Instagram – The Gateway Drug

Instagram - the gateway drug...
Instagram – the gateway drug…

I haven’t written a lot lately. Our oldest recently turned thirteen and I swear it’s like gremlins snuck into his body the same night and just completely overtook our boy. I know that this blog is only worth reading if it’s authentic. I am finding it’s a struggle trying to achieve authenticity while respecting my son’s privacy as he goes through this period in his life. So this is my first stab at it…

It’s only been about six weeks since the gremlins arrived, and the amount of time this precious child of ours has spent hating us in those six weeks is probably quadruple the whole amount of the thirteen years prior.

This new phase of parenthood and childhood is presenting the steepest learning curve we’ve experienced since those first early days as parents of a newborn. And I find that so much of the struggle is compounded by social media.

So let’s start at the beginning. Instagram. To me, it’s the gateway drug. We let boy number one get an Instagram account in fifth grade. And I’m glad we did.

Say what? Didn’t I just call it a gateway drug? Well, here’s the thing…

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The Craft Challenged Mom… And the #?!$x&*! School Project

Mint Tin Book Report - original idea from www.gottoteach.com
Mint Tin Book Report – original idea from www.gottoteach.com

Man, I suck at crafts. In my head I don’t. But there is plenty of evidence to prove otherwise. Over Easter break, I saw friends posting pictures of crafts they VOLUNTARILY did with their kids. Nail art with wood and tools and string and paint was my fave. Shoot, I didn’t even manage to die Easter eggs with my kids.

However…. being a mother pretty much requires at least a little craftiness.

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Goodbye, Old Friend

Goodbye Chico
You were the best dog this family could ever ask for.

Some days are harder than others. This day just about broke me. We said goodbye to our dog Chico today.

I think the anticipation was the worst. Knowing what was ahead, we tried to cherish the last hours. We let him sleep in our bed last night. I made bacon and gave him some this morning. He lounged in his favorite sunny spot by the back door. It was a pretty idyllic way to spend your last dog day on earth.

My husband, Mark, was supposed to meet me at home so we could go together. But a work meeting ran late, so he had to go directly to the vet. Picking Chico up and carrying him out of the house was awful. Knowing it was the last time. Knowing where we were going.

When we got to the vet’s office, I just held him close, trying to provide some sense of security for him. I was keeping it together pretty well until Mark walked in – gym towel in hand (guys never have kleenex when they need it), already crying the ugly cry. The ride over from the office, with nothing but his thoughts, was the part that got Mark.

After the vet explained the process to us and started to prepare the injections, Mark looked at me, tears streaming down his face, and said “I don’t want to do this.” I almost broke then. But instead I said, “We will never want to do this. This will never be easy. Not today or any day.”

I have to say, the final minutes were quite peaceful. Chico wasn’t shaking or scared. He was just snug in my arms, with soft whispers and gentle petting as he took his last breaths. I am so so very glad we searched for another vet. Our neighbors referred us to Dr. Barry at Skillman Animal Clinic and she could not have been more compassionate or loving.

After we pulled ourselves together, Mark said “I am amazed at how peaceful I am about this. I wasn’t – going into it. But now that it’s done, I know we did the right thing for him.” Cataracts, hips slipping, loss of hearing, skin lesions, and Cushings disease were all having their way with our companion of sixteen years. It was time to let him go.

But telling the children? Well that was a whole ‘nother thing.

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Why My Pre-Teen Won’t Be Seeing Deadpool

Thanks to a little help from Julie Says So, Mama says so too!
Thanks to a little help from JulieSaysSo.com, Mama says so too!

The other night my “days away from thirteen” first born was talking about how he wants to see the new Deadpool movie. My husband, who is normally MUCH more lenient than I am when it comes to movies, instantly said, “NO! You are definitely not seeing that movie.”

When I asked why not, he said, “Have you seen Julie’s review? THAT’S why.”

Our friend Julie is a talented blogger and well known movie reviewer. I love to read her reviews. But I also know that one parent’s “no way” is another parent’s “why not”. So despite what my husband said, I thought I would see it for myself and then make my own decision on whether or not our son could see it.

And then… I actually read Julie’s review.

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Hello world!

We finally decided to take the leap. After years of people asking me to write a blog, I took a few classes, bought a domain name, and learned to set up a website.
I made it official on my birthday. My 43rd birthday. And I have to admit – I’m kinda proud of myself for learning things and stretching past my comfort zone.
I do love to write. Plenty of people would say I am opinionated. A few people would say I am wise. And when the Irish girl in me comes out to play, I can be funny too.

I am an Irish Catholic, married mother of three boys in three schools, who owns two businesses and constantly tells myself “I can sleep later”. This is the chronicle of trying to keep it all together…