news but it was better than a text, right?! I know… I’m not right. Sorry, Dad!

Now… before I get a bombarded with texts, emails and calls with “How could you not tell me!?” let me explain…

Honestly, this pregnancy hasn’t been easy and I don’t like to make anyone worry. I waited to say anything because there was genuine concern that something may happen, or, may not happen depending on how you look at it. I felt like the first couple months or so were a blur living each day trying not to get horribly sick and trying to think positively. I’ve lost a lot of weight. I haven’t felt right physically and emotionally. I’ve been more hormonal than I am used to (I am usually below zero on the hormonal meter) and I’ve just been kind of processing, dealing and trying to stop vomiting every time I think of food.

Do you know how difficult it is to be online when the mere sight of food makes you barfy and everyone is constantly sharing pictures of food? Pinterest and I had to break up for awhile but, we are better now.

Anyway…

I was terrified. Genuinely, terrified that something may happen. I don’t like to be a downer and this pregnancy has been a difficult road.

This made me feel a level of vulnerability that I just wasn’t dealing well with. I go into shutdown mode. On top of all that there were a lot of people trying to bring unnecessary negative mojo and drama into our lives that I just didn’t want to deal with. So, I also went into apathetic towards stupid people mode. I had to back out of some commitments and took a break from blogging. We also had a lot going on personally that made it feel like there was an avalanche of wtf-ery falling on top of me.

Mostly, I just puked a whole lot.

The news started to trickle to friends and family. And by trickle I mean I took every opportunity to spring it on unsuspecting friends and family. Everyone has been so supportive. A few of my friends literally almost fell over in shock. I have blindsided others with blurting out “I’m pregnant!” … “What?! Who… you?!” “No, I’m just kidding… wait, no I’m not!”

I also learned that if I go to a Girls Night Out and don’t order wine right away that some of my friends immediately pick up on the fact that I’m growing a sea monkey.

I have the raddest people in my life and I am so sorry they have to put up with me.

Going into my second trimester was a sigh of relief… and some panic because I must plan all things. All the time. Always. As well as have backup plans to my plans and know every variable of possibilities. I spent months getting through my puke-a-palooza and now I feel like I am running out of time to get things sorted. Then again, I kind of always feel like that.

Looking at our situation it can seem a little crazy. Between us we have four kids. Two that are biologically mine, two that are my step-kids, three live with us full-time and all we consider our own no matter the biological connection or not. It’s just our family and how we roll. And now just one more. JUST ONE MORE. After this… one way or another… my sweetie, will be getting fixed.

You heard me.

Lucky him!

This year was the first time in years that I can remember not waking up insanely early on January 2nd to purchase camping spots for the summer. I couldn’t even talk about how I wasn’t planning camping trips and I avoided all the “where are you camping this year” questions during the holidays because we hadn’t made the big announcement yet. This is how much I don’t make sense… my pregnancy is messing with my usual camping routine and I could spend hours rambling about just that.

Yes, I do plan on camping with an infant. It’s actually easier than you may expect because they are super portable at that age. That is a post for another day.

Anyway, I wanted to share our great news and ask that you all please keep happy and healthy baby thoughts coming my way. I’m hoping for a girl (though some days I wonder if I am insane for that) but either way I will be happy. I just want another happy, healthy and fun little ninja to fill our lives with insanity and awesomeness.

Thank you all for being a part of the awesomeness, too.

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I honestly don’t think anyone has noticed but since I (finally) announced my engagement I’ve been more active online and I’m creating funny content again. I didn’t plan to start the year off this way. It just became the right time to ninja kick my writers block and get back to blogging.

Soooo, yeah. I took a break from blogging. I didn’t feel the need to announce, explain or justify it. It organically happened and I didn’t fight it. I also don’t get why people announce when they are taking a blogging break… but, that is just me.

I needed to take the break for many reasons.

I wanted to really focus on my family after going from a single Mom to a working things out and getting my family back together blended family Mom. Sure, there was a lot I wanted to share during the transition but I chose to sit on it all and just be in the moment. Oh, people noticed which was honestly lovely. I missed it. Some days I missed it more than I expected to. I just needed to be with them.

I also needed to learn how to live with another adult and factor in his feelings and not just do what I want. Thankfully, he is very understanding of my quirks, gets my insanity and happens to be really sexy with all the housework he does. Yeah, I needed to focus on that too.

I read a few months back how a blogger friend was feeling guilty about not sharing some things that were going on in her life. I wondered… why are we obligated? We choose what to share, how to share it, when to share and why we share it.

I chose to not share until I was sure on what I wanted to share in case what I was sharing was share worthy and not a flop of sharisms.

Uh, I hope you could follow that… I just confused the crap out of myself! hehe

Plus, what the crap was with all the blogger internet drama?! Please, tell me we aren’t going in the direction of cat fighting on the internet from jealousy and gossip! Please, tell me that we are going to utilize our spaces for something other than mudslinging. Can’t blogs be more than just fuel for smack talking fodder? The mob mentality of creating internet uproars over differences of opinions are really stupid.

Yes, stupid.

I don’t care what the topic is. We aren’t angry mobs of blogging sheep. Well, we shouldn’t be.

I don’t do the drama game. If someone dislikes what I’m about or I dislike what they are about then they simply fall off my radar. I’m not going to care what they are doing and they shouldn’t care what I am doing. Just because we can be all creepy up in someone’s blogging window trying to find something to talk smack about does NOT mean we should. I will never quite understand why people who loathe me will follow my every public internet move. It doesn’t keep me up at night. I probably laugh about it with my friends more than I should… humor helps me get through the things that make my head hurt. I seriously do “Live, laugh and ninja kick.” in life. It’s a formula that works for me.

The way I work is simple:

Things/people make me mad, sad or insert-negative-reaction-here.

I change them, accept them or laugh at them.

Or a combo/all of the above.

Actually, at some point I will always find a way to laugh at it.

Then I move on.

Rinse and repeat.

I’m not insensitive. I have empathy. I am very compassionate. I’m also not without anger. Quite the opposite, actually. I get all super hulk smash angsty and need to vent and process. I do that on my own time and not with keyboard courage. To be perfectly honest, I spent a lot of my life being angry and hostile and it’s draining. I choose not to waste my time staying angry and hateful. Life is just too rad.

The name of my blog is the core of my beliefs… and I truly feel you either have to be enjoying the radness of life or working damn hard to get there. I don’t see how whining is involved in the equation of awesomeness.

I like the internet to be funny. I like it when it’s inspiring. I like communicating and walking away with some kind of positives. I know it can’t always be that but there should be a balance.

It was hard to find that balance most days.

It wasn’t just all the drama that caused me to take a break. That was the smallest part in comparison to my family or what I have taken from my break.

I also needed to take time to focus and figure out what I wanted to do with this amazing space and network I created. Words cannot convey how much this platform means to me and what ripples of awesomeness has come from it.

I’ve been told by many that they love my blog. The fact that my words mean something, make someone laugh or inspire is indescribable. It’s been said that I do sponsored content differently and better because I have a story behind it which is what I try to achieve. I’ve helped others with food allergies and having a not so typical family. I’ve made friends and I’ve pissed people off (hehehe) … I’ve traveled… I’ve expanded my knowledge and skills… This blog and journey has given me so much. Most of which I still can’t wrap my head around because I’m not trying to be awesome, inspiring or anything really. I just wondered if a Mom like me dealing with things in an almost crazy way would be well received.

I want to continue to give back, give more and expand. I do want to focus more on my writing and less on the marketing. I want to get my book projects done and launch my philanthropy project. I may do a spinoff blog for all the sponsored content and use Don’t Speak Whinese as a sponsor-free zone or change the design of my site to make it more segregated. I’ve got plans and now it’s time to put them all in motion rather than obsessing over planning.

I see so much content out there about how to make the perfect blog. I’ve seen lists and tips on how to “do it right”. I’ve read articles about being a perfect blogger. I’ve listened to panels debating how to do it right.

You know what I realized after getting some clarity in stepping back? Just like parenting, there is no one right way. There is simply what is what is right for you. There are best practices and things that are frowned upon. Ultimately, do what you love because that is what feels right. Oh, and just like parenting there will always be people who think they know better, do it best and think you are wrong…

But, who cares!?

Without a doubt I can say that I have stayed 100% true to myself, my word and my intentions with this space. I’m just me. I’m kind of (okay, really) weird. I am too smart for my own good at times while being a total jackass at others. I just needed a recharge, a solid direction and a fire up my bum to get me going again.

So, I’m back.

Let’s rock.

And… I’ve missed you all.

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I’ve done the customer service gig in the past and I know how difficult it is. People can be so rude and short with customer service reps. I know call centers are script based and there are a lot of things reps are taught to up sell or read off in different situations. Sometimes it is mandatory that they say certain parts of their script and it is part of their job. It’s an almost mindless job and a very frustrating one on top of it.

I always put on my best business nicey professional attitude and try to avoid being another idiot on the phone when I have to make a call. I joke with them and be as pleasant as possible. My kids like to say that I don’t sound like me when I make those calls. haha

But, sometimes I just can’t help it when someone keeps getting all pushy with me.

We don’t watch a lot of TV. When the TV is on we are finding something on demand, firing up Netflix, browsing what is available via Amazon prime or renting a movie. Now that Dexter is over we don’t watch HBO and Homeland is the only thing I need Showtime for. Realistically I can wait for any shows I really like. All the things I want to watch, besides BBC America, are all basic cable.

Anyway, I’m cheap so why pay for something we don ‘t need? I called to cancel our TV supreme ultimate mega everything package and drop down to basic cable. I had no idea it would be like negotiating world peace.

Me: Hi I want to drop my TV package down to the basic one because we don’t need it and live stream everything or order movies…

Customer Service Lady: Oh you won’t be happy… you will lose all these channels (spends 5 minutes telling me all the channels we will lose while I tell her I watch none of them) You will also lose Lifetime. (Why the crap would she mention Lifetime

Me: I don’t watch Lifetime… All I need is BBC which that plan has so I am good with it. I did my research.

Her: But, this package will not include lifetime which is the most popular channel for women…

Me: I don’t watch lifetime… (That should have been enough to say the first time…)

Her: Ok, ma’am. You will also lose the cooking channels… and again Lifetime has…

Me: I don’t watch the cooking channels and again I do NOT watch Lifetime… 

Her: (Goes on another rant about all the things I will be losing and how she doesn’t recommend dropping down to basic) This weekend there will be blahblahblah marathon and suchandsuch movie on Lifetime which you will miss out on if…

Me: Seriously, I don’t watch Lifetime. I don’t even know any of those Lifetime movies. I don’t watch girly feel good shows or whatever is on that channel and I make fun of my friends who stay up all night watching that stuff crying over it. I’m more into horror flicks with a lot of blood, murder, body parts and guts.. and (just to really be obnoxious) midget porn. Do you have channels for that?

Her: ….

Me: Hello, are you still there?

Her: Ma’am I am going to go ahead and drop you down to the basic package right away. 

I won.

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Nothing About Us Is Typical

I’m strange and peculiar.

I know that is an understatement but it’s something I have to put out there before I continue. My life is anything but ordinary but that doesn’t make it wrong despite what some may judge. I’ve never believed there is a set path to live your life in order to be a model citizen.

I feel that you should make the best with what you can and live life fully without being an intentional jerk-face all the time.

I’m good being a jerk-face. I’m not going to lie. It is situational but I don’t live my days living up to ultimate jerk-facedom.

While I am a very open book I also happen to suck at talking about important details in my life that, I suppose, most people are better about divulging.

The love of my life and I have had a very long and somewhat crazy journey. We met when we were both already single parents and I had moved to New York, we fell madly in love, we lived together, we blended our family, it was like our kids were meant to be siblings, we found out we were having a baby… and things fell apart. I became a single mother again but with two kiddos and moved back to California to be closer to family. We had a very long road over many years of repairing what had almost been damaged and lost completely.

That isn’t the typical love story… and I make no apologies for it. I do not care how it may seem to some that we had such a strange story getting to the point we are now. Life is full of unexpected turns and unpredictable choices along the way no matter how perfect anyone tries to play it up. We went through a lot and some were the hardest times of my life… but, we are here now and truly better than ever. Our four kids are happy and life is mostly the way it should be.

And all those hard times are distant memories. We are happy now and our lives are so completely blended again I often forget we had dark times. It wasn’t without work but I’m glad for us and our children that we chose to work on it.

Oh Yeah, That Engagement Story… Thing

It feels silly to announce an engagement when we live together, consider ourselves married and have a child together in addition to our blended brood. His kids.. my kids… they are all “our” kids and we are a family. That isn’t something a piece of paper defines.

Our engagement story is worth telling… if you like that kind of mushy crap…

Side Note: He is very lucky to have a woman like me who is very sentimental and romantic. That was dripping with sarcasm. Poor guy.

We had a date night and I had no idea what we were doing or where we were going. I usually plan everything and he relies on me to make the decisions. It was kind of exciting to hand that over to him. I dolled myself up. Heels, hair done and make up with a fancy dress. It’s not something I do often because I prefer my usual comfortable clothes. But, I was being fancy… for him.

We ate at the Sky Room which the ultimate romantic spot in Long Beach. He knows I love the beach and our view of the ocean was amazing. It was also a full moon that night which made the nighttime sky glow even brighter. The food was delicious, the wine (for me) was plenty and we enjoyed our kid free romantic dinner for two. It was the first time we had a night like that.

After dinner he insisted we walked along the beach. We went to the first beach we had been to together. I had to take off my heels, he took off his fancy shoes and we held hands and walked under the full moon.

Two things I should mention here. I’m not a naturally affectionate or mushy person except with my kids… and him. When we met we fell in love and it was constant hand holding, public smooches and mushy crap that I usually don’t like. The other thing I want to mention is this man hates being dirty. He hates dirt. Stains make him freak out. He cares more about keeping his clothes flawless than I ever pay attention to. I’m the outdoorsy dirt on the face camping chick while he is the guy who falls apart over ketchup stains and avoids wrinkles. His fancy pants were getting dirty and damp from the sand and he wasn’t even complaining.

So, I started to think something was up… but, he knows I don’t like surprises.I told him NOT to propose to me in some kind of weird mushy way that would make me uncomfortable. I didn’t expect it at all.

Of course, he ignored what I said about not proposing and the threats that followed… he got down on one knee and said a lot of loving, wonderful and mushy things that… sorry everyone, but those are for us. He had a beautiful ring and he looked up at me with a smile on his face. His expression was one that seemed like he was worried I was going to hit him and wanting to throw up from stress.

I called him a jackass and said “Of course I’m going to marry you… stand up right now, dammit.” and we kissed. I, affectionately, kind of smacked him on the arm… multiple times… and hard… during the whole thing. He swears people were watching us probably wondering if he was going to retract his proposal after the AFFECTIONATE arm slap beating I gave him.

I’m romantic.

We have both been married before and our previous marriages were more about our first born kids, being young and all that stuff rather than love. I bring that up to preface what I’m about to share. When we got in the car I, affectionately (I love that word), smacked him in the arm again and demanded to know how much he spent on the ring. I’m a very frugal person and don’t like spending a lot of money on myself.

Him: I’m not telling you exactly… but a LOT more than I’ve spent on one of those before…

Me: Did you really just say that?

Him: Uh… yeah… I’m NOT smart!

Me: I know… and I love you anyway, jackass.

We laughed. I still make fun of him for that. It was hilarious, and no I wasn’t the slightest bit offended.

It was perfectly us.

He then told me how nervous he had been all night and how he had been trying to hide the ring in his pants. He was also worried that I was going to say no… because I’m unpredictable like that and he was worried I was going to say no just because I told him not to propose.

We told the kids right away and they were happy. His oldest actually knew and had helped him pick out the ring which meant the world to me.

This engagement happened before he moved across the country from New York to California to put our family back together. That was over a year and a half ago. Yeah, I know… forever ago!

Our engagement was a promise and commitment to moving forward… not just to me but to all of us.

More Proof that I’m an Unintentional Jerk-face

I also kind of forgot to tell my friends (and family too, I guess) about the engagement. I told some but then I got all uncomfortable when they would get all weird and girly about it. So, I think I just stopped talking about it because I figured everyone would assume and that was enough.

I totally see the flaws in my logic.

When we were in Big Sur this past summer I was there to see one of my best friends be proposed to. I loved it! Another friend said later to me, “Oh! You are going to be next!” … and I replied with, “Uh, oh that already happened! I’m just not wearing the ring because we are camping!”

I thought they were going to bury me in the woods. Women friends can be scary.

Months ago I put up a video on my Facebook page of newly hatched leopard geckos making weird noises and you can clearly see my ring in it. That resulted in my phone and messages blowing up with “OMG ARE YOU ENGAGED?!”

Basically, I’m really bad at announcing major life events. I’m very thankful I have wonderful friends who accept me. See, what I said earlier about living life not being an intentional jerkface?! Prime examples of that.

No, we still aren’t married. We will be one day but the journey getting to that point is, truly, more important to me than having a ceremony.

Plus, I don’t actually want to plan a wedding and I am hoping we can just elope and throw a big party later or something. ;)

And I am sure that once that happens it will take me awhile to officially announce it…

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I’m going to start this out saying I do not judge how anyone else raises their kids. There is no one perfect way of nurturing your own wee little army of minions.

It’s all about what works for you.

One thing that works for me is the fact that I am not a damn maid. I am not, and should not, be responsible for picking up after human beings who are capable of doing it themselves or at the very least helping. I’m not going to follow my kids around and wipe their butts, scrape their plates and put away their fricken things for them when they are adults so why would I do it for them their entire childhoods? They have to learn how to be a little self sufficient before becoming an adult so why would I wait until after they move out to teach them? No, they start when they are able to and that is that.

I also do not give allowances. I don’t believe in paying kids for doing what they should be doing. That is a harsh reality, I suppose. But, no one is paying me for doing my laundry, washing my car or making my bed. I just have to do it… or don’t. I can choose not to because I’m a grown woman and when they are grown they can either use what I’ve taught them or be lazy!

At least I will know they are making a choice rather than being clueless about being self sufficient.

To be totally transparent I have paid someone else to do my laundry and I do enjoy cleaning services. Sending off loads of laundry to the local cleaners was a glorious luxury when living in NY. They would wash, press and fold everything perfectly. I was kind of in love with the laundry ladies.

Anyway… kids learning independence isn’t something anyone should pay for it is something that is instilled within them.

My point is that I have kids ranging from 6 – 14 and if I spent all my time picking up after them and their Dad I would not get anything done… and I would probably want to smother them all. I wouldn’t actually smother them but I sure as hell would think about it!

So, we have a lot of chores and I’m probably evil for it. Everyone has chores and expectations no matter what they try to pull to get out of it or how much they may whine at times. Yeah, the kids aren’t perfect at it but it’s good enough. The older kids do laundry, fold it and put it away… they are not as perfect as my NYC laundry ladies but they are pretty good. The 6 year old folds and puts away anything square or rectangle, socks and undies. Sure, half the time he runs around with everyone’s underwear on his head but it ends up where it needs to be. Most of the time.

Meal time is often a fun family bonding experience. I’m teaching all the kids how to cook, be safe in the kitchen and everyone takes turns on dishes. We do a lot of cooking from scratch because of health and food allergies. The kitchen is used a LOT. It’s a lot of work to get deliciousness from scratch on the table and cleaned up. We listen to music and make the most of it. The older kiddos can successfully make meals on their own now and we are proud of them for that. It’s fun and I am proud of them learning.

Though our 14 year old dude asked the other day when I asked him to prep and boil the potatoes, “So, do I need to add water to the pot to boil these…” Yeah, it’s a work in progress! We have endless amounts of laughter at those moments.

The garden weeds are also pulled by the kids, we clean the pool together and bathrooms are scrubbed by little hands. When you have some easily distracted males in the house who… I don’t even know what they do… but their pee streams end up everywhere around the toilet they are going to be wiping all of that up. I know how to aim, dammit and no one is in diapers so why should I wipe up their pee?!

“But, kids should play and have fun. That is too much for them!” Really? I also like to play and have fun. We enjoy these things together. Sometimes we have fun and play while we clean. If I divide up the chores around the house it will take us a fraction of the time to get it done together and that means more time to play for all.

Everyone has bad days and that is supported. Sometimes homework is crazy or someone is feeling sick so everyone else picks up the slack. There were days where I was out of commission and stressing about all the things that need to be done… and they all handled it without being asked.

That means the world to me.

They just do it all. They know the drill. They know how to handle it.

Because they are capable. Because they know they can. Because they aren’t hopeless. Because they have done it all before. Because they want to give back to me for all I do for them…

or maybe they do it so they can hit me up later for something else…

or they are buttering me up and plotting my doom because I make them pick up shit for themselves.

I do not like thinking about when my kids are grown and leave the nest. Yes, a part of me would like to clip their wings and keep them close. I would much rather see them fly free and stable on their own… and clean up after themselves until they take flight.

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Theme Park Camp Spooky logo

Disclosure: I have received tickets to attend a media event in return for this post. No compensation was received. All opinions are 100% completely my own.

I cannot go anywhere this time of year without getting ideas on how to transform my home into a Halloween maze. I’ve seriously been considering making a “creepy kitchen” or scary bathroom.

If there is any place that is appropriate to scare your house guests it would be the bathroom. Just saying. hehehe

This time of year is always my favorite. I love scary stories and horror movies. I happen to mostly wear all black and my idea of dressing up has to do with halloween costumes rather than formal wear.

If you follow me on Instagram you may have noticed I’m kind of a big kid. I would rather be out having fun than sitting at home. Well, unless I am obsessing over a book I can’t put down.

One thing I have heard often is “Wow, you really like going to theme parks!” and I think, “Well, why wouldn’t I??” Despite how easily I get motion sickness I still love roller coasters. I also love that a theme park like Knotts Berry Farm offer family fun for all of us. Our four kids range from 6 years old to 14. However, their ages have nothing to do with what they enjoy the most at a theme park. The 6 year old thrill seeker would go on the fastest and craziest rollercoaster at any theme park out there if he was tall enough to do so. He terrifies me. Our oldest likes the more mellow rides and isn’t fond of heights. We are even at the magical age where we are planning our first family Knotts Scary Farm night with the older kiddos and their friends. While this milestone feels like a huge jump towards their adult years I can still hold on to some younger kiddo magical theme park goodness – Camp Spooky!

Every year we attend Camp Spooky and my kids always look forward to it. Who wouldn’t love to go to a theme park decorated with Halloween awesomeness and enter in costume contests? They also trick or treat within the park. Camp Spooky runs weekends October 5-27 from 10AM to 5PM and it is geared for kids ages 5 – 11. I know my 11 year old plans on making the most of it this year and, of course, the costume preferences for my 6 year old change every few minutes.

While I love the dark and creepy side of Halloween I do love to enjoy wholesome (not so creepy) funsies with my kids. Those times combined with our favorite theme park creates an annual tradition that I love dearly.

Random tidbit of awesomeness: I’m going to try to convince the kids to dress up in a Doctor Who theme this year. I love themes! They probably won’t go for it but I’m going to kick and scream and use my scary Mom voice if I have to. Okay, maybe not but I have to try. Happy Halloween everyone!

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Do you ever have a moment in parenting where you wonder, “Where did I go wrong?” but it also conflicts with another thought at the same exact time of, “Maybe I am doing this right!”

As my 11 year old princess of doom starts to resemble more of a young woman than a little girl in all aspects of her being it makes me a little sad and proud at the same time. Yes, I miss her being an adorable little girl who just lit up a room everywhere she went. I miss the things she mispronounced like “A-do-bo-cado” and a part of me misses the endless freaking tea parties, fairy wings and princess stuff.

I never had any expectations of who I expected her to be when she found herself. I just wanted her to be herself and confidently so. I’ve never tried to influence her and have tried to keep negative comments to myself.

Okay, I may have had some strong opinions about cheerleading vs playing sports and annoying tween shows. She basically ignores any of my sarcastic remarks anyway!

Now conversations about life have a much more mature tone and she likes to talk about things that really make me want to bang my head on a wall. She is also very funny and has zero concept of embarrassment!

I have no idea where she got it from.

We were discussing bad words and what they actually meant. I have no idea how this subject came up and I often regret having total open dialog with my kids! But… it was a conversation worth having and I could NOT believe what she said to me.

Me: Alright, do you know what the F word actually means? It’s a versatile curse word that can be used as a noun, verb, adverb, adjective and almost every word in a sentence. But, it … uh… for sure is derived from one thing.

Her: Oh I am pretty sure I know what it means! I’ve also heard you use it in all sorts of different ways! (Thanks kid… I’m not a great Mom sometimes!)

Me: Oh, okay. So you know that the F word also means… uh… sex?

Her: Yeah… I have to tell you something reeeaaally funny about the first time I learned what that meant.

Me: Okay (Oh no… someone end me now… I don’t want to know where this is going)

Her: Well, a friend of mine showed me a video…

Me: uh huh…. (VIDEO?! This isn’t good. End. it. now. Please?)

Her: And in this video there was like a crazy party or something…

Me: Yeah…. (Why did I ever do this to myself? Kids are evil. Kids are bad. NEVER BE A PARENT)

Her: And well… that dragon Spike from My Little Ponies said, “Pinkie Pie is out of control! She f-worded a snail on the lawn!” My friend totally didn’t know what that word meant or what they were talking about but I knew then! It was soooo funny! But, my friend was so scared that the video had a bad word and we knew we shouldn’t watch it!

Me: *blink*

Her: Why would anyone edit videos and make the characters say such funny things… And WHO does THAT to a SNAIL?!

Me: *blink* (I think I died a little)

Her: *laughing hysterically* Mommy, are you breathing?! hahaha you look like you are going to puke!

After the shock wore off I laughed so hard I cried. We discussed inappropriate things online and I accepted it was an honest mistake and I am glad she finally told me about it. She was relieved that I wasn’t angry.

And then I wanted to drown away that horrible moment in a pool of vodka.

Our babies will become teens and they will eventually be adults. We cannot shelter them from what is out there but we can try to keep open communication so they know to come to us with facts. I would rather my daughter discuss these things with me than try to figure them out with her peers who may be as clueless as her.

It’s difficult to cut those strings of childhood but I can take comfort in the fact that she has taken those strings and created a stable safety net for herself.

That safety net is supported by me and she knows that.

I love her honesty. I really do. I love that her and I can have these giggly moments about taboo things. I hope that makes her less likely to rebel using that kind of language around peers or at school. I love that I see a lot of my sense of humor evolving in her and getting a glimpse of the funny woman she is going to be is kind of awesome. I love that she is becoming a really rad teenager and she is completely herself around me.

What I don’t love is the fact that she saw a snail on the lawn on the way to school and she HAD to bring that up and laugh my my reaction! “Mommy, loooook … it’s a SNAIL on the LAWN!”

Okay, I love that she does things like that but I never expected to have this kind of amazing open and honest relationship that I have with her… and I hope it stays. Always.

Side note: Every single one of my friends who reads this is going to have a sudden moment of panic wondering, “WAS IT MY KID WHO SHOWED HER THIS VIDEO?! OMG!”

WTF Did You Say!?

And the fact I find that hilarious proves I’m the greatest friend ever. Love you guys!

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When I was a kid I spent a lot of time in Tokyo visiting family. I wish I could make it out there regularly and am already longing to see the Sakura again. There are a lot of things about my personality and stuff I say that is greatly influenced by my time in Japan.

My main philosophy in life is “Live, laugh and Ninja kick to happiness” and I mean that with every fibre of my being. A lot of people think of me when anything Ninja related comes up… and when I was a kid Power Rangers was my thing. Along with a ton of other strange obsessions but we won’t get into that… for now.

I’ve always loved action movies and shows. I never saw martial arts as violent. I’ve always seen them as a form of physical power, way of life and entertainment. Some martial arts scenes are like a masterpiece of beauty that most would see in dance.

Besides… it’s just fun!

I’ve followed the Super Sentai series (where Power Rangers came from) since I was a kid and was borderline obsessed with them. The problem was that I was following shows like “Go-Renger” “Fiveman” “Changeman” and “Turboranger” that was only shown in Japan. We used to record the shows when we visited and bring them back to the states. They were all in Japanese. My Japanese is terrible! So, I could only understand a small portion of the dialog… but I was hooked. There was a “bad guy” who always peed his pants when the rangers showed up and he would have to mop it up.

That was hysterical. I obviously have a very very mature sense of humor.

And yes, I bought some Power Rangers goodies while I was in Japan this year! I had to!

Then Power Rangers came to the states and while I was a little too old to be into them but I still was. That’s how I roll! I also enjoyed that the fight scenes were often the same that were filmed in Japan for the Super Sentai Series but they were completely different storylines. I would try to figure out which scenes were the same in the different series… because I’m a nerd. What?

Lately we have been watching a lot of Saban’s Power Ranger Megaforce. Actually, it’s the only DVD that I have let the kids watch in the car on road trips. I rarely let them use that thing but it’s become our travel DVD ever since. It’s one of those shows that my older kids pretend that they are just watching it because their 6 year old brother wants to. Sure, our almost 14 year old young man would probably not like me saying he laughs at all the jokes on Power Ranger Megaforce but he does like it.

I find this series of Power Rangers to be very entertaining. The characters and personalities are great. The dialog can be very cheesy but that’s what I love! I love that kind of comedy for kids because it’s not obnoxious. The grossout obnoxious humor shows for kids make me cringe! Give me the cheesy one liners, witty bantering dialog, meaningful messages, some downright fun kick booty action and save the world in the process.

If you know me then you have probably heard my really loud, startling, issomethingwrongwithher, laugh that occasionally bursts out of my face uncontrollably when I find something really funny! I also laughsnort when something is hilarious because I have the tiniest nose on the planet and insignificant nostrils. Why am I explaining all of this? I have no idea now… but, my point was going to be that this new series of Power Rangers makes all my horrible laughing traits come out. That, in turn, makes my kids laugh AT me which is always a fun time.

I feel strongly that humor is an important key to making life rad. The humor in these shows balance out any kind of perceived violence. The fighting isn’t the focus its the empowerment of it all. The way a child can fantasize and dream about being a modern day ninja, with his or her very different friends, and save the world is a powerful message and one I’m happy to enjoy with my kids.

 Disclaimer: I was invited to be a Saban Brand Ambassador. I do not take on many sponsored relationships these days and when I do I am very picky about them. I’m not compensated for my post and all opinions are my own. My children occasionally receive Saban goodies for my participation in the program.  

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I’m not a judgmental person. I’m really reaaaally not. I’ve been told some crazy things and I accept that people dig their own things.

People are brilliantly unique creatures and the differences fascinate me.

So, to each their own. Learn, love and respect… right?? Right.

But, when some freaky google searches land someone on my blog I can’t help but laugh. The visuals are… well, I can’t UNSEE these things!

I remember this popping up but I totally forgot about it until I was going through my folder of random things that make me laugh. I figured I should just share it with you all because it makes me teehee that much.

Make Love to Backpacks... really?

 It never occurred to me that someone loves backpacks THAT much and I didn’t expect this tidbit of information to surface after I wrote about the Japanese randoseru backpacks I got in Tokyo this year.

I’m probably alone in loving this in the same way the googler loves backpacks… but sometimes you gotta share these visuals so others are stuck with it as well.

:P

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