8 Things I’ve “Counted” Towards Earning the Mother of the Year Award

Count everything!

I recently shared how I became Mother of the Year, which basically consisted of me giving myself the award every day for any reason possible.  And it got such great response, I thought I’d expand on my first idea of how to get started – which is, COUNT EVERYTHING!

It all began one day when Josie ate more ketchup in one sitting than I thought humanly possible.  At first I thought, “I am the worst.”  Then, in my desperate brain, I made the connection that ketchup is made from tomatoes, tomatoes are technically a fruit, so Josie just ate lots and lots (and lots) of fruit.  And then I sarcastically called myself Mother of the Year!

But something happened in that moment where I decided that I needed to call myself that every day so I don’t get bogged down with the meltdowns and the poopy diapers and the sleepless nights.  So I started counting everything.  This is good practice, so take note.

What Counts on the Road to Winning Mother of the Year? 

Everything.  Like these 8 things.

  1. The Generous Food Pyramid: Anything that is derived from fruits or vegetables counts in this category. Pickles are cucumbers.  Ketchup is tomatoes.  French fries are potatoes.  Peanut butter and jelly is the perfect combination of whole grain, protein, and fruit.
  2. Peanut Butter and Jelly: Here’s where it gets fun. Anytime I give Josie a PBJ I give myself Mother of the Year because of what I mentioned above.  Anytime she gets something other than PBJ for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, I also award myself the honor.  Seriously, guys, are you getting this?  Being extremely, overly generous to yourself is what it is all about.
  3. The Donut Ninja: One time I promised Josie a donut on the road to see Grandpa and Grandma. The gas station we stopped at only had Donettes, so I bought the big bag (obviously), and passed her a couple.  Then, because I’m human and was pregnant at the time, I couldn’t stop at just 2, so I secretly reopened the bag without raising suspicion, and shoveled in one tiny piece of heaven at a time until my pregnant self was full of sugar and regret.  It was amazing.  I held conversation with her, and even reclosed the bag.  If you’ve ever tried to sneak ANYTHING (but usually food) past your toddler, you know what a victory this was for me.  It felt good.
  4. Reverse Psychology: Enough said, probably. But here’s what’s working for me now.  Josie’s potty-trained and very adamant that she is only going to use the bathroom when she absolutely has to.  But before bed, I really need her to go to avoid any nighttime wakings or catastrophes.  So most nights my line is, “You know what, Josie?  I bet if you sat on that toilet nothing would even come out.”  And like magic, she’s up there tinkling.  I act all surprised and impressed and she loves it.  The downside is, she will no longer just go to the bathroom without me making this big fuss.  But mission accomplished either way.
  5. Formula Win: Cal is on formula, which is another story for another time. But dang, that stuff is expensive.  And he has expensive taste which is even more expensive.  And as we were figuring out which formula to give him, lots of moms suggested this super ridiculously expensive can of formula that was $40.  $40!!!!  For less than a week’s supply.  And he hated it.  So I called the company and asked for a refund.  Turns out they can’t give me my money but they can send me 2 cans of what he uses now.    And just for fun I called the store to see if I could get a refund on opened formula.  Yes I can.  Boom.  Got $40 back in my pocket and 2 full cans of the good stuff for my little man.  Life lesson: It doesn’t hurt to ask.
  6. The Belle Dress: This one is actually legit.  Josie was going to her first theatre experience to see the musical Beauty and the Beast.  And I really wanted to get her a Belle dress.  $22 at Target, ugh!   I hardly spend that much money on any clothing items for myself.  But I just couldn’t pass it up.  I was like a kid on Christmas Morning, bursting with anticipation and excitement at the thought of giving this gift to her and then watching her wear it to the show.  (Spiritual side note: this must be a glimpse into how excited and delighted God gets when He gives us all the great gifts in our lives!) It was worth every stinking penny.
  7. Laughter is the Best Medicine: Punishing your kid is hard sometimes. But when I put soap in Josie’s mouth for talking back, I just can’t help it.  I grab the first towel/burp cloth/sweater I see, bury my face, and giggle.  And she doesn’t see me do this, so that’s why I earn the award.
  8. Leaving Cal with a Stranger: Josie really really wanted to ride the escalator at the mall. You can’t bring strollers on those things, so I had a dilemma and it must’ve shown on my face, because the Guest Relations lady left her nearby kiosk and offered to keep Cal company while I took Josie for a ride.  And I said SURE!  I left my child with a stranger to watch my other child hop on the escalator like Buddy the Elf.  It was awesome.

So there ya have it.  Mother of the Year.  You guys, we’re doing it.  We’re awesome.  And I’m pretty sure this list proves that.  What crazy ways are you earning Mother of the Year status?

If You Sprinkle When You Tinkle…

Today, I bring before you a PSA for decency.  An attempt to tackle a growing epidemic among women. I’m mostly embarrassed to post this, as it’s been a while since I’ve been inspired to write a blog, and THIS is the topic I choose after weeks of silence.  But it is an important one.  It bothers me weekly.  So, ladies, listen up! 

if you sprinkle

This clever little poem hung (and may possibly still be hanging) in the bathroom stalls at my Grandma’s church.  It was burned into my brain as a child.  As a little girl, I thought to myself, “How strange that we need a sign to tell women to clean up after themselves.”

And now, as an adult, I realize that absolutely we need a sign!  Ladies, if you’ve ever experienced the ridiculousness that is the public bathroom, you know this to be true.

Here’s the problem: Women are grossed out by sitting on the toilet seat in public.  It’s cool.  I get it.  Doesn’t personally bother me, but to each her own.  But, instead of putting down toilet paper or using the paper cover (sometimes) provided, ladies now squat over the toilet seat and attempt to aim.

Newsflash! Women can’t aim.  And from the looks of it, most can’t even hold a squat properly.  I mean, seriously.  Holding that low of a squat for any extended period of time is hard — even for those who are in shape.  And believe me, I’ve cheated at squats before, and slowly stood up to relieve the shaking in my thighs.  But NEVER over the toilet!  (Always in my basement, in shame, with the judging eyes of Jillian Michaels staring me down through my TV.)

And I’ll tell you, 4 out of 5 times I enter a stall, there’s pee (or worse) on the seat.  Are we stuck with the uncertainty of the horror that may await us as we push open the stall door?  I say, no!  Ladies, YOU can be part of the solution (you know who you are!).

be-the-change-in-the-bathroom-e1491410840324.png

 

What’s a girl to do? 

  1. Chill the heck out. Stop the squatting, and have a seat.  Put 14 layers of toilet paper down if it makes you feel better.  But also, when’s the last time you heard of someone catching some deadly disease on the john?  Scientifically speaking, whatever germs you may sit on can only enter your body through a mucous membrane, which you don’t have on your derriere.  Plus, with regular showering and hand washing, you’ll survive, I promise.
  2. If you must squat, at least pair your squatting efforts with common courtesy. As the wise poem says above, wipe the seat!  And if you’re not in the habit of turning around to glance at the toilet after your use (which, you probably should be if you are in the habit of flushing), change your ways.  Take a glance and see if you’d appreciate walking into the stall you’re leaving.

In following these two simple steps, I believe that we can change the world…or at least change the way we feel when we walk into a public bathroom and look at the toilet seat – which, for me (a pregnant woman who pees at least twice during a half hour trip to Target) might actually be the world.

 

You Learned All of That from a Sprinkler?

Yep.

It hit me like a ton of bricks.  This rush of wonderful feelings.  And I wished I could stop time.

My husband and I set the sprinkler up for my almost-2-year-old daughter Josie for the first time ever.  We stripped her down to her diaper (and eventually stripped that as well), and helped her enjoy cheap summer fun.

josie-sprinkler-edited

So as we ran back and forth, she learned her teapot could catch some of the water, and that sometimes the sprinkler doesn’t show mercy, and I just stood there in the back yard, soaked and happy, and realized a million things at once.  Here are just a few!

I hope, as a mother (and a human), I remember to:

  • Be Present! Nothing was distracting me from this fun, and I’m so glad I didn’t think that checking my Facebook feed was more important.
  • Be a Kid at Heart! Sure, there’s more hours in the day that I have to be the parent, but when I get to be a kid with my kid, YES!  I ran through the sprinkler and giggled more times than she did.  And I was probably more disappointed when we had to shut the thing off.
  • Be Adventurous! Adventure might be as small as putting on a swimsuit and running through a sprinkler with my kids, or as big as chasing dreams and exploring the whole wide world, but in any case, I want to keep reaching for it.  What’s more, I want to instill a sense of adventure in my daughter.

all-done-in-love-sprinkler