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My Favorite Things

  • Naptime
  • Caffeine in various forms
  • Italy
  • The Beach
  • Family camping trips
  • The gym
  • Storytime at the Library
  • Rachael Ray
  • Running

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Tips for Surviving your Family Trip to Disney World

Two weeks ago, I finished my first marathon and then headed to Orlando for a week's trip to the happiest place on Earth. I'm still not sure which was the bigger accomplishment: the 26.2 miles or surviving the week. I'm leaning towards the latter. Now that I've had a chance to catch up on some laundry, pay an ungodly amount for a disk full of pictures, and unpack, I've been able to come up with some things I wish I would have known before heading to Disney.

1. You can make fun of Disney geeks all you want until you realize they are the ones that have it all figured out.
You know the kind of people I'm talking about, right? Maybe you are even one of them. You see them driving around town with Mickey Mouse antennas and the pictures of their family members with mouse ears. In the parks, they are wearing matching shirts with Disney characters and maybe even cute sayings like "I'm his Minnie" and "I'm her Mickey" (I actually saw those, BTW). You are super cool, so you snicker under your breath at these people. Until you realize that while you are waiting in a 90 minute line to ride It's a Small World, they are walking through a line marked "Fast Pass Plus only" and getting right on the boats. They are trading Disney pins with cast members like it's their job and pointing out Hidden Mickeys while you are standing in 85 degree weather with a 30 lb 2 year old on your head hoping to catch a glimpse of Goofy's feet in the parade. So while you may be calling them nerds, they are calling you sucker.

2. Your kids will only remember what you didn't do.
My kids are in a bit of a princess phase. The Little Mermaid is playing right now as I type this. To that end, we planned most of our days around seeing princesses. We went to not one, but two, princess dinners. We saw 4 different Cinderellas. Yet, if you asked Captain Destructo if she met the princesses, she will say "we didn't see Mulan." I heard her tell her Sunday School teacher that today and my jaw hit the floor. She looked at me and said "we have to go again and meet Mulan, right?" I started to launch into an explanation of how I really didn't think Mulan should count as a princess, and then just sighed and said "right."

3. Say goodbye to things like nutrition and discipline.
On our first morning, we jaunted down to the quick service restaurant in our hotel and I saw a little boy walking out with a Mickey Mouse-shaped waffle covered in chocolate chips, whipped cream and chocolate sauce. For breakfast. In my head, I was disgusted that anyone could consider that a meal, let alone breakfast, but somehow I found myself ordering two of them. That, however, was not quite as bad as the time we had Mickey Mouse ice cream sandwiches for lunch while waiting to ride the Toy Story ride (hey, they were sandwiches). And discipline? Ha. Be honest. If you had planned a trip to Disney for months and months, planned to have dinner at Cinderella's Castle, somehow got the stars to align in such a way that you got a reservation at Cinderella's Castle, and then your kid throws a tantrum right before dinner, are you still going to take them? Of course you are. If you're me, and you've been using Disney World as the ultimate threat for months, you're pretty much stuck. I just started playing the Santa Claus card for discipline. If there are Christmas decorations out in Target, I figured it's not too early.

4.Everyone is at least a little bit sick.
Along the same vein as discipline, if you've planned and saved for this trip for months and your kid gets sick, of course you're still going to go. There was so much sneezing, coughing, and snotty nose-blowing. We attempted to wash our hands a lot, but short of carrying a can of Lysol (which I considered) or wiping every hand rail with Clorox wipes, I don't see how you can avoid them. Sure enough, 2 days after returning, New Baby and I were down for the count with fevers. One day, while leaving a dinner show, we saw one poor little girl sprint out of a restaurant and lose her dinner all over the sidewalk. So sometimes terrible nutrition + tons of germs = disaster.

5. Sometimes the pressure of "The Happiest Place on Earth" is a little too much for everyone.
To beat the crowds at the parks, you really need to be there when the gates open, which usually means 9 AM. Everywhere in Disney takes a million years to get there, so you need to leave your hotel by 8:30 at the latest. Then you spend the day riding rides, seeing shows, meeting characters, and waiting in lots of lines. At night, there are parades, dinners, more shows and fireworks. After all this, you return to your hotels between 10 and 11. What sounds like so much fun for your kids can be completely overwhelming. And lots of times, parents have saved and planned so much that they are heartbroken when their kids don't love every single second. We met one dad who told us "we're not having such a good time. He's being a brat" while pointing to his 4 year-old. I saw one poor mom with 4 kids under 7 spend 10 minutes trying to get her 3 year old son just to get off the boat from the hotel to the Magic Kingdom. On our last day, we heard 2 people saying to their kids "I just want one good family picture! We've seen this same show 4 times! Just stop watching it and come stand in this line." (one of those people may have been me. See "good family picture" below). Bottom line? It's supposed to be fun. When you're fussing at your kid to stop crying and give Cinderella a hug, no one is having fun. We wished we would have scheduled a day to stay at the hotel, sleep and go in the pool (which we never did!).

I am so thankful for our trip. We have lots of (good and not-so-good) memories, and luckily lots of lessons for the next trip.

Monday, September 2, 2013

10 Signs You're Taking Your Trip to Disney World Too Seriously

We are in the midst of our last fall without either kid in school, and to mark the occasion, we are planning a trip to Disney World. The mouse-shaped countdown (a theme at Disney World, I've noticed) informs me that we have 40 days until check-in. What began as a laid-back, just-set-our-own-schedule-and-relax trip has begun to turn us into people with mouse ears on their car antenna. There were several signals I noticed that alerted me that we were on our way to full-out, designing matching Mickey shirts. Here's the top ten.

1. Today I actually uttered the sentence "but we can't go to the Hoop Dee Doo Revue because we have reservations at the Bippity Boppity Boutique!"

2. I am taking a toddler and a preschooler to a place that charges $59 to make them into contestants on Toddlers and Tiaras.

3. Not only that, I had to fudge the age of said toddler to get her in to the Bippity Boppity Boutique because they don't accept kids younger than 3. I can't imagine why. 2 year olds love nothing more than sitting still and getting their hair done.

4. I am getting on the plane to the Happiest Place on Earth immediately after running my first marathon (if you've run a marathon, how bad of an idea is this? On a scale of stubbed your toe on an exersaucer to just gave birth to a 10 pounder, how much pain will I be in?).

5. I agreed to have dinner on our first night there at 9:30 just so we could eat at Cinderella's castle.

6. I have called the Disney reservations line so many times that I no longer think "have a magical day" is a ridiculous way to end a conversation.

7. I have actually looked up the best questions to ask the characters so they interact with us more. I am apparently so emotionally needy I have to have people in costumes like me.

8. Captain Destructo learned map skills because we looked at the free Disney map so much that she memorized it. In case you wondered, our hotel is exactly west of the Magic Kingdom.

9. I am straight up excited that Chip and Dale will be at our hotel campfire. EXCITED. To have a campfire with 2 fake chipmunks and a bunch of over-sugared, over-tired kids.

10. I have mapped out the best ways to drink in Disney World. In case you wondered, you can "drink around the world" in Epcot. Still haven't figured out how to get the kids as excited about that as I am.

Have you been to Disney World? Any tips for a slightly neurotic first-timer with a very patient husband and 2 overly excited preschoolers?

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Training for a Marathon is Basically the Same as Being a Mom

In case you haven't been lucky enough to hear me blathering on about it in real life, I am currently training for a marathon. I decided to run one because I'm batcrap crazy, well, it was time to saddle up and finally do it. I've been contemplating it for awhile, and basically now is the right time. Captain Destructo is not in school yet, everyone sleeps at night, I'm still young-ish, so it was pretty much now or never. In case you're thinking to yourself "I could never do that!" let me assure you: if you are a mom, you have pretty much already trained. Here's how.

1. You're a master of going on little to no sleep
Because I am a genius who decided to train for a marathon in South Texas in the summer, there is a very small window of time when it's not 8 million degrees outside (give or take a few degrees). Basically that window is from 4-6 AM. So if I would like to not die of heat exhaustion, I need to be on the road no later than 5:30. Once my long runs get longer, it will need to be 5:00. Apparently, children have such ridiculous demands as being fed and paid attention to no matter how tired I am. Since the ship sailed on Captain Destructo's nap a year ago, and since I actually enjoy spending a few kid-free hours with my husband after bedtime, I am not getting a lot of sleep. Fortunately, I've been in the no-sleep bootcamp known as motherhood for 4 years now. My kids are starting to look the other way when I start to doze off in the middle of Sesame Street.

2. You're used to having an insatiable appetite.
When I checked into the hospital to have Captain Destructo, I was the size of a small country. I spent most days of the third trimester eating entire loaves of Italian bread. Even that hunger didn't compare to how hungry I was when I was nursing (and still buying the La Leche League myth that breastfeeding burns off all your baby weight!). So this eat-whatever's-not-nailed-down hunger I'm feeling while training is nothing new. But here's a fun fact I just learned: lots of people gain weight while training for marathons. Totally unfair, right? So that fact is burning into my brain and keeping me from putting away the bread like the good Italian girl I am. If I'm running 50 miles a week, I at least want the abs to prove it!
Also, I have a very clear memory of sitting in my hospital bed attempting to breastfeed Captain Destructo and feeling like I was so thirsty I could literally die. My mouth felt like it was full of sand. That is pretty much how I feel all the time now

3.You're used to dealing with disgusting bodily functions.
I honestly don't even blink when I watch other runners blow snot rockets, hack up loogies, or vomit. My main thought is "wow, it's nice to not have to clean that up!" And also, I'm just going to own this: I ran a 10k last weekend and peed my pants. Twice. Whatever. One of the best things about running is no one cares what you look like. And hopefully no one is analyzing whether that's sweat or urine on your leg.

4. Eating goo-like products are an everyday occurrence.
One thing that I'm currently trying to figure out is how to handle nutrition needs on the run. One of the most popular products is called Gu. It apparently has the consistency of, well, goo. Since I've become a mother, my palate has become less and less refined. I literally just ate an animal cracker off the floor like it was no big deal. I fed 2 babies goo, and did my fair share of licking the spoon clean. No problem. The flavor of Gu I bought for this weekend is called "Espresso Love" and even has caffeine in it. I may start eating it even when I'm not training for a marathon.

5. You're used to having weird pains in places you didn't know existed.
I rocked the Charlie horses pretty hard when I was pregnant. So it was no big deal when I started getting them after running. And remember when you were pregnant and you'd get random, shooting pains in your pelvis? I just started getting them in my hip, which is starting to hurt bad enough that I am getting the pregnant lady waddle. Aching back, puffy ankles, and throbbing calves are as normal for me during marathon training as they were when I was pregnant. But luckily, I am not sporting the baby belly, and can get a massage on my stomach!

6. You've experienced the perpetual state of disbelief before.
Maybe this is just me, but I know when I first found out I was pregnant with both kids, I really couldn't believe it. It was like I was in this weird place emotionally where people were telling me I was pregnant, I could see my body changing, I'd taken a million tests, but I kept expecting someone to yell "PSYCH!" any second. That is how I am feeling right now. When I tell people I'm training for a marathon, I say it like Ron Burgundy in Anchorman when they put a question mark on the Teleprompter ("I'm running a marathon???"). I just really can't believe it. Me. Formally chubby, arthritic queen of getting cut from teams because I was too slow. Me. I expect it won't feel real until I am at the finish line. Probably crying hysterically. Which leads me to...

7. You're used to rapidly fluctuating emotions.
I should preface this by saying that I tend to be a bit emotional anyway. I cried for pretty much the entire day I found out I was pregnant with Captain Destructo, her entire labor and delivery, and probably off and on for her first month of life. Last week I watched a movie called "Spirit of the Marathon" and cried through the whole thing. (Go watch it, it's great. Also, sorry, because when you're done you will go register for a marathon.) The thought of actually finishing makes me choke up. Even the thought of finishing my first 20 miler in training makes me misty. Which is bad, because I am already so, so thirsty.

So you see, moms? You're already pretty much trained up. Join me and we can be carbed up, crying, pants-wetting messes together.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Time The Power Went Out

The power went out this afternoon. For about 2 minutes. And the events that transpired make me extremely fearful for how my family would react in an actual emergency.

We were sitting at home. The girls were watching Sesame Street while I was staring blankly in the kitchen thinking about what to make for dinner. Suddenly, Elmo's high pitched voice shut off, and the soft hum of appliances stopped.

New Baby (pointing furiously at the TV): Mommy!! Mommy!! MOMMY!!! (starts whimpering) Mommy. Elmo. (repeat over and over)

The smoke alarms begin beeping, letting us know that the power was, in fact, out.

Captain Destructo: What's that noise?! What's beeping? Something's beeping, Mom! Mom! What's beeping? BEEP! BEEP! (repeat beeping sound over and over)

Me, in my head: Oh my gosh, what do I do? The kids are looking at me like I should know what to do. Ok. Stay calm. Smile reassuringly. Um. We can go out to dinner, and then the power will be back on! Except I already took off my bra. And what if it's not back on? Ok. We can stay in a hotel? Yes. What hotel? Who else lost power? Did all of San Antonio lose power? How would I know IF I CAN'T TURN ON THE TV???

The lights come back on, the air conditioner begins humming, and all of our appliances beep back on.

Me: Thank you Jesus, thank you Jesus.

Captain Destructo: (exasperated sigh) Yeah. Thank you Jesus.

So if you are a zombie, planning an apocalypse, you may as well start with my house. We'll be dead in about 2.5 seconds.

Thursday, May 30, 2013


I'll be the first to admit that I was not excited to turn thirty last year. In my eyes, the exciting part of life was over and all that was left was waiting around to hit 63 and collect retirement. I'm happy to admit that I could not have been more wrong! I am loving being in my thirties. I've made a lot of changes since my twenties. I read the book 7 by Jen Hatmaker, which punched me in the face, and then Radical, by David Platt, that finished me off with a swift kick in the knees. I highly, highly recommend both books if you've never read them. They made me realized that I was living a shallow, self-centered life instead of a people-loving, Christ-glorifying life. Not that I've got it all figured out now, but I have loved everything I've learned this year and the process of trying to apply it. I also became a certified personal training and am taking steps to work as a fitness professional. So it's been a busy year!

I am loving the phase that my kids are in too. Well, I suppose as much as anyone could love the 2 and 4 year old phase. It turned out pretty well that they were both girls (so, public, you can stop asking me if I wish I would have had a boy. Can we agree that it's bad form to comment on the children you wish you had while in front of the children you do have?) because they are both into the same thing. Generally, they play decently well together, thus allowing me to do wild and crazy things such as take a shower or clean my house. Just today, we went to the pool for a bit, and they were both able to meander independently instead of taking turns trying to drown like last year.

So the thirties are pretty fantastic! Except for a few little things that I haven't quite figured out. I'm hoping someone can offer some help with the following:

1. My skin
I was looking at a picture of me and Captain Destructo when I realized I was rocking some serious crows' feet. And smile lines. I will admit that I spent most of high school channeling my inner Daria (you will only get that reference if you are also in your thirties!) and scowling, which explains the wrinkles. So is now the time to get wrinkle cream? Because I also still have acne. Acne that is not quite as bad as pregnant me, but still too bad to go untreated. So do I also need Clearasil? Shouldn't you stop buying that when you graduate high school? What to do? Why is my skin like 3 different ages on one face?

2. Clothing selection
Here's the good thing about becoming a trainer: I can get away with workout clothes most of the time. I will also smell like a locker room most of the time, but that's a far trade off in my opinion. But what to wear the rest of the time? Can I pull off skinny jeans? Is there an age limit on these? And then what about the tops? Are tank tops in the summer ok or not ok? What about shorts? These are the questions that follow me as I wander through Old Navy. Which is why I go home, put the yoga pants back on and call it a day. But clothes, as confusing as they are, don't boggle my mind as much as...

3. Bathing suits
Bathing suits are enough to traumatize a woman of any age, but at thirty, I am starting to feel like I should question the appropriateness of certain suits. The main concern I have is this: what is the age limit on the bikini? I know Helen Mirren rocked one at 60 or whatever, but is it ok for the average woman in her thirties to wear a bikini? And if the answer is yes, are there restrictions? I own 2 suits: one bikini and one tank suit. Whenever I wear the tank to the pool, I feel like other women my age are in bikinis and I look like a school marm. When I wear the bikini (like today), I feel like the other women are in tank suits and I look like a hussy. I like the idea of the tankini, but I tend to look short and stumpy in them. So bikinis? Yay or nay? Discuss.

Like I said, in general I love, love the thirties. The insecurities and uncertainties on the twenties are over. I'm told forties are great, too, but I'm in no way emotionally prepared to think about that.

What are your thoughts? Should your style and skincare routine change in your thirties? Are you loving the thirties too?

Saturday, May 18, 2013

It was supposed to be a great day.

It was supposed to be an awesome Saturday. I was going to be a great mom. I am on my own this weekend, but I was determined to be Master of All Things and not give the kids a chance to miss their daddy, nor would I call him in tears about how I couldn't handle it. I am Mommy.

10 mile long run on the schedule? Check. Nailed it on the treadmill. And when I say "nailed it" I mean "slogged through it while watching a Supernanny marathon." By the way? On Supernanny today was a lady with 4 kids, a husband who worked from home, her mom living with her, and an actual nanny. I would love to borrow one of her helpers if she's not going to be taking advantage!

Next on the docket: take the kids to Sea World by myself. I have done this before, but not on a blazing hot South Texas Saturday morning, which is code for, everyone in this Great State would be there. After packing every snack item, bottle of sunscreen, and change of clothes I could find, I laid out some ground rules (just like Supernanny taught me). There would be no riding of the merry go round, as Captain Destructo will only ride the bench, and New Baby will only ride the horse, and Sea World had to stop the carousel for me last year when I leaped over the bench holding New Baby to console a screaming Captain Destructo (true story). There would be an Elmo show, a Shamu pretzel, and some splashing in the new waterpark that we had yet to try. It would be a great morning and I would be Mother of The Year. Or at least the Day.

After an obscenely long line, the Elmo show was a success. I played my usual mental game where I try to guess which character would be the first to pass out in the stifling heat, the kids wiggled and danced and we were on our way. When attempting to change them both into their swimsuits, I noticed that New Baby was looking a She had a bit of a glazed eye look and her skin was pale. I felt her head. Blazing. Not knowing whether this could be from the heat or a fever, I asked her what was wrong, and she pointed to her tummy. Ok, I thought, this could end badly. But Captain Destructo was freaking out excited over going to the new pool, and I had just wrangled them into their suits, and it would be a half hour drive home. So, in a very un-Mother of the Year move, I gave New Baby some water and soldiered on to the pool.

She seemed to recover a bit in the pool, and I figured maybe that was just a fluke. But after 15 minutes or so in the pool, she said "home now, Mommy?" in such a miserable voice that I would be a truly terrible person if I made her stay at the pool. So we made it to the exit and I listened to Captain Destructo say "but I didn't get a pretzel! We didn't see the sea lions! I didn't get some lemonade!" for the duration of the ride home. As a plus, New Baby did not vomit in the car as I suspected she would. Thank God for small mercies.

So now we are at home, where we will, in all likelihood, be watching the Disney channel and counting down the hours until bedtime. So much for Mommy of the Year.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Growing Up

Captain Destructo's new favorite movie is Peter Pan. I love both this movie, and the break from princesses galore, so I am happy to watch with her. Ever since she started watching this movie, she's been expressing a lack of desire not to grow up.
"I don't want to be 4 anymore, I want to be 3."
" I want to stay little forever."
"I don't want to get big and go to school."

I can totally sympathize with these sentiments, because the idea of her growing up gives me an ulcer. She is going to kindergarten next fall, and I literally cannot think about that too much without tearing up. Oh look, tears. Just thinking of her putting on a little backpack, holding her little lunch box, and waving goodbye to me to spend her day with 24 kids and a teacher I don't know makes me start sweating. I know that we've got over a year to get there, but the fact that she doesn't want to go worries me. How do I prepare her for something that neither of us want to do, but we both have to? Seriously. How.

Do you know what's right around the corner from starting elementary school? Starting middle school. Do you remember middle school? Do you have fond memories of middle school? Apparently this question has different answers from boys and girls. My husband remembers middle school as his "peak." If middle school was my peak, I would hate to see the valleys. Here's what I remember about middle school.
Being a total bitch and telling my elementary school best friend I didn't want to be her friend anymore.
Being afraid to go to school because I didn't know if my friends would be my friends anymore.
Wanting to go to a dance with a boy, but never being asked.
Finally going to a dance with a boy, and wishing I was there with my friends instead of holding his sweaty hand.
Getting my period in the middle of 8th grade biology (not for the first time, just the most traumatic. The first time was in 5th grade. And I just heard girls as young as 3rd grade are getting their periods now. 3rd grade, people).
Being called Fatso, Tubby, and Chubs.
My first experiment with an eating disorder.

And while high school was marginally better for me, it's not that way for everyone. And high schools are so much worse than when I was there I can't even stand it. You might get lucky and just end up doing the cinnamon challenge on a You tube video, or you might be too fat to shop at Abercrombie. (Sidebar: does anyone remember the store 579? Is that still around? Because I was definitely too fat to shop there. Nothing like being too fat for a store and being there with your size zero friend. Actual size zero, not Old Navy size zero.) While I was no angel, my biggest high school transgressions involve a few sips of Boone's Farm strawberry wine after junior prom, not getting alcohol poisoning from drinking hand sanitizer. Don't even get me started on the outfits now. I can't even imagine what the kids will be wearing in 10 years when Captain Destructo starts high school (and when I say "kids," clearly I mean other kids. My girls will be wearing pigtail braids and dresses a la Laura Ingalls).

So yeah, when Captain Destructo tells me she doesn't want to grow up, and I plaster on a fake smile and tell her it isn't all that bad, I'm crying on the inside. Because while the being a grown up part is not so bad, the steps to get there can pretty much suck.

What do you do to prepare your kids, and yourselves, for kindergarten?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Facebook, it's not you, it's me

I'm taking a break from Facebook and it might kill me.

It's not that I think Facebook is inherently bad, because I don't. In fact, I just read about how Christians should be on Facebook. If I were a normal person, my Facebook experience would be a little something like this:
"Oh look, Suzy is pregnant again! And John is posting his lunch! And Sally is posting some sort of acronym that I suspect is related to Crossfit! I am happy to know what all my friends are doing!"

But I'm not so normal, so instead my Facebook experience is more like that:
"Holy crap, Suzy's having another kid! Should I have another kid? No, probably not a good plan. Come on John! Do we all need to see a picture of your lunch? No we don't. Get a hobby. Hey Crossfit people! No one know what it means when you say you Rx'd a WOD! Can we not just talk in normal words? Or put your weird voodoo terms on a Crossfit site! Gahh!"

And maybe because my husband travels and my family lives on the other side of the country and I'm a little lonely, or maybe because I just need to find more to do, I am on Facebook a lot. It's on my phone, it's on my computer, and it's on my Kindle, so if I'm bored, I'm on. And then I turn into a crazy person who worries about the excruciating minutiae that people post. Does Mary have an eating disorder? She keeps posting about her diet. Why does Tommy say cryptic things like "worried." Worried about what? I must know. Someone else is posting another rabble-rousing article espousing the virtues of extended breastfeeding. Should I get involved? Will she hate me if she knows how long I breastfed (answer: not very).

And so I forced myself to take a Facebook break. To be honest, I miss it and I don't. I feel a bit like I'm missing everything that's going on. There might be a huge social media crisis happening RIGHT NOW and I'm missing it! I also miss "talking" to people. Because honestly, as sad as this may be, sometimes that's the only time in a day I talk to adults.

But I don't miss the drama. The intentional rabble-rousing posts about politics or attachment parenting, the endless Harlem shake videos, the pleas to vote for your baby in the Gerber cutest baby contests, and the pictures of your meals. So I think when I go back, I'll be on way less frequently. Hopefully once a day, lest I turn into crazy Facebook drama lady.

How much time do you spend on Facebook? Do you get caught up in the drama too?

Friday, March 8, 2013

My baby drank Windex and other things that should probably concern me Baby drank Windex this morning. And not in the cute April Fool's Day trick where you fill up a Windex bottle with blue Gatorade. She had a gulp of the real deal.

It's pretty much all my fault, as are all child-related failures. She was a holy terror this morning (did I mention she just turned 2? That fact probably helps explain the rest of the story) and I left her in my bedroom to deal with Captain Destructo's bathroom issues. I also left the Windex and dusting polish that I had just finished using in my bedroom. After dealing with the potty, I forgot that New Toddler was unsupervised with cleaning products and threw a load of laundry in the washer. Upon returning to my room to change out of my stained sweats, I found her. On the bed. Holding a bottle of Windex with the top off. Sporting a blue mustache.

I promptly said the s-word. I try not to cuss, but I figured if anything warrants an s-bomb, it's when one of your kids drinks something with a skull and crossbones on the label. I grabbed my phone to call poison control, who pretty much said "meh." Not in those exact words, but it turns out a gulp of Windex won't really hurt. He informed me that I should watch for vomiting. I said "what do I do if she vomits?" and he said "take her to the doctor" in the same voice you would use when telling your 4 year old to get her shoes for the 17th time. She wasn't vomiting, and mostly seemed mad that I took her bottle of Windex away. I offered her milk and cookies and she took them. Okay, I thought. Drinking Windex is not the end of the world. We ended up at the gym later, and it occurred to me that I should warn the childcare providers that she may vomit Windex. Fortunately for all of us she never did.

Thinking back, I called poison control for Captain Destructo several times. Once when she sucked on the dispenser of some antibacterial soap and once when she licked a Chlorox wipe (it's starting to occur to me I should supervise my children better). In both instances, they just said to watch her for vomiting. She never got sick. I'm starting to think that all the warning labels on the back of cleaning products are a bunch of fear-mongering.

One of the saddest parts of this story is that I'm on a self-imposed Facebook fast, which is a different story for a different day. You know what's Facebook gold? A status discussing the various cleaning products your children have ingested. If I'm lucky, she'll drink something else at the end of the month and I'll have something to talk about.

So, how about you out there? What's the weirdest thing your kids have eaten?

Monday, February 4, 2013

Helping Others

Do you ever look around and think "what am I doing with my life?"

I've been doing a lot of that lately.

God's been stirring something in me for a few months now. I'm not an unhappy person. I consider myself blessed beyond belief. 10 years ago, I could never imagined having a life as wonderful as mine is now.

And yet.

What am I doing with it? I mean, really, when I am gone from this world, when I am standing before Jesus in eternity and we're looking back over my life, He's going to say "welp, you had a beautiful family and some nice stuff. Great."

I have a burning desire lately to serve more. To do more for His kingdom. To do as Jesus said and love widows and orphans, and feed the hungry and clothe the naked and visit the imprisoned. To be His hands and feet. I've been praying that He will show me how. For the past few weeks I've been hearing Him say "Go, sell your possesions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven." Ok, I thought. Just sell my stuff? And then I'm good? This anxious, uncomfortable feeling that permanently resides just under my sternum will go away? I can totally do that. Here you go, poor people! Here's my old clothes I don't want anymore. Good thing there's an Old Navy right here next to Goodwill so I can get new stuff!

Through a friend of a friend, I heard about the book 7 by Jen Hatmaker. And oh my goodness is all I can say. It totally has opened my eyes to the wastefulness in my life and my children's lives. People are starving in the world, even in our city, and I'm throwing away perfectly good food because no one feels like eating it. Children are dying of exposure and I'm buying myself new shoes because I'm bored with my old ones. People are being abused, being sold into slavery and I'm on Facebook. This book has simultaneously rocked my world and scared me to death because I'm pretty sure I have to make some big changes. And I'm scared to death of big changes.

So what does this all mean for me? I'm not sure. I'm pretty sure I'm going to go through our stuffed-to-the-gills house and donate lots and lots of stuff. I'm pretty sure I will be selling books and movies and giving money to the poor. I'm pretty sure that I have to take a Facebook hiatus (gulp). I'm pretty sure I'm going to get a babysitter so I can work with Girls on the Run, and I'm pretty sure that I will run my first marathon in October for Team Hope. But beyond that I'm not sure and I'm hoping you all can help.

How do I open my girls' eyes to the world outside of themselves? How can I get them involved with feeding the hungry and helping the poor? What do those of you with young kids do to involve them in missions?