when the learning curve is more like a learning crawl

Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 5.23.24 PM

Why oh why oh WHY?!?

T-man and Bear are some pretty sharp tacks, but there are things that seem to be simply beyond comprehension for these kids.  Now, to be fair they are children, so it’s not like I’m expecting them to understand nuclear fusion or metaphysics.  They’ve gotta have something to study in college, after all.

That being said, there are some very basic concepts that I’d really think would be no brainers by now.  Unless I say “when you feel like it” then I truly mean “now, please” when I give an instruction, regardless of whatever iPad game has its hooks in you.  “Putting your shoes away” means a great deal more than shoving them under the nearest coffee table or chair. Leaving empty boxes in the pantry is just mean, and dirty clothes don’t teleport themselves to the laundry room.

But today?  Today we’re talking about trash versus recycling.

Continue reading


Look, I get it.  Sometimes we’re a little too burned out to give 110% at 7:00 at night.  Sometimes you’re phoning it in because it’s all you can do to get through the day.

But when you agree to coach then you’re committing to bringing your A game for the kids. You’re human, you’re allowed to have an off day, but that cannot be the norm.  You have got to show up.

So while I typically go by the motto of put up or shut up – meaning if you didn’t volunteer to coach then keep your opinions to yourself – at a certain point I can’t help asking what the hell they’re doing on that field.

Continue reading

Were you raised in a barn?

It’s time for a grumpy old lady post.  (Please wait while I don granny glasses and peer over them with an “I brought you into this world and I’ll take you out of it” expression.)

What is up with kids today?!

I don’t mean all kids, naturally.  I’ve met a number of perfectly well-behaved girls and boys, and we’ve received more than a few compliments on T-man and Bear (for which I’m always exceedingly grateful).  I know there are good kids in the world.

But I’ve met enough of the bad apple sort to wonder what the hell’s going on.

Continue reading

mama bear sharpens her claws

This mama instinct is nothing to fool around with.

I mean, I’ve always had a protective impulse; kids and animals hold a special place in my heart, and I don’t remember a time when seeing them treated poorly didn’t push my buttons.

But none of that prepared me for the tsunami of emotions that rages through me when someone screws with my kids.

Continue reading

that pesky overdeveloped sense of justice

Okay, y’all, putting aside the fact that I’ve had these exact same What is happening here?!? moments lately – THIS TITLE.  It stopped me in my tracks.  How could I not share this blog post with you?  “Jesus hold my earrings”???  Bwahahahaha!!!

But seriously…hysterical title, totally valid post.  Pop on over and check it out.

“Jesus hold my earrings, because I JUST CAN’T with the world right now.

I struggle with cynicism.  I have a condition that my friend Tara Livesay refers to as “Overdeveloped Sense of Justice.”  This isn’t all bad.  It’s great for empathy.  It leads me to care for others and take action to make things right.  But it can also mean that I easily devolve into feelings of frustration or despair when things are unjust.  The tendency to fire up the outrage machine is not always ideal.”

Rage Against the Minivan: Jesus hold my earrings, because I JUST CAN’T with the world right now.

take a peek, part 4

Time for another peek inside my head.  It can get a little squirrelly in there (don’t believe me? you can check out “take a peek, part 2” here)…just hang on for the ride.

This one will be full on rant.

So I know the mother bond is supposed to be life changing.  A birthmother’s strength in sacrifice, an adoptive mother’s steadfast love…two women coming together to create a life for a child that rings strong and true.  When you look at it that way the whole thing sounds rather kumbaya.

Man, real life can get messy.

Because you know what tips me over the cliff in a heartbeat?  I mean something that rates a blood boiling, heart rate accelerating, steam rising from my head sort of response?

When T-man’s birthmother questions my motives or decisions while raising this child.

It’s all well and good to have your own life stuff going on – don’t we all? – but you have for real got to separate that shit out from the relationship we are working so hard to maintain here.

Just like I have no idea what it’s like to walk in her shoes, she has absolutely no idea what it’s like to parent this child.  To be there for him, day after day, no matter what he throws at me.  To double down when I’m ready to give up because this parenting thing can be so freaking hard and nobody can prepare you for the endless grind of it all.

That parenting a child is nothing like childbirth.  Bringing a baby into this world is full of highs and lows and God knows what else, but raising up a human being can be an in the trenches, gunfire blazing, waiting for the next bomb to drop sort of experience that rolls right over you. And all you can do is bob to the top to wait for the next wave.

So don’t tell me I’m being selfish or on a power trip or we’ve used you or whatever other bullshit you’re peddling today.  I’ve got my hands full here and don’t have time to teach you how to disagree respectfully.

I don’t need kumbaya…but I do need an adult relationship.

And that’s my peek for today.

at the risk of sounding like a fuddy duddy

I’ve never liked April Fool’s Day.

I guess I might have enjoyed it a little as a child, but I don’t remember ever really getting into the day as a sport.  So maybe “I’ve mostly been ambivalent about April Fool’s Day” might be a more accurate statement.

Until I became a teacher.

April Fool’s Day was the bane of my existence.  Okay, maybe that’s a bit of an overstatement, but at the very least it was an extraordinarily annoying day to endure in the classroom.

Students lose their freaking minds on April Fool’s Day.

Suddenly everything is an opportunity to shout “April Fool’s!”

  • The dog ate my homework.  “April Fool’s!”
  • I forgot my pencil.  “April Fool’s!”
  • Your shoe’s untied.  “April Fool’s!”

And on and on and on…endless throwaway statements followed by the cry of “April Fool’s!” Statements that without fail were never funny.

I quickly realized that the youth of America were remarkably lacking when it came to humor. And that I should call in sick on April 1st.

Missing Letter Monday: no Q

missing letter banner

No Qs…Ha!  I laugh in the face of this Q-less challenge.

Onward and upward, quickly.  Oops.  I mean quietly – rats.  Let’s just get on with it then. Challenge courtesy of The Mad Grad Student’s Missing Letter Mondays challenge.

My stream of consciousness rant for today:

You know what I’m dying to know?  What’s so freaking impossible about making a sports bra? Frankly, I was stunned to learn that the first sports bra was designed by a woman (Lisa Lindahl, what were you thinking?!).  She was a jogger, so while she was probably in shape I doubt she had Houdini-like skills when it came to getting out of these damn things.  Or getting into them, for that matter.

I’ve often found myself literally stuck, mid process, while struggling into one of my sports bras. It’s a simple enough start – over the head, one arm up and through – and then you hit the dilemma.  You have to start shimmying that thing down your back or you’ll end up with a super strong band of reinforced fabric bunched up around your shoulder blades.  Fabric you can’t reach, which you know if you’ve ever tried to scratch an itch located precisely between your shoulders.  You need to start pulling the bra down, except if you don’t put your second arm through now then the tension is too great to create an armhole to use.

So you end up using a hybrid approach – first arm through, shimmy fabric 1/2 inch down in back, other hand through second armhole, shimmy fabric 1/2 inch more, put whole second arm through only to find it’s stuck at an awkward angle above your head.  Now you’re listing 20 degrees starboard, hand flapping uselessly above your head as you wonder if this is the time you’ll have to call for help before you lose all feeling in your limb.

If the stars and planets are aligned you’ll manage to get the damn thing on and breathe a sigh of satisfaction.  (But not too deep a sigh ’cause, you know, you’re all jammed up in this undergarment.)  You might think you’re home free, a sense of relief I haven’t experienced since the first time I wore a sports bra.  Because now I remember that there comes a point when you have to take the freaking thing off, which means throwing this whole process into reverse, a situation that’s a whole lot trickier once you’re exhausted and sweaty from exercising.

Now I’m not what you’d call a busty gal, but even I recognize how crucial this item of clothing is for any activity more strenuous than your average day.  The sports bra can be a massive pain in the neck shoulder back ass, but have you ever tried exercising in a regular bra?  I’m not talking about a super fancy, lacy, special event piece of lingerie – just a plain old, run of the mill, picked it up at the outlet bra.  There’s shifting and pinching and (if you’re really unlucky) the very real possibility of a boob popping out at an unfortunate moment.

And while boob explosions might seem like a plus to some, to most of us it’s a major faux pas in the public arena.  Which leads us back to sports bras.

The girls rely on a good sports bra to keep them in check, so this piece of athletic clothing isn’t really optional.  But seriously…there isn’t a better system than this?!