Archive | February, 2014

Moving to Phase II

27 Feb

 

 

I have to admit I did have my first-time-mom moments.

You do.

It’s your first time and you freak out. You get all sanitizer-Baby-Einstein crazy.

It happens.

I could have been the mom in this commercial easily. But luckily I became the second-kid mom, before I had my second kid. And I was grateful not to have gone through so many crazy-neurotic-mom moments.

I’ve never gained so much wisdom in such a short amount of time. Wisdom usually takes time, long periods of it. Parenthood kicks your ass and you’re in hyper-drive-super-speed mode and the learning continues. This is where the comedy kicks in … it absolutely  has to otherwise you’ll probably suffer a nervous break down every week. So when I saw this Luvs commercial, I had to share it. I had to spread the knowledge just in case there were others out there still clinging onto phase I of parenthood and worrying whether or not they were failing.

We all fail.

No worries.

And if someone tells you they’re not. Dude. They’re lying. Straight out in your face lying. They are. Everyone fails during the parenthood journey. You’re fine. You’ve become part of the learning curve.

And if you’re still clinging to phase I, let me let you in on a little secret … those happy moms on the cover of the Babies R Us catalog are just models. Airbrushed happy models with plenty of sleep, matching socks, and daily ten-minute showers. Real parents are lucky if they get five or six hours of uninterrupted sleeps, a pair of clean socks, and a five-minute bird-bath.

We fall apart. All parents fall apart. It happens. We have our moment when it’s just too much, and we realize phase I is just for the catalog fake parents.

You want to be real?

Come to phase II, it’s less stressful. I still get gray hair, though. And I’m still neurotic, but just in  a different way.

But no worries, if you’re still in phase I. It’s something everyone goes through … everyone. And then we get wise. We move over to phase II.

So we’ll be waiting for you here … with a glass of wine and some chocolate.

 

 

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Threes

25 Feb

Sandbox List Adventure Story … in three Kodak moments.

 

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Photo Challenges  courtesy of DP Challenge: Three Picture Story  & Weekly Photo Challenge: Threes

 

 

I Think … You Never Know …

21 Feb

Just when I think I’m too tired to play balloon volleyball …

Just when I think I’m too tired to chase them around the park and through the slides …

Just when I think I’m too tired to make obstacle courses with hula hoops …

Just when I think I’m too tired to race bicycles …

Just when I think I’m too tired to have a Fernando Valenzuela moment …

Just when I think I’m too tired to have a Friday-Night-Lights moment (the TV show, not the movie)

Just when I think I’m too tired to have a Nike Just Do It moment …

Just when I think I’m too tired to have a Gatorade-worthy moment …

I think … you never know …

 

 

“Behind every big moment, there are a lot of small ones.”

Yeah. That video rocks.

It inspires me to take some Vitameatavegamin, get off my ass, put on my SuperMom cape, and make some Ameritrade-Commerical-worthy moments preferably with Morgan Freeman as the narrator.

Get your cape on people.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Treasure

19 Feb

 

My little treasures ...

My little treasures …

 

 

It Hit Me … Well It Smacked Me In The Face, Really …

17 Feb

Sometimes you think, when is it gonna hit me?

When am I going to see it!

When is it going to be something obvious … something I’m not just grasping at, but something real that was meant for me. A nudge in the right direction. A push. A shove really. I was looking for a shove.

You see a movie or spend endless hours binge watching something on Netflix and you get juiced up. A character says something and you have that moment where you feel it and say yeah … I got this. You’re motivated, you sit at the computer and ideas — the good, the bad and the ugly — start flowing. You feel like you’re on a roll, but after a couple of days it fizzles out because the life of diapers, LEGOs, superheroes, Dr. Seuss, OxyClean, Ajax, and your presence in the 10 items or less line interrupts your creative flow. You become weary and exhausted and all you want to do at the end of the day is hang out with your chocolate, watch reruns of Seinfeld, and take some me time to laugh at the Costanza moments of your day.

But then you remember your goals, you remember what your finish line should be and try to get motivated.

So again you go in search of a sign … of something. You remember that Thelma-Louise, Clear-Eyes-Full-Hearts feeling you had at the beginning of the year and try to cling to it. You remember your Tony Robbins moment where you juiced up all your titles and felt pumped. You were on the path.

But still … you had nothing, and maybe it had to do with that chocolate coma you were in over the weekend that hasn’t really worn off. Or maybe you’re just being a lazyass and need some fire again.

You look for a sign, but know that eventually you’ll  get back on track, however the loss of time burns you out.

So you go on about your day.

You work out in the mornings.

You get through the crazy chaos of getting ready for school and packing snacks.

You return to begin your appointment with Scrubbing Bubbles and the Swiffer.

You take a smoothie break while perfecting your best Play-Doh pancake and then follow it up with sipping the most awesome pretend tea that your daughter has made with her Sesame Street Tea Set.

You venture outdoors and avoid the Mommy-And-Me-Mafia at toddler story time.

You race to pick up your son from kindergarten and hope the PTA clan doesn’t take up all the parking.

Your kids still seem to have too much energy and feel the need to hang out at the park. So after an hour of swings, twirly slides, and pretend obstacle courses that earned them gold medal status, we head back home.

And then BAM!

This is where it happened.

You asked for it.

You didn’t think it be this obvious.

But it was.

There it was … up in sky … the sign.

 

Start Creating ... Can you believe that? I think my dad was talking to me.

Start Creating … Can you believe that? I think my dad was talking to me.

 

Dude …

It hit me.

It smacked me in the face, really.

I had no words, only smiles, a sense of how-cool-is-that, and inspiration.

Yeah … that one was definitely for me.

No confusion about it.

That was a sign … maybe from my dad.

 

 

Sandbox List Adventures 26: Secret Agent Spies and Love

15 Feb

It’s always about hiding in corners, tip-toeing so they don’t hear you, sneaking up, finding the antidote, having MacGyver moments with a stick of gum and two toothpicks, fighting the bad guys, and saving the world.

This is the life of Little Guat 007 and his sidekick 008, who is still in diapers.

In truth I had no idea where he got this concept as I’ve never exposed him to James Bond or Mission Impossible, but I can guess that it’s a combination of his love for the Justice League and the Playing Spies episode of Word World. Either way, there’s always espionage-like missions where they crack the Jenga code, solve the ABC Alphabet Foam Floor Puzzle, tie me up with the purple Minnie Mouse jump rope, rescue Dora The Explorer, and save the secret Hungry Hungry Hippos Marble Treasure.

It’s pretty intense.

We have these secret missions at least once a week, sometimes more when it rains over here. I really didn’t think I could add any more juice to these missions, but then my son saw the commercial and then it was on.

For a limited time only. Limited engagement.

That always seems to add a sense of urgency and so … it was on. In our latest Sandbox List Adventure, we mastered our spy skills and became the best 007 secret agents we could with the help of the Spy Exhibit at the Reagan Museum. Overall it was an awesome way to spend Valentine’s Day … taking down pretend bad guys and celebrating with chocolate afterward. Lots of it.

 

I knew President's Day weekend would bring in the crowds to the museum, so I thought we'd be spies on Valentine's Day and it proved to be pretty sweet.

I knew President’s Day weekend would bring in the crowds to the museum, so I thought we’d be spies on Valentine’s Day and it proved to be pretty sweet.

 

Once we got our tickets we did our Wonder Twins activate handshake and headed toward the exhibit.

Once we got our tickets we did our Wonder Twins activate toe tap and headed toward the exhibit.

 

We got our secret agent stickers and prepared ourselves for the movie and spy history lesson.

We got our secret agent stickers and prepared ourselves for the movie and spy history lesson.

 

First we were informed of some rules, which my son took pretty seriously.

First we were informed of some rules, which my son took pretty seriously.

 

Then we got a few lessons from a couple of real spies.

Then we got a few lessons from a couple of real spies.

 

Then we learned about secret compartments.

We learned about secret compartments and listening devices.

 

And then we learned of even sneakier ways of spies.

And then we learned of even sneakier ways of spies … never knew a glue stick could be so versatile.

 

Then we realized that we had to beef up our criminalist briefcase. My son informed me we needed to go buy more spy tools as we only had our plastic screwdriver and wrench.

Then we realized that we had to beef up our criminalist kit. My son informed me we needed to go buy more spy tools as we only had our plastic screwdriver and wrench.

 

After the tool lesson,  we went to the technology area and checked out the satellite spy cameras. It was my favorite exhibit.

After the tool lesson, we went to the technology area and checked out the satellite spy cameras. It was my favorite exhibit.

 

My daughter's favorite part was the laser used to eavesdrop on people. She was there awhile.

My daughter’s favorite part was the laser used to eavesdrop on people. She was there awhile.

 

My son got a kick out of the voice changer and hearing all his secret identities.

My son got a kick out of the voice changer and hearing all his secret identities.

 

They enjoyed all the exhibits, however the lazer maze was their favorite.

They enjoyed all the exhibits, however the laser maze was their favorite. We did all our secret agent Mission Impossible Ethan Hunt moves to get passed the green lasers you always see in the movies.

 

With this museum having all kinds of spy history it's no wonder that they also had information about The Berlin Wall.

With this museum having all kinds of spy history it’s no wonder that they also had information about The Berlin Wall.

 

Being able to touch this was a pretty special moment.

Being able to touch this was a pretty special moment.

 

After soaking up that very special part of history we ran across another exhibit and decided to keep exploring. However, no pictures were allowed inside, but I can say that going inside Air Force I was pretty cool.

After soaking up that very special part of history, we ran across another exhibit and decided to keep exploring. However, no pictures were allowed inside, but I can say that being on Air Force I was pretty cool.

 

After all that spy stuff and airplane business, we thought we'd stop to rest. Seeing this pub-like eatery next to the exhibits inspired lunch.

After all that spy stuff and airplane business, we thought we’d stop to rest. Seeing this pub-like eatery next to the exhibits inspired snack time.

 

It also gave my son a chance to give me his Valentine's Day surprise. His handmade I Love You card rocked.

It also gave my son a chance to give me his Valentine’s Day surprise. His handmade I Love You card rocked.

 

But him telling me "I have a surprise for you. I made it myself." And then me seeing it. Dude. "I give you my heart, mom"  Duuuuuude. That was the best ending to our 007 spy mission impossible kind of day.

But him telling me “I have another surprise for you. I made it myself.” And then me seeing it. Dude. “I give you my heart, mom.” Duuuuuude. That got him some extra pieces of chocolate. Yeah most definitely. It was the best ending to our 007 Spy Mission Impossible kind of day.

 

 

Love … Costanza Style

12 Feb

 

Image via TBS.com

Image via TBS.com

 

Just in case some of you forgot that the biggest love day on Earth is set to take place on Friday, thought I share some Costanza wisdom with you.

 

Trouble Changed My Night

10 Feb

 

Hanging on by my last piece of chocolate and nowhere near tip-top shape, I was sinking pretty quickly last week. It seems that I was not alone as a couple of friends were also on the throw-me-a-lifesaver vibe.

And usually when chocolate doesn’t work I go to my pick-me-up song Oooh Child by The Five Stairsteps. But before I could log on to my computer and listen to this classic tune, Trouble changed my night.

I had never seen Trouble before, but it definitely flipped my switch.

It juiced up my existence again. I remembered I’m not just Guat  … I’m a Ninja Triathlete Warrior. I’m a future Barnes & Noble Best Seller. I’m a Super Soul Sunday Engineer.  I’m a Human Spirit Adventure Developer. I am Spartacus.

The passion and energy jumped out at me and after watching this performance on The Tonight Show I didn’t feel all that crappy anymore. The fact that my life blueprint wasn’t matching my current existence didn’t seem too overwhelming at the moment. I got a zest of energy to take action. To do something.

It was the adrenaline shot I needed to get through the nightly malaise that almost took my sleep.

So I thank you Vintage Trouble wherever you are … you lit a fire under my ass and a fateful return to a better state of mind.

I think you’ve earned a spot on my morning run playlist.

 

Sandbox List Adventure: A Different Perspective

7 Feb

These tiny pieces of plastic have dominated my home in form of skyscrapers, superheroes, fire engines, policemen, airplanes, miniature villages, tiny people with their own adventures, books, stickers, games, calendars, and the mecca … LEGOLAND itself.

But this … this was something he hadn’t seen before so the excitement was building.

It was his many stories … his imagination coming to life on the big screen and he wanted to see it. He wanted to experience it. He wanted to see what someone had created with the very same LEGOS he plays with everyday. He wanted to see someone’s story. He wanted to see what they came up with … he wanted to compare stories … he wanted to get ideas. He wanted to go on another LEGO adventure. A big one.

The LEGO Movie.

I’d been hearing about it for weeks.

Weeks.

The countdown had been on.

And the day was finally here, but seeing how this was The LEGO Movie I figure I’d step it up a notch.

In all my years of movie-watching I’d never experienced the 3D version of anything, neither has my son or daughter. So I figured we’d go big on this LEGO Movie and pack in as much LEGO love as possible. Seeing LEGOS in a different perspective was pretty awesome for all of us. I recommend it. It was a great story of a “… ‘Nobody’ who saved everybody.” I’d give you a full review of the movie, but figured I didn’t want to ruin the magic for those of you who hadn’t seen it. And if you haven’t seen it, I strongly suggest you take your own kindergarteners on this Sandbox List Adventure. They’ll thank you for it.

 

The poster we passed on a weekly basis that reminded me when this adventure would debut.

The poster we passed on a weekly basis that reminded me when this adventure would debut.

 

Dude. I thought finding parking in front of the theater was awesome ... I can't tell you how Guatacular this sight was ... no line. I prepared myself for an onslaught of elementary school kids ... so glad we got the matinee right after school.

Dude. I thought finding parking in front of the theater was awesome … I can’t tell you how Guatacular this sight was … no line. I prepared myself for an onslaught of elementary school kids and massive lines … so glad we got the matinee right after school.

 

Hanging out in the lobby meeting one of the co- stars.

Hanging out in the lobby meeting one of the co- stars.

 

My daughter was pretty fond of the female lead, and I gotta say so was I. Lucy rocked.

My daughter was pretty fond of the female lead, and I gotta say so was I. Lucy rocked.

 

Our first 3D glasses, but probably not our last.

Our first 3D glasses, but probably not our last.

 

One of the best views of my day ... my kids enjoying every minute.

One of the best views of my day … my kids enjoying every minute … complete with popcorn.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Object

5 Feb

 

My first television ...

My first television …

 

Object of fond memories.

Object that made me smile.

Object of laughter.

Object of my childhood.

Object of my happiness.

Object.