All posts filed under: Motherhood

articles on parenting and child training

Sea Monkeys Ruined My Life

Ok, they didn’t really ruin my life, but they are so super weird. My child told me several months ago, “Mom, you must write an article about these weird sea monkies. Title it ‘Sea Monkeys Ruined My Life’ and people will read it.” I guess he was right, because look, you clicked. So while the title is an exaggeration, the rest of this is a totally true story. Last Christmas, my neighbor gave my youngest son the gift that keeps on giving. Excitedly, the eight-year-old ripped open the wrapping paper and read the bold description Sea Monkeys on the front of the brightly-colored box, cartoon creatures frolicking around the words. Mystified, he set it aside and turned to his new toys. What are sea monkeys, I wondered? Must be one of those rubberized toys that expands in water, I concluded, and made a mental note to let him play with them in the bath. Caution: do not let your child play with sea monkeys in the bath. We all forgot about the sea monkeys until a …

What if the perfect party isn't even important? via @lagarfias

Potato Salad Freak Out

It all started with a big, huge Cry Mommy Freak Out over potato salad. My oldest son was graduating, and we were just going to have a simple party in the backyard to celebrate. Nothing big, no ceremony, no pomp and circumstance, just some snacks and friends and cake. Easy, right? Wrong. Nothing with me is easy. True to form, I complicated-up everything, planning an elaborate meal of grilled chicken and sides and fresh fruit and matchy-matchy paper products and punch and seventy of my closest friends. Now, bear in mind, I have Hospitality Anxiety Disorder. It’s more of a paralyzing, mind-controlling, freak-out-inducing phobia with a large side order of panic attack. I don’t host parties, I don’t have people over hardly ever, and each of my children already used up their one “have a friend over for free” card. People are scary, and my house is my sanctuary, and it’s not beautiful or perfect or decorated well or super clean but I love it and try really hard to keep the stress out of it. But …

So what if the most extraordinary thing I do for my children -- bio and adopted -- is to provide them normalcy? #ordinaryisextraordinary

Hello, Normalcy. It’s Me, Ordinary Mom.

Yesterday afternoon, I did a very Texan Mom thing. I ran errands all morning, dropping off lunches at forgetful teen’s job and packing the minivan with sale items from Aldis and driving across the metroplex to pick up symphony music and getting a library card at yet another library because we can never, never, ever have enough libraries with enough books. But the Texas Mom thing grew as the full morning gave way to an empty belly. Driving down the country highway in my “sports minivan,” (the awesome Honda Odyssey with all the windows down), past acre after acre of ranches and cattle farms, I could only think of one thing: Grass-Fed Burgers. Pulling into the gravel driveway, I left the sports minivan to air out a bit while my young son and teenaged daughter crunched through the dusty path beside me to the food truck. Grins wide with hopeful expectation, we fished out a cool drink and bag of chips from the bright buckets and staked our claim on a shady picnic table overlooking the …