“Stop crying or I will,” the Mom threats (that we all deny doing)

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My 4-year-old was dramatically protesting SOME very unfortunate (obvious to her only) mistreatment in her life…

And she was doing it at a loud wail.

With a bunch of pitchy screeches.

It was enough.  I was trying to work, and I couldn’t concentrate at all.

So, I did what all moms always say they will NEVER do but ALWAYS do (see the hilarity right there).  I shouted from the other room…

STOP CRYING RIGHT NOW OR I WILL EAT YOUR CHOCOLATE!

Oh, no.  I didn’t stop there.  I went on…

Is that crying I still hear?

Crying is getting a bit softer, but there is a bit of remaining whining…

That’s IT!  I’m getting up right now to go and get your chocolate.  I will eat every last bite!  Don’t make me do it!

Silence.

Ah, man!

I was actually looking for an excuse to eat chocolate.

Smile.

Wink.

#momtruth

Humble Pie…

humble pie

Photo: Pixabay

Yes.  I may tend to give my amazing husband a hard time—but that’s because I just love him EVER SO MUCH.  Or perhaps it’s because soon after he does something “funny” HUMBLE PIE often comes back to bite me in my tush.

Yes.

I did it.

I killed my son’s guinea pig.  Poor Chewie #4.

So, yesterday I wrote the blog post “Why Moms Were Invented,” and then the same night that I wrote that humor piece on how “awesome” we moms are and how we keep the house from BURNING DOWN…it goes and happens.

I leave the rabbit and guinea pigs (in their cages, yes) on the porch.

With the dogs.

No big deal????

No.  A very big deal.

Usually this is how our farm’s worth of animals work at our house.  Dogs in the house, no problem because they are surrounded by me and behave.

Dogs in the house when we are away?  NO WAY!  They break into animal cages and KILL KILL KILL!

Right now, with the sunshine, I have been placing our beloved little critters outside for the day to enjoy the sun.  In fact, our rabbit’s hutch will be arriving soon, so she’ll really get to enjoy a fun spring/summer outside.

But I went and did it.  I closed the door, not realizing that the dogs were outside and unattended.

With their favorite delicacy—guinea pig pie.

Now, you may think that I am being very unfeeling.  Oh, no!  I have all the feels.  IT’S JUST THAT THIS IS CHEWIE #4.

Chewie 1 died of natural causes.  The others—well, let’s say, “Predatory causes” — yikes!

Why don’t you call your rabbit “Cupcake #4” — don’t they eat the rabbit, too?

Well, to be honest, I think that they tried the first time they ate Chewie #2— but the rabbit was unscathed.  I think a couple punches and kicks with the sharp paws and claws taught the doggies to stay away.  So they aren’t even phased by little Cupcake.

The poor guineas, however…

Yes.  Moms keep houses standing—but we also eat LOTS of humble pie.

Like on the days that I kill my miracle son’s beloved Chewie (4).

Adelyne told me to replace Chewie like I once replaced her fish—but I didn’t get around to that before Max noticed his guinea pig’s cage was missing…

Plus, a fish and a guinea pig switch?  Not quite the same, eh?!

All in all, the house is still standing and now I have to find a new critter for the little man.

And, yes, he wanted to see Chewie.  Another slice of pie, please…

I had to show him where I placed his guinea pig.

He thought I would have lovingly buried it, oh my!

Instead I had to show him a plastic bag in the trash. Outside.

I tried to explain it this way, “Remember the foxes that came and ate your buried dog???  Yes, let’s not invite them to come and eat your guinea pig, too, okay?!”

Hence, Chewie remained in his original grave (the plastic coffin).

And “Death” was the topic of conversation of two littles for the rest of the day.

This time, when Max goes for his new pet, it will 100% not be a guinea pig.

I can’t handle Chewie #5.

Nor another slice of humble pie (I do eat a lot of it).

RIP 4.

That’s why Moms were invented…

he knows who is boss ;)

Disclaimer in case you like my husband better than you like me (smile and wink)… he knows I am writing this.

In fact, on the day that it happened, he was batting 0 all day long but my list of “What to blog” kept getting bigger and longer and funnier.

Hopefully I’ll come back to all of them.  But today I’ll start with this one…

The day started with me on the countdown: 3 more days until Richard leaves me in a little farming village and travels to the States for a month.  THEREFORE, I am going to lie in bed past time for kids to get out of bed…and daddy is going to get ALL 3 kids to school.

Now, to be fair to my husband, he is usually the one to feed, pack their bags, and drive them to school.

Wait?  What do you do?

I don’t know, honestly.

Maybe help choose clothes, comb their hair, and provide kisses???

I definitely get the coffee going.

In any case, it seems when moms are around (even if all we are doing is drinking coffee) the house just seems to be kept from burning down.

We notice things.

So, I roll down the stairs at a very lazy 9am.  Kids in school.  Husband back to work in his office.  And that’s when I smell it.

Plastic.

Burning.

On my kitchen table (that I painted, btw).

Yes.  The decade+2 daughter’s straightening iron was piping hot—burning a hole right through my adorable Easter bunny placemat (See, right there—that’s what I do!  I decorate for the Seasons and make the house feel “happy”.  Phew!).

I grabbed the iron, unplugged it (much too late, unfortunately, to save its life as the plastic had now become one with the iron), stuck it somewhere safe, picked up the placemat, got rid of the burning plastic smell by opening all the windows, made sure the wooden table had not yet become victim to the “iron” and walked past my husband saying, “That’s why moms were invented.”

Do you know what he said?

“I didn’t even know the iron was still on…”

Of course not.

Because, while he may be packing their bags, and second breakfast snacks, and feeding them breakfast and taking them to school, I am drinking my coffee and making sure the house is still standing.

And sending them off with kisses.

The best reason why moms were invented.

Now, back to my coffee…

(smile smile wink wink!)

 

My Average Child…

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“Average Ada” age 2 at the NLC

Keep soaring, our girl!

I can seriously not stop laughing.  My daughter, my firstborn, my pride and utter joy has written two different things that she would like me to help edit.  The first is part one of a children’s book—seriously the cutest book ever.  Can’t wait to share it with you here!

And then.  Then there is her resume.  My daughter is saving all of her gift and babysitting money to buy a phone.  But, as we all know, phones are very expensive.  Well, my little ray of sunshine, my decade plus 2 daughter, will see her Nana and Papa for a few weeks this summer, so she has decided to submit a resume for them.  On her resume, which I won’t share the entire thing, she wrote:  Average student.  If that was not brutally honest enough, the rest would make you laugh out loud.

Things such as:  Good at—Loving her grandparents.  And so much more.

My “Average Daughter” is just so ABOVE AVERAGE in the good feels department!

And, to be fair to her, she studies in the Polish language, all her subjects.  So those average grades are really QUITE impressive for me 😉  Her father and I will take them, at least!  I can barely help her study for her History or Science tests (no smile and wink here).

Oh, my average daughter, I love you so average PLUS much!

Thanks for bringing sunshine to my EVERY DAY!!!!!!!

 

Bucket List? Become a Musher!

Mushing Nungessers

Okay.  So, technically, I had to look up the word Musher.  And really figure out what it meant.  I mean, we went dog sledding.  That one is obvious.  Musher.  I mean, I am a mommy, I am a “Professional Musher” of mashed potatoes, right?  That sounds like a musher.  You know, like smashing a lot of potatoes so they are mushy and buttery and delicious.

Or I love my children so much my daughter sighs, rolls her eyes, and proclaims, “Oh, Mommy, you are SO MUSHY!”  Making me a Musher Mommy, right?

Well, according to the real dictionaries my Mommy-ition of Mushers is all wrong.  Apparently a Musher is a driver of a dog sled.

So, I am happy to report that as of nearly 1 week ago, I have become officially (for an hour) a real-live Musher.

Also joining the “Musher Nungesser Crew” are:  Richard (the dad), Adelyne (the decade plus two eye roller), Maxwell (the Half-Musher as he helped the Main Musher French Fred), and Me (Brookie—the Mommy Musher).  Josephine was not a Musher.  She was a Musher’s company—meaning that she was plopped into her daddy’s front part of his sled and got to enjoy the VERY bumpy ride.  Good thing Daddy Musher did not tip, eh?!

Anyhow, dog sledding was an absolute and lovely blast that I highly recommend for all!

You first have to arrive where all of the dogs are chained up (just like in Iron Will) and then prepare with the instructions of driving your sled.  Let me tell you, I nearly wanted to be a passenger after the mini-Mushing-class (kid you not timid smile and nervous laugh inserted here).

Our instructor, Elizabeth got out a sled and said, “OKAY!  Here is your brake.  It is VERY important.”

Yes, Elizabeth—you were SO right!  Holy COW!!!!  Know how to use your brake!

Then she said, “ALWAYS hold onto your sled.  IF YOU LET GO, THEY WILL LEAVE YOU AND THEN YOU WILL HAVE TO RUN AFTER THEM…In the mountains.  In the snow. ”

BRRRRR.  And, NO THANK YOU.  I don’t even run after my own children, much less DOGS!

Finally she said, “BE THE BOSS!”

Yeah, right!

Easy for a lady that WAS the boss of the dogs.

But, in the end.  She was right.  You had to be the boss or those crazy huskies would roll around on the snow and want to go whichever way the butterfly traveled.

Okay—so there weren’t really butterflies considering it was like 19F, but, whatever.  Those dogs were hilarious.

Therefore, not only did you have to be “The Boss” (Sorry, Springsteen) of the dogs, you HAD to…Like a MUST…know the lead dog’s name.  Without that name, the dogs following were like, “La-di-da-da-da!”

With the lead dog’s name and a rowdy, “Let’s go, Chaussettes (Socks),” the others would pop up and follow your Socks (literally, the name of my dog in French was Socks). Which would then give you an opportunity to “Woo-hoo” while holding on tight—at times, bending the knees for the little “pop” over the crazy hill so you could feel like you were a true Musher and sway with the sled (lest you fall off and then are dragged while HANGING on so your dogs don’t run away for like…ever).

And there you have it.  You have officially become a Musher. For an hour.

And the hour goes FAR TOO QUICKLY.  And you wish you had the whole day. And you loved every minute although you and your family laughingly recall the moments you almost went over the railing of the bridge or smashed into the tree or tilted to the extreme sideways as your dogs did not stay on the path but crossed the icy hill ahead of you to take a shortcut.  Those lazy dogs (smile and wink for the feistiness of the husky).

Yes.  All things that pretty much happened in your hour as a professional Musher.  Or your professional Bucket List kicker!

Which is, after all, what you just did!  Filled and kicked that Bucket List right up with an awesome experience that your GoPro actually recorded so you have evidence of every “Woo Hoo” and “WATCH OUT FOR THE BRIDGE” moment.

Life with children can sometimes be mundane.  Messy. Tiring. And well…a million other things.

But life with a Bucket List and littles keeps life #fresh and #exciting and #exhilarating.

And Mushing.  Yes, I recommend putting that one on your list.

As long as you #hangontight!

Let them fly…

I usually post on Facebook.  It’s my way to connect to my life, friends, and family that are far and away.

Today, however, I thought that perhaps my feelings may be needed here, too…After all, I know that I am not alone in this world, raising kids, and letting them go.

Here’s to you, moms and dads out there…Here’s to letting them fly!

Do you feel the same as I???

Brooke HJ Nungesser Facebook post from November 29, 2017

i dropped max off for school this morning and left him in the capable hands of his teachers GOING on a field trip. needless to say—i feel literally like crying.

this little boy that i thought would NEVER go to school is now heading into the real world alone (well—with school  )…without me to protect his every movement.

if you are a parent of a survivor, you feel the grip of my fear.

if you are a parent of an allergy kid, you feel the grip of my fear.

if you are a parent—you FEEL the grip of my fear.

how is it that we are to raise them and let them fly???

i want to clip his wings.

alas, he is off—in this world—exploring.

without me.

#itsabigbigworld #howdidiletgo #staywithmeforever #mymax#and2makescrazy #motherhood

Listen to your children when they talk about their bodies…

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“Adelyne, what is your greatest fear right now,” I asked my 11-year-old over a private Italian dinner we were eating, just the two of us, following the EEG she just had in Poznan, Poland.

“My biggest fear,” she repeated the question.

“Yes, with all that has been going on in your life, what is your current greatest fear,” I wanted to hear the heart of my daughter, and I had her alone, no little brothers or sisters to distract her.  Just Ada and Momma.  Together.

“The fear of being afraid,” she replied.

It makes tears come into my eyes right now.

If there is one thing we want to do as parents, it is to protect our children.  To be their stalwarts.  To be their walls.  To be their protections.  To be their everything.

And then you realize you can’t.

Unless you lock your child in a bubble, never letting them escape the house, you will quickly come to realize that you cannot be your child’s everything.

With the very act of living, they will experience many different joys and pains.

And sometimes, in that living, they experience very scary moments.

A little over a month ago, my daughter experienced at school what she describes as a heart attack.  She then spent the next three days in a foreign hospital, hooked up to heart monitors and enduring multiple blood draws and tests to see what is going on with her body.

Then, not even 3 weeks after that, she experienced what is described as seizure-like behaviors before slipping in and out of semi-consciousness.  Once again, at school.

This daughter of mine.  It’s not that she is completely fearless—but, out of EVERYONE I know in the world, she is the bravest kid that I know.  She has traveled the world. She has surfed.  She has crossed borders.  She has been surrounded by machine guns on territory where we literally have NO voice.  And she hasn’t even batted an eye.

So for her to say that her biggest fear is fear itself, makes me, as her mom, sad.  The freedom for her to live a life of great adventure is the greatest gift I wish to give her.  And now she is wondering if she will be okay to ride her bike.  Or swim.  Or paddle board.

Will she surf again?

Can she jump off a mountain like she plans in February?

Can she jump out of an airplane, like she tells us she’ll do at 18?

Afraid of being afraid.

It’s a life-changer, for sure.

And I hold her hand and tell her that we are doing everything we can to eliminate a bunch of scary stuff in hopes that we find out she is perfectly healthy and just had some bad stuff happen to her for reasons unknown.

But that doesn’t erase what happened.  And it doesn’t change the fact that now she may not live quite as carefree.

And I need to listen to her.  I need to listen to her body.  I need to listen when she speaks.  Because she is the one living inside of her body, and she knows how it feels and needs to be able to communicate that to me.

A childhood friend of mine recently watched her son go through his third concussion.  And, with that concussion, his entire life changed.  Now, together, they are realizing that life has a different journey than the one he was walking.  And it is something he must do to remain healthy and able.

She listened to her son.  Now together they are fighting for his best life.

Here is his recent news interview, telling his story:  http://www.azfamily.com/story/36611797/chandler-hs-senior-quits-football-due-to-concussion

Here is a second story on concussions and high school sports:  http://www.azfamily.com/story/36162154/concussion-study-reveals-most-valley-parents-will-let-kids-play-football

Here is another childhood friend, Dr. Javier Cardenas, speaking of concussions and how to identify one in your child, as well as an App that can be used to teach children about concussions:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHm4RPFgwEM

In the end, all we can do is live and teach our children to do so, as well.  But, in living, we also need to stop and listen.  What is our body telling us?  What is our children’s bodies telling them?

Growing up, we learn that if you ever catch on fire, you are to do three things:  Stop; Drop; Roll.

I find myself in this same position with my daughter:

Stop.  How are you feeling?

Drop.  Let’s stop everything to figure out why you feel the way you do.

And Roll.  Let’s put out this “fire” in your life, so you can go on to live your best life possible.

It may be with a little more hesitation than before.  But it’s still living.

And, in the end, that’s what counts the most!