Wednesday, June 25, 2014

PMS and Science

Things are crazy around here right now. So you can understand why now would be a bad time to have the PMS. That having the PMS at this stressed-out moment would result in periodic and wildly embarrassing crying jags and the occasional abrupt transition into being a raging B/Disney Villian. On a good day, I could handle the immense amounts of stuff on my to do list in fairly good humor. But PMS days are not my good days. In fact, I made a chart to illustrate:

(You can click this to make it bigger. Not that size matters.)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Last Week of School. I'm Losing it.

I'm losing it. Mini is fighting something off and hasn't slept well in a few days, which means that I haven't slept well in a few days. Plus, I keep going from anger to tears in less time than it takes my kids to swipe my iPhone and start playing Minion Rush. The Cap'n called it before I did (it's The PMS), and it could not be coming at a worse time.

Why is that? Because I'm on the end of the school year hamster wheel of doom. It sucks so hard and this year, due to 11 snow days last winter, it's lasting forever. 

h/t returnofkings.com
This looks EXACTLY like my daughter's hamsters, whom the Cap'n refers to as "The Indoor Squirrels"

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Quinoa Summer Salad - So Yummy!

I don't usually do recipes but I shared this a couple of years ago on Facebook and people still tell me all the time how much they dig it.

This recipe makes a gigantic bowl  -  enough for a week's worth of lunches, to bring to a big pot luck, or for sharing with hungry, vegetarian neighbors. Oh yeah! It's also gluten free. If you want to make less, just cut the proportions.


It's really yummy, it sort of tastes like the inside of a burrito. My husband and kids eat this and like it (though I have to serve it with some sort of grilled meat or the Cap'n doesn't consider it dinner because he's from Ohio).

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Anatomy of a Swim Meet

I have three kids and they all swim on a swim team every summer. I decided to capture my experience at a morning swim meet, for those of you not in the water cult.

6:00am: Wake up, drink coffee. Wake up grouchy children.

6:45am: Arrive at pool. Parking lot is already full. Let the kids out and park far away. Carry/drag chairs, bags and a cooler as if I were large pack animal. It occurs to me suddenly that as mother of three there is no denying that I am a large pack animal.

6:58am: Small miracle occurs. I find a great place to set up chairs, etc. Next to friends. With a good view of the pool. In full shade. Wish I'd brought a sweatshirt actually, is kind of chilly.

Friday, June 13, 2014

The Tao of My Dad

Happy Father's Day! Let me tell you all about my dad and by extension, all about why I am the way I am. This post originally ran about 18 months ago, but I thought it might be time to dust it off. 

My dad is a handsome old geezer named Ed Miller. He lives in the woods in Maine. If the truth be told, he is a bit of a character. There is really no way to describe him, so I won't try. Instead, I will share with you some of his bon mots which over a lifetime have collectively become (what I call) "The Tao of My Dad". If you've ever wondered why I am this way, perhaps this will give you some insight.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Kids and Social Media: I Can Handle This (I think)

I wrote this post for the fine folks at WTOP (a kick-ass radio station in Washington, DC) last week but I thought I'd share it here, too. This is not a regular Mommyland-type post, it's a cross between a "real" blog post and the stream of consciousness bullshit you generally find here. Enjoy! 

A couple of years ago, I read that the crux of the problem with kids and emerging social technology, such as Twitter, is that children routinely use social media before they're properly socialized. That makes sense. A socially-awkward 12-year-old in real life is bound to make mistakes on the Internet, especially without a clear example of what they should be doing. But who sets that example?

I have three young kids who are dying to know about, and engage with, technology. I've tried to keep them off the Internet, but thanks to our excellent public school system and the magic of BlackBoard, they're online doing their homework almost every day.

They collaborate with classmates via Google Docs and ask me how to upload YouTube videos into their PowerPoint slides for social studies. I stare blankly at them, wondering how we went from printing out coloring pages to this. Now I argue with my 8-year-old about playing Minecraft via Xbox Live. Just because the person you're playing with says he's a fourth-grader, doesn't mean he's not actually a random dude from Denmark with candy in his pants.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Retro Prom & BlogU

It was on a college campus. It was so pretty!
Last weekend I went to my first ever blog conference. You guys, it was terrifying. I only went because it was run by the same women who contributed to the anthology "I Just Want to Pee Alone".  You might remember that I was in that book and I liked them all so much that I let them guest post all over Mommyland for months because I wanted you guys to love them as I do.

So anyway, for the past 18 months, we've all been in this FB group. And since we're all addicted to social media and always on stupid Facebook - well, we all know all about each other's lives and have seen pictures of each other's kids, and homes, and whatever. I wanted to meet them all in real life and the conference was only about 90 minutes from my house so I went ahead and bought my ticket to Blog U.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Summer Reading 2014!!

It's time for summer reading! Thanks to a prolonged bout of (dong-sucking) pneumonia this Spring, I actually started reading books again! Lots of them! And now I've nearly exhausted all my new books and I want to read more so I'd love to get your recommendations, both on books for me and also for my kids.

I'll get started! Currently, I'm reading two kinds of books:
  • Books written by bloggers
  • Young Adult fiction that I'm screening for my rising 6th grader. Also, ((deep breath here)) I love YA fiction for just me, myself and I and I'm not ashamed. Also, please take a moment to appreciate the sweet De La Soul click thru. 
So let's start with YA:

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Horrifying Conversations with Mini: The Sharp Stick

Last week I had a long conversation with my kids about being nice to others, things mean kids do, what to do if you see something cruddy going on, what to do if you find yourself involved in something cruddy, etc. I tried to impart some wisdom, give them a chance to talk about what's going on at school, and overall - I thought the conversation went pretty well. But apparently it did not, because the take-away for my 5 year old was that MEAN KIDS ARE EVERYWHERE SO CONSTANT VIGILANCE IS REQUIRED.

This morning we walked to the bus stop. The three kids, the dog, and I all tumbled out of the house like we were coming out of a damn clown car because some people have never learned to walk through a door one at a time. Mini paused and stared at the stick that lives on my front porch.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Little League Parent Pledge

My son has been playing Little League for years. He really likes baseball and even though it can be a major time suck and occasional pain in my keister, so do I. I love watching the kids play, seeing them come together as a team over the course of the season, watching them improve, take risks, fail, and succeed. I like meeting new families and reconnecting with old friends.

Given my over-all warm and fuzzy feelings about Little League, it might surprise you that I've got some rants in my pants about it and I'm about to unload a little bit. Because one of the things I like the most about baseball is a little something I call the "The Statement of Parental Non-Assholery" that our League requires us to make at the beginning of every game. That's not it's real name, by the way, officially it's called "The Parent Pledge".

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Pneumonia! It what's up.

Hello! If you've been wondering what's up with me - the answer is pneumonia. Let your old pal Lydia tell you a little something about pneumonia, friends; it sucks dong and you should avoid it

In case you were like - where has that heifer been? That’s where. I kept teaching my lovely students and taking care of my kiddo squiddos, but other than that I just lay around my house being pathetic and taking antibiotics. I got sick in early April and my pulmonologist just cleared me about a week ago.

I was so sick, I couldn't do anything. I could barely make it to work. I couldn't go to Bunco and take my friends' money because I couldn't stay awake past 8:45pm. I was so sick, my friends had to bring my family meals. I WAS SO SICK I HAD NO DESIRE TO DRINK WINE FOR OVER A MONTH. In fact, I pretty much had no desire to do anything other than make sure my kids were looked after and then nap.

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