Friday, June 29, 2012

Dora - The Mother Funking MOVIE

I know I said no new posts this summer. But holy crap. This is the best thing ever.

God bless you, people at College Humor.

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2012

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

UPDATED: My Summer Plans

I wish I could remember March...
I've been a busy, busy beaver this year. Here's what the past nine months have looked like for me.

September:  I packed up my house and moved while my stupid awesome husband was on an intentionally long extended work trip on the other side of the country.
October: We moved. I unpacked and tried to sooth kiddos freaked out by the change.
November: I started writing for and was constantly terrified that someone who was a real blogger would tap me on the shoulder and ask me to go away.
December: The Great Hooker Experiment with you guys. The holidays with my family.
January: Start teaching undergrads at a local college. Still writing for Babble. Still blogging here.
February: Blur of working and worrying and not sleeping and trying to juggle while also finding myself constantly weeping. I suspect the crying was due to Ellen's breast cancer, 3 friends telling me that their marriages were ending, and wondering where the hell Kate went.
March: I have no idea what happened in March.
April: Things start to make sense. Ellen was doing awesome. I was starting to wrap my head around work and deal with the horrifying learning curves/the fact that I am slow-witted. Friends going through major life changes seem to be dealing OK. Then Kate and I had a very hard week where we had to figure out what to do next and we were both sad kittens.
May: The Mother Project with you guys. Finals. Still writing for Babble. Still blogging here. Two of my kids have birthdays and birthday parties (because as previously mentioned - I am an idiot).

At some point between Mother Puckers and birthdays, my kids asked me to please stop looking at my phone so much. They were serious. I felt like a turd sandwich. Because they need me all the time and I have been kind of checked out. And I realized that I was so overwhelmed that the entire month of March really was just a blur. I took a good, long look at all three of my babies and they suddenly seemed so big. I gulped and excused myself and ugly cried in the bathroom as quietly as I could.

The Guilt. It is so crushing.

So this summer, I'm not teaching. I'm not writing for Babble. I'm focusing on being their mom ALL THE TIME. I'll still be here, of course, because this is my therapy. I just won't be here every day.

Part of what we try to do here is tell the truth. I've written before about how being a stay at home was (for a long time) my only job and I kind of sucked at it. Because it's really hard and life keeps throwing things at you. The changes just keep coming and it's hard to keep up with them.

I really think it's OK to admit when you're having a bad time with being a parent. Wouldn't life be easier if we would all just admit it, be open about our mistakes and then wake up the next day ready to do a better job? And everyone just accepted that as normal?

My kids need my attention right now. And it will only get worse this summer - trust me. Once school gets out, it's going to be a noisy, messy, clusteriffic, free for all around here. And I can't wait.

xo, Lydia

UPDATE 6/26/12: 
It's now two weeks into summer vacation. Here's what I've learned: I probably won't be writing (hardly) at all until the fall. I'm really sorry. Thing is, I promised my kids NO COMPUTER or blogging during the day. That is their time. And so far, we're having a blast together. Except for all the regular crap of course, but even that stuff isn't really that annoying for some reason. 

But by the time they're all in bed at night, and I'm able to sit down and write. I AM DONE. I really hope you understand and will still want to hang out with me later on - and maybe help some hookers or some mother puckers. See you soon and have a great summer.
xo, Lydia

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2012

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day - OH DEAR GOD.

I hope everyone had a really happy, super special Father's Day. My youngest child, the precious little cupcake, drew her father a picture of a happy butterfly as his gift. Here it is.

Oh I know. This is not a butterfly. THIS IS NOT A DANG BUTTERFLY.  And because I am slightly assholic, I allowed my daughter to present this drawing to her father just to see what his reaction would be. [[Insert evil giggles]]

Imagine if someone handed you a tampon and was like: "SURPRISE!!! Do you LOVE it?!" and you were like "What the...? Is that a...? OH DEAR GOD. Noooo!! GAHHH!!" and all you wanted to do was get it as far away from you as possible. But because the person who gave it to you was your beloved, little child - you had to pretend like it was a precious Faberge egg and maybe even hug it a little?


Best Father's Day gift ever.

xo, Lydia

PS: Just letting you know I'll be taking the week off to spend time with family coming to see us. See you next week, hookers!

My good friends Thom and his wife Special K shared this fantatsic Father's Day card with me. Let's read their description first, shall we?

Notice the pictures at the top and bottom. On the top is a Triceratops and a Tyrannosaurus Rex. And the bottom one is a Phillies hat, labeled appropriately with a "p".

It's wonderful. In fact it's dino-tastic. Because apparently it's not just my kid. WIN.

xoxo, L
(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2012

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Come On. Or Cumin? I Have no Idea.

So a couple of weeks ago, Kate and I were on our way to go grab lunch when we saw something. I swear the reason we're friends is that we share a brain about certain things. Because when we saw it, we both just stopped and looked at it for a minute, perplexed. Then we looked at each other, doing an identical WTF head tilt.

Let's take all closer look at it, together.

Lydia: Wow... KUMON.
Kate: Look at him.
Lydia: I know.
Kate: (softly) Kumon.
Lydia: Why is he sad?
Kate: He's not sad... And it's not pronounced KUMON.
Lydia: I already know that. It’s pronounced: Cumin.
Kate: No. That is very wrong. It’s COME ON.
Lydia: Look at his face. He’s sad. He’s saying - just rub it a little.
Kate: No. He’s saying, come on. I rubbed it. Then you got it my hair.

Of course, the other reason we're friends is that we're stupid and inappropriate.

xo, Lydia (and Kate!)

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2012

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

We are Not Special

Far away high five to you, Mister.
Maybe you've seen this YouTube video already. Maybe not. But it spoke to me, so I'm sharing it. Because this high school English teacher just told a large crowd of privileged young people and their parents (BURN!) that they are not f*cking special. And then he threw down a few more truth bombs and it was amazing and inspiring and I really, really loved it.

Maybe you've seen this YouTube video already. Maybe not. But it spoke to me, so I'm sharing it. Because this high school English teacher just told a large crowd of privileged young people and their parents (BURN!) that they are not f*cking special. And then he threw down a few more truth bombs and it was amazing and inspiring and I really, really loved it.

The truth is that I am raising privileged, first world kids. And I struggle every day that to make sure that they grow up recognizing that the world is full of people who are exactly like them, no matter what those people look like, what they have or don't have, where they live, or what God they worship. They are us.

And also that they should not be dickheads. Because there seem to be a lot of them already.

So enjoy!

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2012

Thursday, June 7, 2012

5 Places NOT to Take Your Toddler: Summer Edition

Hey remember in the spring when I made a list of places that I try to avoid going with my toddler? Well, now it’s summertime…

Ah, summertime, I love you. I love that I can open my back door and kick my kids out in the yard after dinner. I love outside Friday evening playdate happy hours with my mom friends. I love lightning bugs and the sound of the peepers singing me to sleep in the woods behind my house.

But you know what I flippin’ HATE?! Taking my small children to certain summertime places. People do these things all the time with children and have a wonderful time...but they are, in my opinion, infinitely harder with toddlers.

The Beach
Let me very clear about this: I will be going to the beach many, many times this summer. We live near a fantastic state park with a swimming lake and it’s very cheap fun for us. But do I *want* to take my two year-old there? He will accidentally eat sand and cry. Also, he doesn’t know how to swim so I will have a heart attack each time he falls in the water. He has very red hair and fair skin and actually physically recoils in the direct sunlight (we think he might be part vampire) so going to a place with no shade is, um, challenging. And don’t even get me started on the toddlers with leaky swim diapers I see squatting in the water. SO GROSS.

[Editor's note: Lydia here. Can we briefly discuss how my youngest will ALWAYS, always get sand in her eyes and then shriek like a banshee when I tell her she can't rub her eyes because she will scratch her corneas completely off and she's all "Woman. What the hell is wrong with you? I'm 3. I have no idea what you're talking about." And then I swear never to go to the beach with a toddler ever again.]

Yard Sale
Oooooh, I love me a good yard sale! You can find the best stuff. The good weather brings out the best garage sales and I have absolutely no problem giving my kids used toys and previously worn clothes. It’s good for Mother Earth, y’all. But sometimes when I pass a really good one on a Saturday morning and I have my toddler in the car I hesitate…because what will probably happen is this: while I’m inspecting the possibly designer purse for 50 cents my curious son accidentally bumps into a table of hummels, sending a few tumbling onto the pavement, breaking them into a bazillion pieces. And now I’m forced to haggle for something that I don’t want but have already, in effect, purchased.

[Lydia here again. I also love yard sales. I just got my kid a bike for $5. Suck on THAT, Walmart. But there's always the very real possibility of me ending up with a box full of colorful, plastic crap that I paid a dollar for that I have absolutely no room and no need for. Oh Goody! Toys from Happy Meals from the late 1980's! One-legged GI Joes and bald Barbies! Yet a small part of me thinks it will be a loooong summer and this box may one day save me from tapping a t-box at 2pm when the kiddos decide to be monstery and I'm at my wit's end. So I always buy it.]

Theme Parks
Again, some people love these places but I'm not a huge fan. Waiting in line with a toddler? Never. Fun. See, if toddlers had a job description it would be: move stuff, explore stuff, climb stuff, and yell standing quietly in line in an orderly fashion is not gonna happen. And yet I find myself spending a car payment on admission to then spend 80% of my day waiting in lines, 10% riding the fun rides, and the remaining 10% wiping hands, faces, and butts. Oh, did I mention our two family summer trips this year are to Story Land in NH and Sesame Place in PA?! GAAAAH! The preschooler in our family is going to have a blast but the toddler is going to need a sedative. Oh no wait...that's me.

Hiking and Camping
Before we had kids Mr. Louise and I were what you might call outdoorsy. We would throw our beat-up 2-person tent in the trunk of our car, drive up to NH, scurry up and down a mountain and then find somewhere to pitch our tent for the night. We didn't make plans or reservations or even pack a dinner. We were young and in love! We loved nature and sleeping in dirt! Yippeee!

Fast forward five years...and have I once been camping with my children? No. Because I just don't see it going well. How do you make a toddler stay in a tent and go to sleep?? As it is at home, the kid often falls asleep on the floor of his room trying to figure out how to scale the gate out of his room like Spiderman. He would definitely just unzip a tent and be all, "Later, guys! I'm gonna go play with some coyotes now!'

Hiking presents a whole other cluster of issues. You can try to put your toddler is one of those hiking backpack thingies but they often find those a tad constraining. So then they're all, I want to walk. No, carry me! No, I want to walk! No, carry me!

[Lydia again. Oh my Maude. I went hiking with Mini and I have renamed the trail BrokeBack Mountain because she made me carry her all the way up and that's what she did to my spinal column. I almost had a mycardial infarction.]

Water Play Areas
I hate these things. All I want to do is stop at the playground for a half hour before dinner and thanks to the sprinkler thingy it turns into a giant ordeal that requires swimsuits, water shoes, towels, a change of clothes, etc. I'm happy to do water play at my house, in my yard, with extra clothes and stuff nearby. But at the playground I just want some good old fashioned dirt play...brush 'em off and they're good to go!

[Lydia again. Yeah, they have those here in parks and outdoor fancy shopping areas and stuff. No. No no no no. Maybe your kid has fun but there's always something weird going on like some teenagers thinking its cute to walk around in wet t-shirts or some baby in a saggy diaper screaming his head off or some creepy lurker staring at all the kids and making me want to call John Walsh. And my kids always want to do it barefoot and I'm like "NOOOOOOOOO! It's nasty so put your damn flip flops on before you get cholera or something, for the love of Maude, KEEP YOUR SHOES ON." And some kid is always just sitting on top of a spray and you know he's getting an enema and his glassy-eyed expression implies he's kind of enjoying it and you're like - "Kid, move. Please kid, move. Kid - move before your bowels explode right here."

And then, you do the unthinkable -- you try to leave. Cue the screaming and meltdowns]

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2012

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Teacher Gifts - The TV Interview

Last week I went on TV to discuss what you guys told us about teacher gifts. Per my wildly aspirational efforts to be a good adequate better mom this summer, I even brought my 9 year old daughter with me. She was only mildly disappointed that she wasn't immediately discovered and given her own show. She had a lot of fun, was shockingly well-behaved and had her picture taken several times. Afterwards we had lunch and for maybe four whole, entire hours she thought I was cool.

Here's the clippitty clip below. Please note that I have a very strange and short haircut that I don't understand. I am so confused by it. I went in to get my roots touched up and a trim and I came out with platinum blond hair in the shape of a triangle. So I went back a few days later and said "Please for the love of Maude fix this thing on my head" and then I ended up with this haircut.

The Cap'n was shocked and was all: "WOW. It's small. And fluffy."

In the history of the universe, has anyone ever wanted their head described that way? Sigh... I am still glame. Some things never change.

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2012

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