Writing about Life Abroad with Max…

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Hey my friends.  Here’s a link to the article that I wrote about my child’s food allergies.  The Mighty picked it up (I write about Max’s allergies at www.allergymax.org).

I hope you’ll enjoy the read.  Click here to access it:  https://themighty.com/2017/02/managing-child-food-allergies-abroad/

I’m super stoked I made it that far…Remember to Like and Share it with your friends, too!  Thank you so much.

XO from here to there,

B

 

 

When your 10-yr-old daughter is surrounded by machine guns and stands her ground…

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We went through two metal detectors before we could enter the areas of the Western Wall (under Jewish control) and then the Temple Mount (under Muslim control) in Israel.  It wasn’t too bad—except we forgot we had a knife for making sandwiches.  Big oops.  Gracious security warded off angry men security and allowed us to keep our sandwich making materials—including the knife.

As soon as we entered the Temple Mount, bought by King David to build the Temple upon thousands of years ago, I was accosted.  I had read it was conservative, so I wore a dress and scarf and tights and boots for the day. Apparently if you can see the boots and the dress, you are a harlot.  Forget the fact that all of the other touring women are in trendy skinny  bun-hugging jeans…my boot showing dress was enough to stop the entire Mount.

So, there I was, on my way to becoming a harlot on the Mount…getting accosted for my boots showing, having to cover and hobble the rest of the tour while having a scarf tied around my boots.

Can you say troublesome?  I can.

But I entered the Temple Mount area and, therefore, chose to abide respectfully by the rules brought to us by the machine-gun wielding security there.


We toured the area and began our ascent to leave.  That is when it happened.

What you need to know is that the Mount is only open 2 different hours throughout the day because it is the Muslim holy ground and has extremely strict rules.  So, as the hour was ending when we needed to leave, we were doing just that.  Leaving.

On our way out, however, one young gentleman asked my 10-year-old to take his photo.  She obliged politely and waited for him to get in position when two machine-gun wielding men rushed her and the 2nd tourist.  A lot of loud yelling took place.  I am helpless mom on the other side of chaos while my 10-year-old and the random tourist are surrounded by guns.

A few moments pass, the security move, Adelyne takes the photo, the random tourist is hauled off with the machine guns, and we grab Adelyne and practically run out into the nearest hallway, where Rich is then given the task to get rid of the world’s worst tour guide—oh the gut-wrenching laughter stories I’ll tell later about him—and we sit for Turkish coffee and delights in a darkened hallway surrounded by non-machine gun wielding men and telling Adelyne how brave she is to stand her ground…

Even amongst the chaos of adventure!

When You Are Raising a 4-Year-Old

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Several years ago, I was sitting in a meeting of International Women.  I was seated next to a beautiful Danish woman.  She had 2 children.  I had 1.  One 4-year-old daughter.

We bonded over that mere fact.

Being moms.

And, as we were virtually strangers, yet with something HUGE in common, we had a lot to talk about.

Okay—we had parenting and mom-ming and kids to talk about.

But it was one of the deepest conversations of my life.

We looked at each other and both of, respectively, said, “We are so thankful that we don’t beat our children.”

It’s as if we were leaning over to give one another high fives for keeping our children alive.

Like really.

We spoke on HOW difficult parenting is.  How hard it is to practice restraint.  How MUCH  you want to, well, basically, put your child in a VERY big box and shut the lid.

It was so refreshing to have an honest parenting conversation with another mom.  A mom that looked like she had EVERYTHING together.

Because parenting is HARD HARD HARD.

IT, your beautiful baby, your precocious toddler—turns FOUR…FOUR!

And you think…have I spawned the devil?

And these precious creatures we have spawned literally live to drive us bat crazy.  You feel as if you have no shred of self control left.  You literally have to physically leave the presence of your spawn.

Parenting is hard.  And I get so ridiculously crazy of these soft-spoken moms that are like “Blah, blah, blah…the beauty of parenting…AND MAKING BUTTER..” because I am all like…MY KID LIVED TODAY!!!!!

And I feel as if I should run outside and SHOUT IT ON THE ROOFTOPS!

And I feel as if they should literally make a MADE FOR TV movie about my heroism.

AND I.AM.NOT.KIDDING!

This woman.  This stranger.  She got all of that.  We talked for a long time about how people really should praise mommies for maintaining control.  We talked about parents that struggled with doing what’s right.  We talked about how much help we need as parents.

We need help.  The good parents.  The bad parents.  THE PARENTS.  We need help.

Because our job is the biggest in the world.  And it’s the hardest in the world.  And we have little little little people that trust us for safety and protection and life—as they should—even while they are trying to snuff that VERY life out of us.

Right now I am raising my second 4-year-old.  I say second, because my daughter was my first and she is now 10.

And she is the FINEST decade gal you will ever meet (decade gal is what she calls her 10-year-old self).

She is funny and kind.  She is smart and hardworking.  She is silly and fun.  She is outgoing yet shy.  SHE IS THE BEST!

I couldn’t ask for a more amazing child.

Yet when she was four—I thought she was the she-devil herself.  And I could hardly see straight because she drove me so insane.

And I PRAYED that we would BOTH live through that phase.  That phase of her being 4.

Stubborn.  Screaming.  CRYING…PUBLIC HUMILATION.  Up the wazoo.

I felt ashamed every time I walked in public with her because of her meltdowns and fits and tantrums.

I wanted to return this child I prayed so hard to receive.

And I thought I would never make it past this phase of being the WORST MOMMY EVER!

Yet here she sits at 10 as the BEST version of any kid I could imagine building on my own.  Like, literally, if I could design a child, this child would still not come out as great as my decade gal.

And so I have chosen to write this post today for me.  For you.  For every HONEST mom out there that is pulling her hair, just trying to survive.

I write this for the solidarity of US!

We do deserve high fives.  We do deserve made for TV movies.  We deserve honor and recognition that our children are alive despite the fact that we are now bald.

You are doing a fine job.  Maybe some days you want to cry because you feel like you are the worst.  But take a deep breath.  Go in the other room.  Cry.  And then breathe again.  Because your 4-year-old will not be a 4-year-old forever.

One day your 4-year-old will turn into your decade gal…and you will be able to look at your child and see that you have made it.  You have survived.  And you are doing a darn fine job of it.

Drink a coffee…Eat dessert.  And breathe.

Because the teenage years are just around the corner.

 

I’m just a little drama…that’s all.

I was dying today talking about my life with friends that I only have the immense love & privilege of seeing one time a year when I fly from Poland to the States to see and be with my parents and family.

DYING…

Like…I was on such a roll—sometimes I don’t know how I pull myself off of the floor and actually walk around in this life-like motion at all.  I should be more like Walking Dead Momma—and my kids should be GRATEFUL for that momma.

Anyhow—it totally dawned on me today that I am just a bit of drama.

You see, I thought my daughter was all of the drama.

I thought she got it from her daddy.

He is the Drama King.  I made him a crown.

But today when I was recounting all of my guilt trips and psycho parenting moments with my children and my HOW DARE MY HUSBAND SAY THAT stories, my peeps…my tribe…those that will ALWAYS tell me the truth told me that I was the drama.

SAY WHAT????

I literally had no clue.  HERE I WAS—blaming ALL of the drama on pretty much EVERYONE else in my family.

It’s kind of like those that have problems with everyone they meet—turns out it is THEM!  Yep—the ones with all of the problems.

Apparently, out of the mouth of true friends, I am that THEM.

But, please, please, please, please…let’s totally keep this a secret from my husband.  I still need him to think that it is ALWAYS ALL HIS FAULT!

I need this.

It is what is best for the family, right?!

(smile smile wink wink)

Do you want to wax your mustache?????

Are you freaking KIDDING me?!

First I turn FORTY—as if that is NOT bad enough—and then I go to get my eyebrows waxed when the lady doesn’t seem to think that IT (turning 40) is FITTING enough–but now she must POINT OUT and ASK…

“ARE YOU ALSO HERE TO GET YOUR MUSTACHE WAXED????”

My laser eyes and deadly stare did NOTHING to hinder her from asking again, “AND YOUR MUSTACHE????”

I gasped as if I still have my 18-year-old glow and youth and not a STRAY whisker ANYWHERE on my face and answered her, “MY MUSTACHE????!!!!  I don’t have a mustache!!!!!”  And huffed loudly as I threw my awesome body (okay, lowered myself gently due to my aching back) onto the waxing lounge and pointed out that “I DO NOT, under any circumstances, WANT CRAZY TRENDY EYEBROWS!  JUST SIMPLE WAXING…please.”

Before I got off the chair, she, DAFT AS A…????  Well, who knows what—something daft… ASKED AGAIN, “Are you sure you don’t want the mustache waxed???”

Yes, LADY!  Very sure…

Right?

Or, I mean, do I have a mustache????

Go to mirror…

Peer closely…

Squint, really, since my eyes are not the best.

Still can’t see.  Turn glasses crooked on my nose so that I can see (all bi-focal style)…and re-peer.

Surely that is not a mustache, it’s simply glitter, right?!?!?!  A light glistening above my upper lip????

Right!

And, so with indignance, I walk PROUDLY out of that salon…

Mustache and all.

 

Momma, have you ever traveled alone???

Listen, I know the appropriate answer in ALL of our mommy lives is THAT OUR CHILDREN ARE OUR GREATEST BLESSINGS!

Therefore, Pinterest and Facebook and Instagram and LIFE itself was created (of course, exaggerating on ALL of the above) for T.H.E.M.

But when you are a mommy—you FEEL as if you MUST only be mommy.

100%.

All the time.

Because, by golly, you created THAT life—you can just as easily TAKE IT AWAY (oops—wrong tangent).

No, really…You feel this gut need to be there 24/7 plus all of those hours in between that in mommy hood REALLY DO EXIST!

I know.  Because I have been a mommy for 10 and a half years.  And in the years that I have been a mommy, I have had, literally just today, A TOTAL OF 2 weeks WHERE I HAVEN’T HAD A CHILD IN MY PRESENCE since my firstborn was, well, BORN.  (And those words do deserve ALL CAPS)

That’s 365 x 10 plus 6 months which equals approximately 3,830 days where life has NEVER EVER EVER EVER been about a single moment of me since.  Now, take away the 14 days where I have been a mommy BUT not in the presence of a single child that was mine equals 3,816 days.  Forget the fact that I am Facetiming them about 2 times a day—they are not hanging on to my shirttails, so it is still deemed “free”.

Ladies—There is something utterly overwhelming about that number.   And, if you’re sanctimonious, spare me the comments, because that’s a crap load of LOTS of time dedicated to little people.  Enough of a load to make you go just a WEE BIT insane.

And, even though, I am suppose to be in ARIZONA with 1/3 of my little people right now, I wound up here (due to an expired passport) ALL ALONE.

At first I was like, what do I do???

At first it was like—lie in bed.  Don’t feed anyone.  Take a long shower.  Get coffee.  Sleep.

A little boring—because, after all, children do make our lives FUN!

But the more days I have been relaxing here, the more I have realized that I have needed this.

This moment.

To NOT be constantly thinking about scissors and rocks and crying babies and wiping my son’s bottom to save my laundry load from streaks later…

This moment.

To not be picking stuck boogers out of the littlest nostrils and convincing the oldest that it is her SWORN duty to play with the littles for ONE HOUR of the 24 WAKING HOURS she has in her day so that I can sit and stare mindlessly into a dirty house.

This moment.

To not be cutting crust off of bread—whichever parent invented that method of sandwich preparation—remind me to KILL YOU LATER, because, for some reason, my children KNOW it and CAN’T eat sandwiches with crust.

This moment.

To realize that my house is probably the aftermath of the storm—but I am ALONE in my bed without physically seeing the dirt and grime and toys and laundry—so I am SAFE FROM THE STORM!

And the longer I am apart from my Tasmanian devils, the more I appreciate being their mommy.  It’s like that Christmas chocolate you get that you put up high to only have a piece every once in a while because you want to make it last…NOT SAYING THAT I’LL STUFF MY KIDS UP HIGH SOMEWHERE SO THEY’LL LIVE (or am I????).

Simply saying—this moment of being without kids is allowing my haggard body, soul, and mind to reboot.

So I can go back and live 24/7 for another 3,816 days—upon which they will all be out of the home and I will be SOBBING for the days of insanity.

#truth

#nuttynuttytruth

To end…my advice for you, mommies, out there.  Maybe take a break from day 3,173 and go somewhere without kids and just lie in bed, be bored, drink coffee, shower, and reboot.

It’s totally worth it.

And, don’t worry, the house will be a disaster upon your return—as if you NEVER really left in the first place.  BUT OH YOUR SOUL WILL KNOW THE TRUTH!

And that truth will let you live on!

Power on, Mommy—and travel alone!!!!

 

 

 

Lord, I want to ask you…DYING OVER HERE!

Okay—I COMPLETELY understand this young lady’s Facebook video—I was pregnant three summers ago in Arizona and FELT the exact SAME pain 🙂 🙂 🙂

At my daughter’s swim lessons, I would literally stand in the spray fountain—fully clothed—and just let the water pour all over my body because I could not handle the heat.

I felt like exuding the exact same emotion you will see at the end of this video.

If you live in a desert or a place with extreme temperatures, get ready to cry from laughter and painful understanding.

If you don’t — then perhaps this will bring enlightening to your lives.

If anything—it will bring a refreshing minute to whatever moment you are in currently!

Adios for now!

xo b