I love Jesus, but I swear a lot

I love Jesus ,but I swear a lot.  I saw a version of that sentence on one of those someecards floating around years ago and I immediately decided it was going to be my Real Housewives tagline.  It was written explicitly for me and I should probably get it tattooed on my body.

I think a lot of us agree that using swear words is fun. If you don’t agree with this statement then this may not be the right mom blog for you. I learned all about swearing at a young age because my dad is a huge sports fan who actually believes the players and coach of the team he’s watching can hear him through the television. Not only would he swear a lot, but it was loudly. And because he’s a Tampa sports fan, there’s A LOT of yelling at the tv. We recently had to teach Olivia all about Papa’s football yelling.  One day when we were over, Papa was in his sports room watching the Bucs. Right when Olivia decided she wanted to go in and see Papa, something bad happened in the game and Papa yelled. Loudly. Probably said fuck a few times. And fired the coach through the tv. Olivia came running back to my mother crying because Papa yelled. “Aww baby it’s just the Bucs causing Papa to yell. They’re really bad this year.”  When the Bucs play, it’s best to be in another room or just not be at their house at all.

My mother, on the other hand, rarely swears. Maybe I’ve heard her swear five times in my life, only when she’s really really mad, and never at me (well, maybe once). My mom is what you would call a “classy lady”. She got this from her amazingly beautiful and classy mother, but no matter how hard she tried, even sending me to etiquette school, I just did not inherit that gene. Which means that there are many times she has been absolutely horrified by me.

So let’s do an aside here on how I have horrified my mother just in the past few years (going back further would result in a memoir, and really, that’s her story to tell):

I called my two year old daughter an asshole. Not to her face (that time), just in conversation about the way she was behaving. There was no other word for it, and it felt amazing to call her that behind her back.  Calling children assholes is an incredible release.  If I hear another mother refer to her children as assholes, I immediately invite her over for wine night.

My Mom: “I can’t believe you would call your daughter an asshole”. Now, let’s pause there for a second. My mom really can’t believe that I would call my daughter an asshole? It’s either confidence in me that I will one day get my shit together and be a proper lady, or complete denial. I love that woman.

When I was pregnant with Olivia, Rich and I dressed up for Halloween as a trailer trash couple, full of my large belly hanging out. I got this text from my mom after she saw the pics on Facebook:

“I can’t believe you would disgrace your pregnancy with that horrible costume! Take that picture down. What if your aunt saw that?” (I checked Facebook to see if I still had it up but I listened to my mom and actually deleted it.  However, my raised Catholic mother had no problem with me dressing up as the Virgin Mary and Rich as Jesus the year before).

Halloween 2011

When I posted a picture of my 4 year old standing in front of our Christmas tree with just her underwear and a Santa hat. Mom thought it was tasteless. I thought it should be next years’ Christmas card. You can form your own opinion:

Olivia Christmas

She also blames me for my husband’s lack of taste or discretion on social media. Here’s a list of his posts I got text messages on (that I can remember off the top of my head. I’m sure there’s more):

Hillary Clinton in a star spangled bathing suit.

Hillary Clinton in a prison jumpsuit.

Hillary Clinton as Cersei Lannister during her walk of shame.

When he changed his Facebook profile picture to Donald Trump.

When he tried to appease her by changing his profile picture to a woman dressed in a vagina costume at one of the women’s rallies.

A picture of girls in Japan wearing flesh colored bathing suits.

A zit being popped.

Back to swearing. I really do love to say the F word. It just goes with everything, like a fine wine.  Or any wine, for that matter.  Shit is probably my favorite though and I’m starting to use it to refer to poop a lot more lately, which is obviously not good for my girls:  “did you shit your pants again baby Brooke?”.  Asshole is a great swear word too, as “what an asshole!” just flows so easily.  I used to be very careful about swearing as I am, believe it or not, a Christian, but as I grew older and wiser, I’ve decided that being a good Christian has nothing to do with swearing (besides saying the Lord’s name in vain. I fucking love an angry “G— Damnit, but I try to limit that as much as possible). Swear words are just words. Just a few letters put together to make sounds.

Obviously the issue with swearing is doing it around my children.  I never realized how young kids are when they start picking up on these words, and just knowing inherently they’re bad. I really thought I had more time.  Olivia was barely two when she used the word “shit” in the right context. When that happens, it’s hard to one: not laugh, and two: not be totally impressed. After my husband and I tried to hide our laughs, we told Olivia that shit is a potty word and it’s not nice to use.  Like responsible parents.  It’s not just words either.  A few months before this, Rich left work earlier than I did and would pick up Olivia from daycare and wait for me to get home.  He was starting getting into Dexter around this time and would binge watch it while Olivia played with her toys.  What she was really doing was paying attention to everything that was going on and this lead to Olivia trying to stab him  in the leg with a butter knife one day while he was doing dishes.  Funny, not funny.

I’ve tried using “fudge” for a while but its just not the same, and when I’m really angry it’s hard to remember to use it.  I do like how they swear in the Kristen Bell/Ted Danson show The Good Place, saying “fork you” and “holy forking shirtballs!”.  If I were to calm down my incessant swearing, I can totally be down with “fork off”.  (Side note – that show is awesome, watch it).

Swearing doesn’t make you a bad person, a bad Christian, or a bad parent.  Sometimes it just happens and there’s nothing you can do about it.  As long as we teach our kids that “Mommy/Daddy/Papa got a little upset and are sorry for saying those potty words” and that they should not say those words as it’s not polite, especially in school, you’re good (I’ll try this next time…).  Yes, try to practice restraint when you can, but really, curse words are fucking awesome and if that means I won’t be nominated for Mother of the fucking Year, well, that’s just one reason out of many.

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Day 31…

Day is January 31st, so I am officially off Whole30.  So, how did I do?  What am I reintroducing first?  Would I do it again?  Well, those are great questions, thank you, and read below to find the answers.

Week One – not so bad.  See week one post.

Week Two – hell.  See week two post.

Weeks 3 & 4 – plagued with stomach flu, and the actual flu.  So, a different kind of hell.

Week two is awful for everyone and the only thing that keeps us going is the thought of Tiger Blood in week three.  I expected to feel great on the Sunday starting my third week, but I felt awful.  I had no energy and felt like I was severely lacking nutrients.  I cursed the Whole30 and decided that I was not eating enough and I would become malnourished.  On Monday I felt even worse, then starting vomiting all night.  Oh, that’s why I wasn’t feeling well.  Stomach flu hit our family hard and anything I tried to eat just came back up.  At one point I searched my fridge for anything I could keep down, compliant or not, and I came up with Activia yogurt that I bought for my husband.  I ate it and kept it down, and cared less that I was cheating.  I needed those probiotics in my gut and I did feel a little better after eating it.   I would be damned if an Activia yogurt was going to start me over on my Whole30 journey, so I decided it didn’t count and I moved on.

I felt better in a few days, plus I added Vital Proteins Collagen Protein (Whole30 approved!) as well as an avocado a day, and I did feel a few days of Tiger Blood.  I felt stronger than I had in a long time, and I do think adding those two sources of fat and protein helped a lot.  I would say I got a good week of feeling decent until the flu hit our family about 10 days after we got the stomach flu.  We all had it, except for the baby, who got her flu shot, and only now, after four days, do I feel slightly better.  There’s definitely a sense of being run down, but its not terrible.  On the thirtieth day I had a few bites of a grilled cheese my husband made us all.  Comfort food, when we needed comforting.  It didn’t taste as good as I remembered.

So, my Whole30 was a bit of a mess but I do feel I received a ton of benefits.  I learned a few new ways to cook, I understand how my body reacts to certain foods, and I really like the idea of staying on a Paleo-type diet.  I haven’t had pizza in over 30 days and I am totally ok!  I don’t crave it at all.  I’m sure I will have a slice again sometime soon, but I don’t expect to search it out.  I feel like cheese made me feel bloated and weighed down, and although I love it, I’m going to try to stay away.

I think, in normal life, the 80/20 rule works well.  Eat 80% healthy, and save the 20% for special occasions, a once a week treat, or a wine night.  A Whole30 diet isn’t really sustainable, but I do think its good to do once or twice a year to clean out your body.  At least the second time around you know what’s coming.  So would I do it again?  Yes.  I would like to do it again in 4-6 months and hopefully stay away from sickness so I can really go clean.  Would I recommend it for everyone?  Sure, if you have no underlying health concerns.

Oh, and the reintroduction phase?  Well, I ate three sour patch kids today and they were delicious.  Plus half a Publix doughnut.  It was amazing, but tomorrow starts my Whole30-lite/Paleo 80/20.  The 20% will be used on alcohol this weekend.  🙂

Two Weeks into Whole30

Today is my 14th day on Whole30. For me, this is an amazing accomplishment. I went my birthday without eating cupcakes and drinking wine. I haven’t had Swedish Fish, ice cream, or even an organic gummy bear in two weeks. I have spinach, kale, and avocado every day. This is the healthiest I’ve ever eaten in my entire life and I know that the promised Whole30 “Tiger Blood” is on it’s way. At least it better be, because frankly, these past two weeks fucking sucked.

Week one wasn’t terrible. There is always an excitement when you start something new with equally enthusiastic people whom you like, and knowing that they are going through the same tiredness, food boredom and sugar headaches you are helps in the complaining department. I certainly can’t complain to my husband or parents, as to them this was my choice and if I don’t like it, just stop it. Well, this doesn’t work that way. At least I don’t.

I didn’t really get any sugar headaches. There was maybe one mild one but nothing that was dire. I’ve heard of people getting headaches for days and almost quitting due to that, but surprisingly I was fine. I ate so much sugar the month before so I took that as a blessing. I was tired and my workouts were weak, but that was to be expected. I think the worst “side-effect” I got was my absolute stabbiness. I was so quick to snap at my loved ones and the fact that my poor husband hasn’t left to stay at a friends house for the rest of the month shows his true support of this endeavor.

Now let’s talk about week 2. What a fucking nightmare. I started this post a few times during week two but they were mostly paragraphs of swear words and incoherent babbling about my wanting to take a nap and never eat an egg again. (I’m throwing in a few “potty” words in this post as an homage). Day nine was when things got bad. I woke up exhausted and felt like my muscles had atrophied. Getting out of bed, getting my kids ready for school/daycare, taking them to school/daycare, then having to interact with humans the rest of the day took everything I had. Luckily I worked from home. Somehow I was able to force myself to go to Cardio Strength class that night, as Tuesday the whole family goes to the gym together, and it was during that class I decided to quit Whole30. I was done. I had nothing prepared for dinner, I was incredibly tired, and I desperately wanted alcohol. I figured we would make a Chick-fil-a run on the way home, I would get grilled chicken nuggets so I was still somewhat healthy, then finish my night off with a glorious glass of wine. When class ended and I started talking to my Whole30 friends, I knew I wasn’t going to do it. I ended up going through the Wendy’s Drive-thru for the kids and getting myself three plain baked potatoes. Then I went home and made eggs. Again. I passed that test.

You would think the universe would have rewarded me for my extreme mental determination the night before, but no. It didn’t. I woke up on day 10 feeling like I got hit by a bus. Worse, I had a very long work day ahead of me that had me meeting partners that needed to like me. When I got to their office, the first thing I saw were the beautiful Publix doughnut assortment laid out on the conference table. Agony. I drank my black coffee and pretended that I was a smart, kind person that anyone would want to give their business to. Lunch was worse. It was a place known for it’s local, organic fare, but that included gluten-free pastries and cheesecakes of so many kinds. I had a very plain salad and another black coffee. I was miserable, but I made it through the day with no casualties.

Day 11 I woke up less feeling like I’d been hit by a bus, and more like I was side-swiped by a healthy, fit and energetic cyclist who, after swiping me, gave me the finger. Progress.

Each day did get a little better energy-wise, plus I was less stabby which was a blessing for all. My workouts weren’t leaving me drained and I woke up with less hate in my heart. In fact, there was some real positivity creeping in. I could see that my skin was starting to look pretty good and I felt thin and never bloated. Maybe too thin though. I could tell I was losing too much weight so I did the one of the things they tell you not to do: I weighed myself. I felt I had good reason in that I wasn’t doing this to lose weight, just a few holiday pounds, and I definitely didn’t want to lose muscle, so I needed a numerical gauge. I had lost 9 pounds. This was too much so I knew I had to add more fat into my diet, which led to eating an avocado a day and a lot of nuts. Not a bad thing.

Even though my weight had dropped, I think a good five pounds was bloat from all the sugar and carbs I had been sustaining myself on for, well, years. When I look at my body today, I see thin but I also see more tone. I look and feel stronger. I was able to do the “bird” or “crow” pose in Body Flow on day 13 for about 3 seconds, and I had never done it before. That felt amazing.

So today, Day 14, how do I really feel? Decent. Better. There are noticeable changes and I can feel a few benefits. Tiger Blood? No, not yet, but here and there I have moments where I feel something like it. The next few days are when you’re really supposed to feel it but I’m not counting on it happening that soon. What I realized is I have spent the last 37 years sustaining on sugar and bread, and my body now has to learn to burn fat and healthy carbs to maintain. Maybe I was fit before, but I wasn’t eating nutritiously and doing what was best for my body. I think this is why I had such a rough week two, and why Tiger Blood could possibly be delayed a few days. It’s there, ready to come out, but I think my body wants to be totally sure I’m really really doing this before it gives me my reward. Imagine how confused it must be: All these vegetables! This protein that didn’t come from a powder or bar! No alcohol! No dessert! Too good to be true!

Do I feel jealous when I see those around me eating cupcakes and having an ice cold beer? Yes, but I made a choice, and that choice only lasts 30 days. I can have that cupcake in just a few weeks, if I really want it, but who knows? Maybe I won’t even want it by then (we’ll see about that). I’ve learned I can say no to something, that I won’t die or even be in any physical pain by not having a cupcake. I can survive motherhood for a few weeks without having a glass of wine or two. I can cook! And it’s really not that hard! I’ve learned that my body needs a lot of fuel to keep it going, but how I feel depends on the type of fuel I feed it. I know when I’m actually hungry and not just bored. I can easily stop a craving by switching my mind to something else. I can talk myself out of even licking French fry grease off my fingers after I hand one to the baby. If this is all that happens, if this is all I get, then Whole30 was/is a total success, but I know there’s more. My life is already changed dramatically in two weeks, and I know that by completing this challenge, I will have accomplished something I never thought I could do. The mental achievement of Whole30 could easily surpass the physical benefits. Because now, now it’s mental. Now that my body is somewhat “recovered”, it’s my mind that will need to get me through to the end. Here’s to keeping my sanity!

Whole30 Week One

It was New Year’s Day 2018, and my family had a great New Year’s Eve seeing Star Wars during the day (and eating two giant tubs of very buttery popcorn, a pack of Twizzlers, and drinking root beer), going to a neighborhood party at night, drinking jello shots and some kind of apple cider moonshine concoction that was delicious (not the kids, I did not let them have moonshine), and ended the night after my four year old stepped in dog poo and completely lost it (it was really funny. Quite possibly the best moment of the night). Rich and I even managed to stay up to watch the ball drop but fell asleep right afterwards.  It was a perfect night. I woke up the next morning feeling incredibly pumped and full of energy to get the new year started and enjoy my first day on the Whole30 plan!  Just kidding, I woke up very hungover and felt like shit from all alcohol and sugar I had consumed the night before.  It was pretty awful.  The kids were still asleep when I woke up, WHICH NEVER HAPPENS, but unfortunately, I had committed to creating half of our YMCA group’s workout, so I had to get my butt up and get to the gym.  I could not let my team down, especially as it was day one on Whole30 for a few of them as well. So I dragged my ass out of bed, got dressed, grabbed a Whole30 compliant RXbar, and got to the Y.  Usually I would get a Starbucks Americano with cream and sugar and a blueberry muffin as my pre-workout breakfast of choice, but I committed to Whole30 and certainly was not going to fail on my very first meal.  *Side note: RXbars are compliant on Whole30 but only for emergencies.  They want you to eat real food.  I absolutely considered the 10 minutes I had to get to the gym an emergency.

The workout was extra hard.  My friend who came up with the first part of the workout killed us with lots of running, push-ups, froggies and bear crawls, then we had to do my part, which was working our muscles to exhaustion.  It was not pretty, but I made it and I’m so glad I went.  I spent the rest of the day eating eggs, veggies, and apples with almond butter while laying on the couch under the covers with my kids as it was freezing outside and I was still feeling hungover.  This Whole30 thing would be fine.  I could do this.

Today I am on day 7, which just so happens to be my 37th birthday, and I feel good.  I woke up NOT hungover and went to the gym to do some Body Pump.  It’s incredibly rare when I make it to Sunday Pump not hungover.  The Body Pump instructor is in my Whole30 group as well and she had a lot of energy and did a great class, so that certainly helped.  It was the best I felt all week and I am looking forward to what else this Whole30 will bring me.  I know there will still be many rough days, but I needed a day like today to motivate me to keep going, since the rest of the week wasn’t as pleasant…

The first two days were a little hard but nothing terrible.  I was tired and lacked energy but that could have easily been from the NYE partying and just the crazy busy holidays in general, and also getting back into the swing of things with work.  I ate very well and had no problem seeing my husband and kids eat things I was not supposed to.  It felt good to make the choices I made, such as eating a handful of pecans when I was low on energy instead of gummy bears, and feeling the actual benefit of a good snack rather than a sugar crash.  I also learned that I need to eat more at meals.  Because I’m so active, I need a lot of protein and healthy fats to keep my body going.

Cut to days three and four.  They were rough, like I expected them to be, but you don’t really understand it until you’re in it.  It took all of my energy to get to the gym but I’m so glad I did.  The workouts weren’t my best but just being there helped me feel a little better.  Also, people in my Facebook Whole30 group were going through the same thing, so it’s always better to be miserable with other people. Regarding food:  no real cravings.  Pizza actually did not look good.  PIZZA!  I was nauseous just thinking about it.  I didn’t really get the sugar hangover though, which I fully expected because cupcakes and pies were a daily occurrence in December. One slight headache but it didn’t last long.  I was feeling like I could actually get through this month.

Days five and six were better energy wise, but I did notice my skin was very dry.  I wanted to attribute this to Whole30 just so I had something to complain about, but I think it was the fact that Florida was experiencing it’s one week a year of winter, and it was disgustingly cold and dry outside.  I tried very hard to limit my exposure to fresh air.   Besides the dealthy 45 degree weather, I was positive and happy and looking forward to the weekend and my birthday, however I pretty much wanted to stab my husband in the eye each and every time he spoke to me.  Or looked at me.  Or thought of me. Everything would be going fine but then Rich would talk and I became completely on edge.  This is what Whole30 calls the “kill all the things” phase.
Then it happened with everyone I was around, even my kids.  Olivia never shuts up and I could not handle her asking me questions I either didn’t know the answer to, didn’t want to answer, or didn’t understand what the hell she was talking about.  I wanted nothing to do with humans, and to just stay inside under a blanket, eat apples with almond butter and read a good book.  But I’m a mom.  I was in positive spirits if I was by myself, but once someone talked to me, asked me for something, told me they loved me, I was done.  “What the fuck did you just say to me”? came out of my mouth a few times (to my husband, not my kids.  With my kids it was more like “yes dear, what can I do for you?” with gritted teeth).  It was instant.  I could feel the moment I would snap.  Luckily by the end of day 6 I was better able to keep my shitty attitude in check and not yell at my husband or anyone else I came in contact with for nothing they did wrong besides existing in my world.   Example:  I was in my bathroom getting ready to go out to a birthday dinner with friends (kids were at the grandparents, thank God for them).  My husband came into the bedroom looking for his shoes.  He said out loud, talking to himself, “are my shoes in here?”, and I about lost it.  I was so annoyed with him for not knowing exactly where his shoes were that I wanted to scream, but instead of cursing him out loud, I cursed him in my head then went back to straightening my hair.    It was over in a second and I even told him about it later. Like a grown-up.

The place I picked for my birthday dinner was an Asian restaurant that serves a lot of seafood.  I hate seafood, and Asian is not my favorite, so it was perfect.  Everyone ate dishes with smelly fish and weird names and sauces, and I ate my plain grilled chicken on a bed of lettuce and washed it down with a glass of water with lemon.  A few of my friends ordered dessert (man I love dessert), but my incredibly amazing wonderful beautiful friend who is an incredible cook made me Whole30 compliant chocolate pudding.  It was the best dessert I had ever had.  I was, however, slightly jealous of my friends for being able to drink, but I figured this was a choice I had made knowing it was my birthday month, and very soon I would be able to have a delicious Cabernet and a frosty mug of draft beer.  Also it was nice to not wake up on my birthday with a hangover.  I’m pretty sure that’s never happened since I became of drinking age.

It was truly a great time and a great birthday.  I am blessed with the most amazing family and friends.

So how do I feel about Whole30 so far?  I did not die.  Check back next week.

New Year’s Eve

As most of us parents of young children know, staying up until midnight on New Year’s Eve to watch the ball drop is a hefty challenge, one that I have not succeeded in in about four years.  I prefer to stay home on NYE, get the kids to bed, drink a few glasses of wine, then fall asleep on the couch.  This NYE though, our neighborhood was having a block party of sorts so we decided that we would attend as it was only 10 houses down, there would be food, drinks, lots of kids, and we could at least say we did something.  As we headed down our block at 7:00 with one stroller full of baby and one stroller full of alcohol (Olivia walked), we figured we would have a good two hours to hang out before the kids would turn into pumpkins (this was optimistic as they usually turn into pumpkins much earlier).  This didn’t happen, as the excitement of the party and all of the kids around kept them up and having fun.  So, daddy and I drank, mingled, played with the kids, and enjoyed a nice NYE.  Around 10:30, after our third or fourth jello shot, we were ready to go home and go to bed.  When I say “we”, I meant Rich and myself.  The kids were still pretty full of energy.  Right as we were walking into our driveway, a good friend of ours who lives on the other side of the street invited us to come to another house in the neighborhood for a quick drink and some cards.  We figured “what the hell” and were on our way.  We did decided to ditch the strollers though and just bring our rolling cooler.  Brooke didn’t mind:  Brooke Cooler

I’m so glad we decided to stay up and hang out with our friends.  There were big kids playing with the little kids so we didn’t have to watch them, and we sat outside on the patio to drink champagne.  At 11:15-ish, one of the big kids came outside with a screaming Olivia in her arms.  Apparently one of the dogs had an accident in the house and my very squeamish four year old stepped in it:

Olivia dogIMG_4240

This was our cue to leave.  We said our goodbyes, packed up our kids, then headed home.  Once there, we put the baby to bed, and Rich, Olivia and I laid on the couch to watch the ball drop.  Olivia didn’t make it.  She was passed out by 11:55.  Rich and I did though, then passed out right after.  It was probably the best new year’s I’ve ever had.

Another Obnoxious Whole30 Post

Yes, that’s right. Another blogger posting about their New Year Whole30 journey, starting January first and that will most likely end January third. Here’s the deal: I’m super fit but I eat pretty shitty, plus I drink a lot of wine and smoke the (more than) occasional cigarette. I don’t feel great on a daily basis. I feel good sometimes, probably because I work out a lot, but if I didn’t work out I know I would feel much, much worse. I’m sick of relying on Starbucks to give me energy and feeling crappy each morning with a sugar, or alcohol, hangover. It’s time to get my diet to meet my fitness dedication.

Which won’t be easy. I love candy. Swedish Fish are truly gifts from God. It’s the perfect food. Cheesecake is a food group, and pizza is how I get my dose lycopene. I did switch from Haribou gummy bears to the organic ones, but not out of health. They’re softer and juicier.

The reason I’m doing this January first is because I completely disgusted myself with the amount of crap I gorged on in the month of December. My daughters birthday, Christmas, after Christmas, and what is promising to be a very sugar and alcohol filled New Year. It’s my last hurrah. I ate so much horribly chemical crap the past few days that I know I will have a massive sugar headache for about two weeks and will be a nightmare around my family (they are thrilled, btw).

I never do diets. In fact, I don’t really prepare for things. I did Savage Race two months ago without doing any actual distance running in the prior three months, and spent the night before at the Imagine Dragons concert two hours away. Oh and I drank a lot too. On three hours of sleep I completed the race with my team and had a blast. Except for the ice bath. That is the most awful, painful thing ever, worse than hours of labor and two c-sections. Generally, I would not think of starting a new regime in January when my birthday is the 7th, and before I really knew what I was getting into and just said “ok” to Whole30, I figured that would be my cheat day. Now that I know more about the plan and understand its benefits, I plan on not drinking, no cake, and being wholly compliant.

I’m not doing this just for myself. I need to be and do better for my family. I want to learn how to make healthy but delicious home cooked meals and teach my children that fruit snacks and gummy bears are not a good group. At just three years old, Olivia had to be put under general anesthesia because she had 10 cavities. I told myself that it was because we have hereditarily bad teeth and getting her to brush causes me to learn new wrestling techniques, but the truth is I was doing something wrong. My kids shouldn’t be eating fruit snacks everyday and that’s my fault. This won’t be an easy change for any of us at first, but it’s much needed.

So, here’s to 2018! Maybe it be the year I truly get my shit together!

Happy New Year everyone!

Its the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I love Christmas, especially now that I have little kids that can experience the joy and magic of the season like I remember when I was little. The look on my daughters’ faces when they see the tree all decorated and lit up for the first time makes my heart leap. The delight when we go around our neighborhood to look at Christmas lights. The amazement when they wake up on Christmas morning to find a horde of presents under the tree, and knowing that magical Santa spent his one night a year delivering my children all the presents they asked for. Oh Santa, how beloved he is when he leaves Shopkins and Nom Noms wrapped up all perfectly for my four year old. “Thank you Santa!” Olivia cheers. Yes, thank you Santa.

So let’s talk about this: Santa did not potty train my child. Santa did not get vomited on by my sick children. Santa did not have to deal with my three year old’s constant whining and tantrums. But Santa gets all the praise on Christmas morning for getting my girls everything they asked for and more. I call bullshit. I’m sick of Santa getting all the credit for my hard work. All year we tell our kids to behave because “Santa is watching”. “Mommy, I want that for Christmas” says Olivia as she points to every single toy in Target. “Ok, we’ll ask Santa and be a good girl and maybe he’ll bring it for you”.

This year, I’m taking Christmas back. Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea that Santa brings my girls presents that they asked for. It’s magical and beautiful. But I’m making sure that the “from” on some of the Christmas presents under the tree says “Mom & Dad”. Like the cool princess scooter Olivia has been asking for, and the Moana doll that she’s been waiting for. Sorry Santa, I’m taking a bit of your credit this year.

I want my girls to believe in Santa for as long as possible, and I definitely want them to understand why we have Christmas in the first place (that’s for another post), but I don’t think it’s too much to ask for a little appreciation from my kids. Mommy listened to all of your requests, braved Black Friday and crowded Targets to get the perfect presents, and stayed up late wrapping gifts. I deserve some of Santa’s credit. All us moms deserve some of Santa’s credit. WE ARE SANTA!

So while I write “From Mommy and Daddy” on a few of the present tags under the tree, the truth is, when Olivia is tearing apart her gifts in record pace, going from one to the next in .005 seconds, what it says on the tag won’t make a difference. She won’t even look at the tag. Also, she can’t read yet.

You win again this year Santa. You win again.