Thursday, November 17, 2016

Using Harry Potter to Talk to Your Kids About Being "Under the Influence"

One of the reasons I love working with is that they give me the coolest writing prompts. They know that I love Harry Potter and with the new movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them opening tomorrow, they asked me to write about lessons from the wizarding world that I use to talk to my kids about all kinds of character issues. Today, I want to look at some examples from the text that underscore the dangers of being "under the influence". 

Let’s get nerdy, you guys.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

The Game That Almost Killed Me

Like everyone else in America, I stayed up too late last night watching game 7 of the World Series. First, it went into extra innings. Then, there was a rain delay. Then, it honestly came down to the very last play. It almost killed me. I'm old and my nerves aren't what they used to be. Then the Cubs won and I passed out from total exhaustion.

My husband, the irascible Cap'n Coupon, was delighted. When the game was still tied in the 9th inning, he was like: "Julie! Do you know what this means?! FREE BASEBALL!"

Free baseball is what he calls it when the came goes into extra innings and for some reason, he expects me to be equally gleeful about this when he knows darn well I already think 9 innings is like 3 too many.

Oh well, I woke up looking and feeling like a complete garbage barge this morning so I made this meme for all you.

(c) Mommyland Blogs 2013-2016

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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

When it's not about the kids, it's about the parents.

I don’t know how it happened but I’m the mother of a teenager. It occurs to me that I only have five years left to teach her everything she needs to know to survive on her own. That’s scary as hell given that my 11 year old recently informed me he has no idea what a fitted sheet is.

This has all led me to acknowledge that I might have an over-parenting problem. The older my kids get, the worse I become. It’s not just changing their sheets. I feel the urge to insert myself into situations that I know I should stay out of. I see it in other parents too; on the ball field, on social media, at Back to School night. It’s endemic. I see kids looking to their parents to solve their problems and adults making things worse by jumping in. And every time I see it happen, I think the same thing:

This isn't about the kids, it’s about the parents.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Elementary School Book Fair

Guess what? These aren't books.
So no, you may not buy them.
Our elementary school hosted it's annual book fair last week. That means I received a "wish list" brought home by child #3, requesting things that were either:

(a) not books, or
(b) books that are not even close to her reading level but feature puppies, or
(c) pens that don't work, or
(d) weird pointy sticks with fingers at the top.

In this case, it was all of the above. I said no and made her books. Correct me if I'm wrong but the purpose of a book fair is to purchase items intended for actual reading, yes?

Apparently, I am mistaken. I think the real purpose is to raise much-needed funds for the school, something I can totally get behind. But dear Lord Baby Jesus, I do not need more crap in my house so my children will buy books or they will buy nothing.

My son called me from school last week, freaking out that he forgot to ask me for money and begging me to drop some off so he could buy stuff during his class' designated shopping time. When I mentioned this on the Rants' Facebook wall, your responses killed me with how funny they were, so I made this meme:

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

I hate 2016 and I've heard enough.

Facebook just showed me a photo from a year ago. It was the day my daughter threw a Halloween party at the Katherine Hanley Family Shelterand we connected with some amazing people (including Batman).
There was a boy who worked really hard with us to make the party a success that day. He was hilarious, smart, and kind. He looked everyone from little kids to adults in the eye and spoke in the same friendly, respectful way to every body. I mean, how many 12 year old boys are like that? I haven’t met very many. He was exactly the kind of awesome kid you want your children to be friends with. He was staying at the shelter with his family. We looked for him a few weeks later to connect for Halloween, and then again for Christmas, but he was gone. I still wonder where he is and pray that he and his family are well.
This picture is a much-needed reminder for me of how bad circumstances happen to the very best people, that good fortune is not bestowed just upon those who are deserving of it, and that we all belong to each other. 



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