When the Joke is on You! Catty Women…

When my oldest daughter, Bella, was seven, she said, “You know mom, I know that if someone is smiling and laughing when they say something they are not always being nice or funny. Sometimes they are being mean. They are trying to cover up what they are really doing by saying, ‘Just joking’ and laughing.”

Some people think that when they say, “Just joking” after making a rude comment, that’s their “get out of jail free card.” They are wrong. More

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Traveling With Kids

I LOVE to travel. There was a time in my life where I dreamed of being a globetrotting photojournalist. Before having kids my husband and I traveled to unique spots off the beaten path and winged it. Once we showed up in the Cook Islands with accommodations set up for only the first couple of nights. It was a little exciting not knowing exactly which island we would go to, where we would store our bags, and where we would to sleep. It didn’t really matter.

We would lazily wake up in the mornings, have our coffee on the beach, and have no idea how our day would unfold. I would journal and take a million pictures of the ocean, vegetation, and architecture. It was all very laid back and we didn’t need to worry about anything, except deciding at the last minute where we would go next.

And then we had kids…

Those first few years of traveling with children (and all their gear) were a bit shocking. It used to be so easy… Lugging the stroller, sippy cups, bottles, and diaper gear around puts a different spin on traveling. So much for traveling light. Then there is the airplane ride to think about–Will our kids be those screaming crazed children who make a packed flight absolute hell for everyone? Did I forget anything? Do I have enough food for my youngest, who has a severe food allergy and cannot eat airplane food? Where is the EpiPen? Do I have enough activities and books to keep everyone occupied? Is someone sitting next to us going to stink up the area by farting because then I’ll have to worry about my kids asking aloud, “What’s that smell?” Yes, that actually happened and it was hilarious and embarrassing. More

Life’s Little Inconveniences by Liz Nord

Photo by The Notebook Doodles

I have been sick for a few days. It is not like me to lie around in bed all day sleeping my cares away, but that’s what I’ve been doing for the last 72 hours. Well, that and reading. I have a sinus infection and the flu with a high fever too. I’ve lost three pounds in three days. Fun times. Our oldest daughter is just getting over the flu, and I think my husband has the beginnings of it now too. My youngest had it two or three weeks ago. Nice–Now I’m losing track of time too.

You know when you get really sick, have a fever, chills, sweats, and your mind gets really foggy? Everything seems otherworldly. No, I’m not crazy, you may not admit it, but I’m betting it’s happened to you too. Everything’s in slow motion and every interaction becomes more or less meaningful because you’ve been forced to slow down from the go go go thinking and be real right now. You know, think consciously without all the distractions of life.

My husband came to check on me before he left to pick up our daughters’ at my mom’s house. He asked if he could get me anything. I said, “No, but thank you.” When he left, I got up to get myself some Gatorade and saw a note from him. It was a “To Do” list of sorts. More

Calgon Take Me Away by Liz Nord

Our kids are home sick—AGAIN! It’s my oldest daughter this time. Geez…what’s going on around here!?! I feed them healthy meals, they wash their hands (most of the time), go to bed by 7:30 pm or 8pm, and as far as I know, they aren’t licking the water fountain at school. I feel bad for them for being sick, but come on…I’m tired of this being sick, staying home for days at a time business.

Am I allowed to say that? Am I suppose to feel bad that I actually like having a few hours to myself each day to do whatever it is I do: cook, clean, bake, laundry, run errands, volunteer, exercise, and write. Yes, this is domesticity at its finest. Even though I jest and complain, honestly, there is no other place in the world I would rather be right now…well—It would be nice to live someplace tropical…oh well.

I’m signing off to make creativity collages with the kids. You can bet mine will be covered in pictures of the ocean, sandy beaches, palm trees, exotic flowers, books, and beach houses. I’m self soothing and keeping the kids happy and occupied at the same time. Try it—it feels good.

What’s your favorite stay-at-home while kids are recovering art project?

Hope you have a great day!

Potty Training 911 by Liz Nord

A couple of months after my first daughter turned three and out of complete desperation, I bought a book called Toilet Training in Less Than a Day. The Arrin-Foxx “scientifically tested new training method—for the average child–required less than four hours!” Holy cow!  I thought I had hit pay dirt. This would be the answer to my daughter’s potty training problems.

I had already read every book and magazine article humanly possible and had asked everyone I knew for advice. I read and heard things like: use cloth diapers, don’t use pull-ups, use pull-ups, don’t give treats, give lots of treats, put kid on potty every ten minutes, get mad, be patient, don’t make a big deal about it, don’t let them leave the bathroom until they go, get them their own potty chair, get a soft seat cover for big potty, get a potty training doll, let them pick out cool underwear, use consequences, keep your kid naked all day, and hold them over the big person toilet until they pee (Seriously!?!)…the list goes on and on. I should have been the potty training expert—I had tried almost everything! Nothing worked—nothing. More

Beware of the Knife…Frozen Bagel Syndrome by Liz Nord

 

Have you heard of the Frozen Bagel Syndrome? I hadn’t either until my knife incident on New Year’s Eve afternoon. I was distracted and thought it would be a good idea to break apart frozen biscuits with a paring knife. Real smart…

Let’s just say, it was completely disgusting and involved my thumb, severed artery, and a lot of blood. I tried to tell myself that this was no big deal, but this was not a little shallow cut. A towel and bandage were not going to be sufficient. We left our kids with our friends, and my husband and I drove thirty plus minutes to the Emergency Room. More

Pukey Pukerton by Molly Pitts

Pukefest

The stomach flu is one of the worst things to have to deal with. When the kids were really little and got it, the mound of laundry was never ending. Puke on the bed, on the couch, on the floor, on their clothes, on towels, etc. Now that they are a tad bit older and have a little more self-control, they can use a bucket or the toilet, which has made things better. My heart aches for them as their little bodies expel what seems to be every bit of their insides. But they get over it quickly and bounce back. Every family I know has a gross/hilarious story about when the stomach flu passed through their house. I thought I’d share our latest… More

School’s Out Funday! by Molly Pitts

You know the shopping carts at some grocery stores that are shaped as cars? You know the ones-huge, uncontrollable, and just overall annoying. One of the reasons I don’t like taking all three of my kids to the store at the same time is because they beg to go into those car(t)s. I actually need them just to get my kids through the grocery store because they are all five and under, and fitting them all in to one cart just doesn’t work. The oldest could definitely walk, but then it is just annoying because she gets antsy and starts climbing on the cart almost causing a near disaster by tipping over the other two. I rarely give in to things, but today I will be using the car cart to my advantage.

Today there is no school. We have so much we can do in our small town on a rainy no school day–there is a kid’s museum, several indoor kids play zones, a gym for little ones, a movie theater, or even just tromping around in the soggy woods. But, I have an eight month old and she naps during all this fun time. I also have a house that I need to keep stocked with groceries to feed all these mouths around here. Most importantly, dinner needs to be cooked so I can beat out the magical witching hours of 4-6 PM. So, there will be no museums, playtime away from home, or even a walk. More

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