Engaging Each Day with Action Words

Doodle. — Treasures Found.

I used to get so anxious when people messed with my lists and To Do notebooks.

I needed them to be pretty close to uncluttery.

But as usual, having kiddos has made me let that little obsession for perfection go.

(Just like Felix had to let go of the whole “no spots on the faucet’ thing he used to fuss about several years ago.)

Now,  every so often, I will flip through my To Do list notebook and find little treasures.

Little treasures left as doodles by the boy child.

Now, I’m so glad when I find these.

They are like snapshots of  his five year old thinking. Right now.


Yes. Yes, you are smart. Always believe this. But never ever begin to think that you are too smart to learn.

penguin named bacon

You have an awesome imagination. I hope you will always make time for play. And dream up penguins named “Bacon”. (Actually, the teacher in me thinks you are spelling “Penguin” there at the top…But as your Momma, I just think it is pretty ironic that it also looks a lot like “Bacon”.)

tgiving meal      santa

Holidays are magical. And I get the message, you are not a fan of turkey or … mashed potatoes, maybe? At least right now. I am betting that will change as you get older. But I think we both agree that Santa is awesome and should always be in color!


Always know this. You will always be in my heart, too, Buddy. (That is X and Me! Just in case you couldn’t tell!)

You. You are a treasure.

And so are your random doodles.


Gasp. — Then Get Up and Try It Again.

I remember when my kiddos were just learning to walk.

For a short time, they both did the Frankenstein walk, taking a few unsteady steps with both hands either out in front of them or above their heads for balance.

And inevitably, they would stumble and fall.  Y was always pretty good about getting her hands down in front of her to cushion the landing. But the boy child. Oy. The boy child was always a little top heavy it seems and while he got his hands down, he still ended up falling forward until his little forehead touched the ground. I swear in slow motion sometimes.

Fortunately, we haven’t had any super major injuries (KNOCK ON WOOD!) except for that one unfortunate collision that X had with the corner of the kitchen counter a few years ago that left his father and I making that decision about heading to the Emergency Room. Felix googled and made some phone calls, while I stood there looking at the hole in his little forehead, saying, “Yeah, that is not going to close up on its own.” while realizing that the loudest cries where coming not from the injured boy but from the hysterical girl child, sobbing on the couch a few feet away. But I digress…

Being a connoisseur of all things parenting magazines and books back then, I recall articles from random people who are experts on … well, themselves … about how I should react when my kiddos fall down. I remember reading about how I shouldn’t OVERreact, how I shouldn’t run over to them and make a big deal about things, but instead I should encourage them to get back up and do it again.

Easier said that done when it is your kid hitting the pavement.

But I have to say that I have developed my own personal response style when it comes to my kiddos falling down and/or getting hurt.

I gasp.

I don’t mean to, but I have come to realize that when they are doing those things that could cause major injuries and more trips to the Emergency Room…like jumping off of high things or swerving on bikes and doing tricks off of the diving board or throwing balls at each other’s heads or … you know, the stuff of being kids… I gasp.

I suck in air and make a noise like the world is ending in front of my eyes. Probably in reaction to my heart skipping a beat and my mind’s eye seeing all the ways that this could go terribly wrong, terribly quickly.

But then I will say that I do recover quickly and tend to respond in a fairly calm manner to each of these scenarios:

*** If it was a ‘kid-stoopid’ thing to do but no one is hurt: “GASP!!!!! OMG, Do NOT do that again!”


***If it was a ‘kid-stoopid’ thing to do but there is a minor injury: “GASP!!!!! Are you ok? OMG, Do NOT do that again!”


***If it wasn’t a ‘kid-stoopid’ thing, but was a true accident with a minor injury: “GASP!!!!! Are you ok? Let me see it. Let’s get you fixed up. Ok. Get up and and try it again!”

Depending on the situation, there might be a kiss and a cuddle or an extended time spent just holding in my lap, but then it is usually, “Get up and try it again.”

It is just hard to watch them fall down. It is. There is nothing easy about seeing your child get hurt or seeing the potential for injury which abounds in kidland. Mommas are masters at the silent prayer, “Please don’t let them get hurt. Please don’t let them get hurt.”

But isn’t it true … that making mistakes and getting hurt sometimes is part of the learning process. A part of the process where we learn how to make better choices. And we learn how to do things better. Because if we don’t fall down. If we don’t mess up. If we don’t get messy. If we don’t try. If we don’t take a risk sometimes. We never learn what we can do. We live in fear and miss some of the magic that comes from these experiences.

And as parents, as hard as it is, we have to let them try. We have to let them know that …

We fall down. We get back up. And we learn.

We learn to keep our balance better.

We learn to land with both feet.

We learn to protect ourselves.

We learn to think ahead and have a plan.

We learn not to make too-sharp turns.

We learn to watch where we are going.

We learn how to try something new. And then try again.

We learn that it is not the end of the world if we do fall down.

And we learn that someone we love will be there to pick us up when we do.

Even if your Momma does make that horrible GASPing noise in the process.

We still learn how to get back up, dust ourselves off …

and try it again.

Let’s all, Go. Do that.

Just for fun, here are a few video examples of my kiddos falling down. 

While ice skating. 

My GASPS are not audible, (however my southern drawl seems to be working overtime) but trust me, there were LOTS of GASPS!  Lots of them! And for the entire three hours that we were all on the ice, my silent prayer was: “Please don’t break anything. Please don’t break anything.” 

This is my hockey player, for sure. Look at that style of run, glide, run, crash. At least he followed my directions when I said, “Don’t hit your head!”

Yeah. I know. Ouch. This is when I remembered how serious I was about NOT falling down myself! I don’t bounce like that anymore.

Y’s my cautious glider. She got the hang of it so fast and I think she is really good considering this is her second time on ice in three years. (Third if you count that weird outside plastic ice rink we went to that time. But that was just weird, skating on white plastic and made me paranoid about the plastic shavings all over us…and even though it was on ice skates, I don’t think it should count.)

And then the race. Figure skater vs. hockey player. Y would like it duly noted that X crashed immediately after he passed by the camera. That’s true.

And the sibling love continues on.


Nourish. — Green Smoothies and Big Dreams

This morning, I opened the fridge and pulled out the spinach, an avocado, a lime and a banana to make my favorite green smoothie.

It is the prettiest of greens and although it might not sound good to you, it really does taste great.

I love to pour it into X’s Avenger tumbler and head off to work with it in hand. It is like my very own Incredible Hulk smoothie and I like to think I look cooler carrying this young, hip cup into the office.


But more than the perceived hip factor, I also love what this green drink  does for me.

It provides nourishment.

This is good for me. This greenness in a superhero cup feeds me well. It gives my body energy…good, whole foods energy. There is nothing fake. Nothing processed. Nothing phony baloney in it. Just a serving of fruit and a serving of vegetables that I can enjoy before 9 a.m.

In a superhero cup no less.

And this is what I want 2014 to be about. This is the verb.

Nourish. To provide with food or other substances necessary for life and growth.

As Mommas, we work hard everyday to make sure we are providing our families with the “food and other substances necessary for life and growth.”  We stock the fridge and pantry with good foods.  We make sure people are fed and clothed and as clean as humanly possible in kidland. We take note that the jackets are zipped up and the shoe strings are tied before they head out the door. We’ve read with them and checked their homework. We’ve tucked them in and sang the 17 required songs and supplied the hugs and kisses needed for sweet dreams. We plan for their events and schedule the games and practices into our lives. We encourage their BIG dreams and applaud their triumphs and confidence. We cuddle them through disappointments that teach life lessons along the way. We say prayers at night for their health and safety.

We remind. We teach. We fuss. We laugh. We cry. We play. We feed. We zip and tie. We love.

All in the name of providing them with the nourishment that they need to grow and live life.

And we get up the next day and do it all over again.

In 2014, I want us Mommas to remember that we also need to make sure we are just as focused on nourishing ourselves just as much as we think about how we provide nourishment to our families.

Sometimes I think that it is selfish of me to still have BIG dreams. To still want to do ‘other’ things with my life. Sometimes I think, I had my chance. I should have done it then. I should have traveled there before. I should have pursued this goal a long time ago. Sometimes I think that my time has passed. That this should be their time. That my focus should be on them now.

But I always think of a few years ago, when the girl child was just one and I had a chance to go to NYC on a business trip. Travel is a rarity in my work world and I took the opportunity to go and be a part of this conference. While I was there, I started feeling those twangs of Mommy Guilt. Oh, my poor baby, at home with her very capable, very caring father. What have I done? Why did I think I could come to the Big Apple and be among esteemed colleagues and learn more about my profession? Why did I think I could travel and sleep, uninterrupted, in a soft bed with clean sheets and a venture down to a continental breakfast prepared for me? (And on and on and … on…)

Until my friend traveling with me, stopped me from my own self-imposed downward spiral of guilt and regret by saying this:

“By being away on this trip, you are teaching Y a powerful lesson. You are showing her that she can do it all. She can have a family when she grows up. She can have a career. She can always continue to learn, no matter her age. What a gift to show her the power that comes from pursuing a dream.”


We can still be the Mommas. We can provide and love and care and comfort. And we can also learn and grow and dream and try.

And we should. We should make sure that our bodies, minds and souls are nourished. Everyday.

Eat the food. Get the rest. Write in the journal. Read the books. Listen to the music. Take the class. Be with friends. Be still sometimes.

And go after those BIG dreams, whatever they are, while you encourage your kiddos to pursue their own.

That is how a good teacher teachers. By modeling. By showing. By engaging each day with action words.

We should practice what we preach. We should walk our talk.

Eat well. Play more. Choose happy.

Dream Bigger. Make it happen.

Create the time to really nourish your body, mind and soul in 2014.

(And drink a few green smoothies, too. They are good for you. Trust me.) 

Let’s all, Go. Do that.


Attack. — Know the signs.

Here’s a story from a while ago. Yes, I’m recycling a blog post, but for a good reason.

A good reason that I’m not quite ready (still slightly traumatized, although I’m fine, everyone’s ok now…)
to tell the whole story just yet, so I may or may not try to explain another time.

For now, I’m just reminding you of the signs.


So, know the signs. Pay attention to the signs. Don’t ignore the signs. Respond quickly to the signs.

Elizabeth Banks teamed up with Go Red For Women in this short film on women, motherhood and recognizing the signs of a heart attack.  Just. In. Case. We’ve all had mornings like this… Know the signs.


The phone rang.

It was a friend. But a busy, on the go friend, who is usually more likely to go for the quick text than an actual ‘stop and have a conversation’ phone call. Weird. But the conversation that came after my answering with a casual “Hey there” was even weirder.

First of all, there was a very unfamiliar panicked concern in her voice. It wasn’t right at all.

“Are you ok?” She asked me.


“Are you ok, really?!”  She almost…almost sounded like she was ready to cry, which started to concern me.

I responded with a  suspicious tone… Yeah. I have a little cold, but…

“Did anything bad happen today?!” I thought, well, clearly something bad has happened or you wouldn’t be calling me and asking me questions like this!

Ok, now you’re freaking me out.

“Oh my God. Ok. I’m calming down. Oh my God. Letting the cortisol come down a little….”

What in the world!? What is going on?!

“I just heard that you had had a heart attack on the soft ball field today!”

WHAT?! WHAT?!  (I’m betting that I started to sound like that Mom over the phone on “A Christmas Story” … )

The conversation continued and I reassured her again and again that I was fine. Just sitting here, relaxing on the couch. No signs of a heart attack. I haven’t been to the softball fields today. I’m not sure where this is coming from. This is crazy, but I’m fine.

Fine. But now a little freaked out at just the thought that someone out there thinks I had a heart attack. That is crazy. Right?

Y was sitting right beside me and I was too shocked to keep the conversation from her as I probably should have done. So, I used this as an opportunity to talk about rumors and how rumors get started and how rumors can unintentionally hurt or scare people…yada yada yada, …. insert brilliant parenting moment here.

But in my head, I kept thinking…Heart Attack? Me? Who would think that I could have a heart attack? How many people out there think that I have had a heart attack? Am I going to have people showing up with flowers and offers of dinner? Do I need to post something to let everyone know I’m ok?

And then it moved on to things like: I can’t have a heart attack! I’m just 40! I’m a health coach! I eat well and play more and choose happy and all that jazz! Sure, I haven’t been to the gym everyday for a while, but life’s been busy and there’s been traveling and people have had colds and fevers and such…yada yada yada, insert other plausible excuses here.

A heart attack? Me?

It took all evening and three different phone calls from three different concerned, loving friends to finally track down the origin of this story. As it turns out, a good Momma was trying to let her husband know about A’s Mom, (who is 80+ years old and might have had a heart attack). But on a noisy softball field, he misunderstood and heard “Y’s Mom” and thought … well, Me. He was shocked and shared the news out of concern to the hubs of one of my good friends who in turn, called his wife and shared the news out of shock and concern. She called a friend to see what was happening, and that is when my phone rang and this whole crazy story began.

Of course, we were all concerned about A’s Mom and keeping her close in our prayers. But we were all relieved that I was fine and this was just a misunderstanding.

And while we laughed off the whole misunderstanding of it all, I think it messed with us all just a bit. And that is when I started noticing the signs. I swear, all evening long, even while the girl child was watching the Disney channel, every other commercial on TV was something related to heart attacks or heart disease. I’m not kidding.  Then I started thinking about walking through the airport at O’Hare last week. There was a poster on the wall, that randomly caught my eye and made me stop to comment about how the ad was targeted to women.

Finally, this morning, I woke up and was having a little trouble going back to sleep. So, I checked my phone and found another sign: An advertisement about women and heart attacks.

Yeah, I think I’m supposed to share this story. Just in case. Just in case it helps one person.

More than 250,000 women in the U.S. die of a heart attack each year. Many don’t know the symptoms of a heart attack, which are often different for women compared to men, or how to prepare for them.

Warning Signs of a Suspected Heart Attack

  • Chest pressure, tightness and heaviness
  • Pain in shoulders, neck, jaw* or arms*
  • Lightheadedness
  • Paleness
  • Faintness
  • Sweating
  • Nausea*
  • Shortness of breath with or without chest pain*
  • Extreme fatigue*

*More common in women

If you suspect you’re having a heart attack call 911 and crush or chew aspirin as directed by a doctor. Aspirin, when taken as directed by a doctor during a suspected heart attack and for 30 days thereafter, can reduce damage to the heart and reduce the risk of death by 23 percent.

 Later, a friend shared that the she thought, “Crap. If Z has a heart attack, we are all screwed.” Which is funny, … but we know it happens. It has happened. So, take care of yourselves, people. Eat Well. Play More. Choose Happy.

For More Information: or IamProHeart


Choose. — Opportunity Costs of Being a Mom

Have you ever heard of the economic term, opportunity cost?

I think it sounds like it might be a much harder concept than it actually is. Something from that terrible, horrible, no good, very bad college economics class.

Opportunity Cost.

Simply put, it is …  the next best thing.

It is the thing we didn’t choose.

Opportunity costs become clear when we have narrowed our choices down to two things and we can pick only one of them.

The opportunity cost is the thing that is still on the table.

It is the value of the thing that we didn’t choose.

It is the thing that came in second place behind our first choice.

As Tired Working Mommas,  (and as Tired Working Daddys), we make a lot of choices during each day.

And each of those choices has an opportunity cost.

We choose where to go. We choose what to do. We choose what to eat and who to call.

We choose how we spend our time and our energy.

And the things that don’t make the list, the next best things, are the price we pay, what we give up, for what we do.

Today, I chose a grey skirt over my favorite blue jeans.

Then I chose to go support a friend at a doctor’s appointment for an hour today instead of having a lunch hour … and ate a salad at my desk while I answered emails.

This evening, I took the kiddos to work at the Food Pantry instead of enjoying a casual Friday evening on the couch.

And now, I’m cuddling with a cute five year old, watching “A Bee Movie” instead of…

…actually, this is perfect. I don’t have a ‘next best thing’ for this.

Let’s all, Go. Do that.

Today’s Action Challenge: We all know that grown up decisions are hard. Our time is limited. Our energy is limited. Our resources are limited. So, how do you decide? Where will you spend your time and energy? Start being intentional about your choices and your ‘next best things’. Is the reward of this thing, better than the cost of not doing or having that thing?


Meditate. — For Mommas…In Real Life…In the Shower.

My alarm clocks starts making noise at about 4:30 a.m. Not because I have to get up that early, I just have a lot of morning routine things that I try to do. The key word there being… try.

I try to exercise.

I try to write.

I try to catch up on random projects.

And I’ve even tried to add in some meditation.

I continue to try to add in the Chopra/Oprah 21 Day Meditation Challenge. In my dreams, I want to be that Mom that meditates and does yoga and feels all centered and balanced. But come on, did you just meet me?!

The first few days, I get comfortable and listen to Oprah give her introduction. I pay attention to Deepak as he leads me to … and through…  the centering thoughts and the mantra. I giggle when he first says that he will ‘mind the time’ for me. I get through the first week or so. But then I start getting so distracted and my quiet time is so limited, that I start working on other projects and ideas during my ‘meditation’ time.  I doubt my drafting in WordPress while Deepak tells me about creating my Matrix to the sounds of ocean waves in the background is exactly what they had in mind.

Plus, with all that talk of the Matrix coupled with the sound of the ocean, I keep getting all distracted by thoughts of Keanu. Yes, Keanu at the beach. Circa Point Break. Hmmmmmmmm.

Then they really lost me when I wandered to the website and realized that I could download this series for 39 bucks OR get the three part series for a bargain 99 bucks. The whole soul searching, find your perfect health and destiny thing became a little cheapened for me. It is another (brilliant) money maker for two people that 1) don’t need any more money and 2) don’t live in the real world with us anymore. 

So, the distraction of Keanu and the giggling over Depak’s phrases, plus the amount of money that they are both raking in…put that all together and I decided that we can do better.

I’d like to introduce you to  another one of the ‘brilliant’ shower/hair dryer ideas, now making its debut here:

photo credit:

photo credit:

The MommyVerbs Meditation Challenge:  Keepin’ it Real….in the Shower.

The Keepin’ it Real in the Shower meditation journey starts whenever you have a chance to start. It is up to you.  Do it when you can. Skip it when you are tired, or in a rush or just forget. It is here when you need it, but no pressure. MommyVerbs will be your guide each day as you discover all of the things that you do and all of the amazing ways that you are….

all while in the shower.

Come on, now. I’ve mentioned this before. Mommas everywhere know that this is probably, maybe, the only 10 5, if we’re lucky, minutes of solitude during our days. We multitask every other part of our day, so we probably won’t notice one more thing. So, use your time wisely. Meditate while in the shower! Here’s a few centering thoughts and mantras to get you started. 21 Days seems ambitious to us, too, so 5 will get us started and as for you … do what you can.

Day 1: Centering Thought:  Ahhhhh.   Mantra: I hope my hot water heater holds out!

Day 2: Centering Thought: Shhhh.  Mantra: What will I pack the kiddos for lunch?

Day 3: Centering Thought: Hmmmm. Mantra: What will I wear today?

Day 4: Centering Thought: Whoooooo. Mantra: I need to go to the grocery store.

Day 5: Centering Thougth: Siiiiiiggggghhhhhh. Mantra: Nevermind all of that. I just need to shave my legs.

Today’s Action Challenge: How do you center and calm yourself? What do you do to slow down and focus? Add in time to do these things for yourself.

Let’s all, Go. Do that.


Crave. — Your Life Is Trying To Tell You Something

This afternoon, I was sitting at my desk, counting down the hours and minutes left in this Friday, when all of a sudden I wanted something sweet.

No. I’m sorry. Correction.  I … needed … something sweet.

As I read and responded to another email, trying to catch up at the end of the week, I was completely distracted by the need for some sugary goodness something.

I began to think of the possibilities that existed to me at the moment. Where do we keep the chocolate around here? Oh yes. There is some in the filing cabinet drawer that we use for workshop treats. Oh, wait. I think there may even be some sugary nonsense leftover from the meetings of the morning.

As I was considering my few options, I started the beginnings of a plan. A plan to get a sweet treat without being noticed. How can I get to the piece of chocolate or sugary gooiness without everyone and their co-worker seeing me? I am a health coach after all.  I do have my pride and reputation to uphold, you know.

I hit send on the last email note and stood up to head for the kitchen. But instead of sneaking into the filing cabinet or dipping into the leftovers, I filled up my empty water bottle to the rim and waited to see.

Sure enough. Within a few minutes, I was back to the work, focused and getting things marked off of the eternally long to do list before the weekend.

This is how cravings work. Our bodies, our minds, our souls know what we need.

But sometimes the message gets confused and we can’t tell that what we want and what we need are not always the same things.

This is true, not just in our moments of craving sweets or potato chips or bread sticks. These are the cravings of our bodies, telling use what we are lacking…water, nutrients, vitamins, minerals.

But this is also true in our…lives.

As tired, working Mommas, we crave a lot of things.

And sometimes we look for the drawer of candy, or the sugary nonsense, or the glass (or two) of wine to help us meet these needs, supply these wants, fill these gaps, when that is not what we are really craving.

As tired, working Mommas…

We crave more time.

We crave help.

We crave quiet sometimes.

We crave downtime and ‘me’ time.

We crave freedom.

We crave more sleep.

We crave romance. 

We crave comfort.

What would it look like if we took the time and energy to explore these cravings and find out what we really need, rather than just trying to get what we think we want.

Our cravings are important messages. We need to learn how to pay attention. We need to pause and begin to ask ourselves three questions:

What is it that I am craving?

What does that tell me that I need?

How do I meet that need and cure that craving?

Let’s all, Go. Do that.

Today’s Action Challenge: What are you craving? What does your body, mind and soul tell you that you need? Does that match what you find yourself wanting? If not, make a change. Get what you need, not just what you want.

Let’s all, Go. Do that.

Is THIS what you want...or what you really need?

Is THIS what you want…or what you really need? Go. Get what you need.


Drop. — Balls and Plates and Whatnot.

Well, it finally happened.

I knew this was coming. It was inevitable.

One can only keep so many plates spinning at one time.

Just so many balls in the air.

And today,

I let one fall.

Fortunately, it wasn’t a huge one, more like a ping pong ball.

But as I watched it bounce across the floor and roll under the bookcase, I realized just how much we are all doing.

Every day. We are busy. Our days are full.

And then we go and make our days full of more.

Maybe fuller than they have to be. Than they need to be.

From morning to night, our days are full of action words. MommyVerbs.

Mother. Shower. Cook. Pack. Comb. Brush. Clean. Find. Call. Drive. Greet. Email. Respond. Problem Solve. Eat. Talk. Write. Think. Check. Teach. Help. Support. Text. Care. Blog. Coach. Commiserate. Compliment. Create. Plan. Grade. Connect.  Parent. Listen. Sing. Cheer. Rock. Bathe. Kiss. Hug. Write. Sleep.

And get up and do it all over again tomorrow.

To Do lists that no longer fit on one page, but now have to be kept in notebooks.

And when I look at all I do, I know that I have the power to change it. I could choose to stop.

I could choose to let some things go and have more time to sit and just be.

But I can’t figure out which should go away.

Because there is a part of me that enjoys the juggling and the spinning.

And the consequence of being a spinning juggler is that …

I have to learn to be good… with letting one get away from me every now and then.

I just have to learn to be really good with super glue when the pieces occasionally crash down.

Because all of that…Action.

Is who I am. Right now.

And it’s working.

Let’s all, Go. Do that.

Today’s Action Challenge: Take a look at your To Do list.  Is it manageable? Is it doable? Is there anything that you want/need to come off? What’s missing? What should you be doing that you haven’t made a priority? Add that to your list.

Let’s all, Go. Do that.

plates and balls


Pretend. — I think this costume is broken. I don’t love Halloween: Part 3.

Lil’ X told me this morning: “Nothing is real on Halloween, Momma.  It’s all pretend.”  He was looking into the little Jack-o-Lantern that I had plugged in at the last minute, my feeble attempt at pretending to be a little festive on this day.  He looked into the plastic pumpkin and said, “You’re not real.  You just have a little light bulb inside your mouth. You’re just pretending.”

photo (12)

I think I will use that way of thinking to my benefit today.

I’ll pretend that my house is all decked out for Halloween and we have all kinds of good holiday spirits going on in our home. I’ll pretend that I wasn’t feeling like the proverbial ‘bad Mom’ this morning, because I wasn’t really doing anything super special for the kiddos for Halloween today. Instead,  I’ll pretend that I fished out the fun black and orange socks for everyone.  That I donned my witch’s hat to greet them in their beds just for fun. That I  even made orange and green pumpkin pancakes to make this October 31st just a little bit memorable.

I’ll pretend that I got up early and made it to the gym this morning like I planned.  I’ll probably enjoy the fact that I missed the circuit this morning, that I believe involved Burpees and Wall Squats, when my legs aren’t so sore later.  (Secretly, I like Burpees and Wall Squats, so I’m actually a little sad that I missed this one.)  I’d like to pretend that my day isn’t so busy that I could sneak off to the gym later this afternoon, but that’s not gonna happen.

I’ll pretend that I’m excited about walking around tonight in the cold for Trick or Treating.  Actually, I’m already dreading it a little, but I’ll pretend that I’ll change my attitude before 6:30 p.m. No, really, I will. I will manage to adjust that mentality and focus on some fun…even if I have to pretend that I’m having fun just a little bit.  The truth is, I don’t like being cold and I’m not ready for Winter.

My kiddos are probably living in a fantasy world, too, dreaming that they get to eat all of the candy they collect in their plastic pumpkins tonight.  Ha! That’s a good one.  They can pretend all they want, that they will have open access to their stash instead of giving them up to the Switch Witch who will leave them a toy instead. When they start to have sugar withdraws, they’ll say we are mean and that we don’t love them (or else we would let them eat all of the candy that they want, be all jacked up on sugar and have rotten teeth), but I know that they don’t mean it–that  is just pretend, too.

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So, meanwhile Y is pretending to be a random softball superhero tonight.  X was going to be Iron Man, but when tried on his costume a couple of weeks ago, he had to pretend that he wasn’t just a little bit disappointed when he casually said to me, “Hmmmm….I thought I would be able to fly.”

He’s decided to be the Incredible Hulk instead so he can walk around and yell, “Hulk: SMASH!”

Happy Halloween!

It’s a good day for pretend play.

Let’s all, Go. Do that.

Today’s Action Challenge: What do you pretend? What do you make believe?  What would you like to believe is true? How do you suspend disbelief? Doodle things that you believe are make believe that you wish were real and true?

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Right. — Why I’m Thankful My Kid is Crying.

My husband and I went out of town this weekend for a night and Nana came over to stay with the kiddos.

I’m not sure what got into the boy-child, but he decided this would be a good weekend to try on a new costume for Halloween.

Apparently, it is all the rage and quite popular among his set. It is called Five-Year-Old Jerk.

I only know this because as soon as we arrived home, the girl-child did some reporting on his behavior.

Back-talking. Pouting. Stomping off. Playing with things he knows he is not supposed to. Perhaps a little attempted extortion as well.

Nothing too, too terrible, but certainly disrespectful and absolutely not acceptable.

So as Mommas and Daddies do, we called him into the office to have ‘the talk’.

He completely knew that this jig was up. He came in with a shy smile and tried to work his precious blue eyes, charming red hair and freckles for all they were worth.

Until he realized it wasn’t working.

We calmly explained that we love him very much, but we were very disappointed in his behavior. That his Nana doesn’t deserve to be treated like that. And that there would be a consequence.

The quiet tears began somewhere between disappointed and consequence.

I am not a heartless Momma, but in this case. I’m thankful my son is crying.

Because it means he is sorry.

He feels some remorse for saying what he said and doing what he did.

He should.

He should feel bad.

Of course there is a part of me that hates to see him cry.

But I think I would be more concerned if he wasn’t upset at all.

He went to his Nana and gave her a big hug around the neck and told her, through some tears, in a genuine and weepy way, that he was sorry for not listening and talking back at her. And he told her that he loved her.

That’s what we do when we mess up, right?

We have all done this. We have all said things or have done things that hurt someone.

And when this happens, we should feel bad about it.

Then we should make it right. We should know that it is okay to say, “I’m sorry. I love you. I respect you. I appreciate you. And I shouldn’t have said that or I shouldn’t have done this.”

I’d be more concerned about us if we didn’t notice at all. Or worse. If we didn’t care.

Recently, I got frustrated at work and sent a more-snarky-than-usual note to a colleague. I heard back from this person who was just as frustrated with the situation.

But I felt bad about it. So I delivered a Crunch bar and a note that said, “Sorry. I think I was feeling a bit too much of the Crunch lately.”

The next day I received a Snickers bar and a note that said, “No worries. I’m sorry, too. I think we all need more Snickers and less Crunch in our days.”

Agreed. And thank goodness for cleverly-named Halloween chocolate.

Saying you are sorry means a lot. Really meaning it means even more.

Whether it is with tears or with a hug … or with chocolate, we just need to make it right.

Let’s all, Go. Do that.

P.S. The boy child did receive his consequence. He has lost a privilege for the next 5 days. Later that evening he brought me this piece of paper and said: You know how when people are in jail and they write the days they have left on the wall. This is that.”


I call that a parenting win.

Today’s Action Challenge: When you mess up, how do you make it right? Do you regret your actions or words? Do you say you are sorry? How do you show you mean it? If there is something wrong in your world that tears or a hug or a note … or a piece of chocolate can still right…

…then… Let’s all, Go. Do that.


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