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Listen To Your Mother! No, Really!

by Miranda on April 16, 2014

I had a wicked rant brewing in my head earlier today and I just can’t post it now because YOU GUYS!

LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER!

Listen To Your Mother Atlanta

No really. That’s a thing you should definitely do is listen to your mother. And another thing you should definitely do is come and see Listen To Your Mother: Atlanta next weekend.

The past month and a half has been IN-SANE with commitments to be met, birthdays to be celebrated, work to be done, life to be lived, and a host of crap dumped on my plate that I didn’t ask for and certainly didn’t feel equipped to handle. I’ve spent the earlier part of this week sort of wallowing in what a shitty couple of weeks I’ve had emotionally and counting down the hours until I could get to my therapist’s office and word vomit all over her oddly-80′s chair.

That appointment was supposed to be today but I thought it was tomorrow. I was on the verge of sinking when I drove to The Earl Smith Strand to meet with the lighting guy there to talk about our show next week.

When he turned down the house lights and flipped on the spots, it was like a light had been flipped inside me, too. I could see our show on that stage and I could hear the stories in the voices of our cast members and it was invigorating.

I walked out of The Strand today and walked back to my car with a bit of a lighter step. I climbed in, cranked the car, and looked to the left. There, on the marquee, was our logo. OUR SHOW. On a marquee.

Nothing else mattered in that moment. Not any of the things that had been plaguing me when I woke up this morning. None of it.

I climbed out of the car and walked down the street to wait for the logo to come back to the marquee so I could take a picture.

This thing we’re doing, Jana and me and our amazing cast? It’s about to happen for real. Suddenly none of that other nonsense matters.

I’ve “finished each day,” so to speak, and because I can’t change what IS I’m just looking toward the 26th and what WILL BE.

What will be is something amazing. While there are other things right now that are so uncertain, that is one thing I hold as a truth.

Listen To Your Mother: Atlanta is going to be amazing.

The people who’ve entrusted Jana and I with their stories, who are willingly breaking out of their comfort zones or paying tribute to the mothers in their lives, who are sharing the humorous anecdotes of motherhood along with the heartwarming ones, they are amazing so this show can’t be anything less than that.

I do hope you’ll be there to see it.

Join us at The Strand!

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The First of Twenty

by Miranda on April 14, 2014

Joshua turning five was a big deal, for me and for him. He will proudly tell anyone who will listen that he’s five years old, spreading out each of the fingers on his right hand and waving his open palm at them, as if they can’t possibly know what he means without the visual aid.

I, meanwhile, cry a little on the inside every time he says it, willing time to slow down. So time does what it does and speeds up.

Last Friday, Joshua lost his first tooth. The first of twenty.

When he climbed into the car after school, I saw that the tooth, which we knew was loose, was practically laying sideways in his mouth.

Hey, buddy! How’s your wiggly tooth?

It’s fine, Mama.

Can I see it?

Okay. 

Joshua, this is a really wiggly tooth. It’s ready to come out, just barely hanging on.

And then I touched it and there it was, in the palm of my hand. Joshua was shocked, gladly exclaimed that the Tooth Fairy would be making a visit, and then began to cry. Big crocodile tears streamed out from behind his Spider-man sunglasses. I wiped them away with my thumbs, telling him everything would be okay.

He didn’t really understand that a loose tooth meant the thing would fall out of his mouth and be gone. No amount of promising that a newer, bigger tooth would grow in its place made a difference. 

That tooth wasn’t this tooth. No other tooth would do.

I sat there wondering how it is we’re supposed to explain these unknown events like this to kids who can’t quite understand what we’re saying, to kids like my Joshua who are so resistant to changes like this, and why some things, like growing up, are sometimes so hard for all of us, parents and children, to grasp.

Eventually he calmed down, became a little excited even, and asked to wave down one of his teachers who had exited the building while we waited so he could show her his new grin. There’s a little whistle when he talks right now, and occasionally I see him sticking his tongue into the gap in his smile, feeling the unfamiliar space there, unable to tell me just what it is he’s thinking when he does so, but I know it’s something like uncertainty and excitement with a dash of fear mixe in.

I know that because it’s what I’m feeling, too.

If I needed any sort of visual aid that my boy is actually, truly, quickly growing up right before my very eyes, the little gap in his smile is doing the trick. The last vestiges of his babyhood are peacing out.

I keep looking forward while occasionally stopping to glance back and if I squint my eyes when looking in either direction, I can see both our past and his future. This was one of the first of twenty (and then some) moments that are hastening us toward the rest of our tomorrows.

I’m not quite sure I’m ready, but whether I’m ready or not, life is marching on. I’m just doing my best to embrace it.

missing tooth

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Tomorrow You Are Two

by Miranda on April 8, 2014

Dear Emma,

Tomorrow you are two. The other morning, I brought you to bed with me and you fell asleep after nursing. We snuggled up and I breathed in the smell of your hair and fell back to sleep alongside you. For a brief moment, I was taken back to the early months of your life when you spent the nights sleeping next to me and napped cradled in my arms.

It seems like yesterday you came barreling into this world eager to join our family, bringing with you healing for my broken places and so much curiousity and wonder about any and everything.

“Wass dat?” is your new favorite question. You’re gaining new words at breakneck speeds, soaking them in and spitting them back out in that tiny, adorable voice of yours.

Watching you discover the world has been one of the greatest–and sometimes most stressful–parts of the past two years. You are eager to know and learn and go and do. As cliche’ as it might sound, don’t ever lose that sense of wonder. (And remind me to teach you what a cliche’ is someday, too.)

While you have play mates at school, each of whom you must hug goodbye every afternoon, your big brother is your favorite friend. Joshua positively hangs the moon for you. Whatever he does, you have to do, too. Sometimes he’s a jerk, but that’s what brothers do. No matter how he acts, he’s your biggest fan.

Well, he’s your biggest fan next to me and your dad.

I can’t lie. Sometimes you make me more than a little bonkers trying to climb out of the grocery cart or up the bookshelf or onto the kitchen table. Sometimes you push boundaries I wish you wouldn’t push.

But there’s a part of me who revels in your desire to push those boundaries. There’s a part of me who sees your strength and tenacity and sits back and cheers while watching you confront life head on.

Recently you’ve decided to start dressing yourself. “I do it!” you say, and you do. Sometimes both legs end up in the same side of your pants, or you put your brother’s underwear on sideways to wear as a diaper cover under your dresses, but you manage to get it done. I marvel at the independence so deeply ingrained already in your tiny two-year-old body.

Two.

Two years of your life lived already and decades more to go.

I love you, little girl. From now until forever.

Love,

Mama

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Navel Gazing…Is that lint?

by Miranda on April 7, 2014

I’m doing that thing where I set a timer for myself and I feel compelled to tell you guys that I’m only giving myself 20 minutes to write this so that you don’t judge me when it’s not perfect.

Where’ve I been the past week or so while I haven’t been blogging?

I’ve been navel-gazing. I’ve been wondering what it is I’ve been doing here all these years on this blog and thinking that when it comes right down to it, I really don’t measure up. But the thing is, I don’t even know who or what I’m measuring myself against.

Myself, I guess.

To find a piece for Listen To Your Mother, I read through nearly every single post I’ve ever written here. I’m ashamed to say how disgusted I am with what I found.

I found whining. I found boring and mundane updates about what I’d eaten for breakfast. I found a metric ton of posts about my weight and my body.

I found a lot of things that, in the grand scheme of things, are just adding to the noise. They’re moments of my life, sure. And one day I might want to look back and read about that excellent breakfast we had that one time. (Why?? Why would I want to do that?)

But the truth is that I’ve written a lot of crap over the years. A lot of crap.

There have been some good pieces, for sure. Some things I’ve said of which I remain immensely proud. But…ugh. It’s so lost in the flotsam floating around in my archives.

It feels like I’ve been blogging without a purpose, but then isn’t the purpose of blogging just…to blog?

I struggle with perfection. It’s a problem. I know.

No one expects me to be perfect. No one, not the people who matter at least, think perfection is possible. They don’t care if I’m not perfect.

But I care.

And I’m not even talking about having my life appear perfect. (I think it’s safe to say that I don’t try to show that I have it altogether.) I’m talking about with my words.

I’ve spent so much time over the past five years not saying things for fear of offending or scaring people away, trying not to make myself a target of ire, that so much has gone unsaid because I couldn’t say it the right way. I don’t want to be the person who just spouts off whatever’s on her mind with no thought or concern for how it will affect the people who might hear it.

It’s been a long time since I’ve been okay being that person. I’m not sure I’ve ever really been that person.

I don’t ever want to be that person. But I don’t want to let go of this thing here, either.

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Oral-B Disney Timer App (Sponsored)

by Miranda on March 31, 2014

This paid post is brought to you by the new free Oral-B Disney Timer App as part of a Type-A Parent Community Sponsored Post.

When we first discovered that Joshua had sensory issues with an oral aversion component, brushing his teeth became about more than just good dental hygiene. It was a way to break through some of his sensory defensiveness by exposing him to different oral textures and sensations. Brushing his tongue and cheeks became ways we could help ease some of his anxieties.

Oral-B Magic Timer App

We didn’t have to do many very crazy things to get Joshua to brush his teeth regularly. For a long, long time, he refused to do it himself, though, always asking one of us to brush his teeth for him and refusing even to try doing it on his own.

And then one morning we were getting ready to go to therapy and he came out of the bathroom declaring that he had brushed his teeth. Unprompted, without help, and without making too big a mess all over the counter.

It was amazing!

But then we ran into the problem of him only wanting to brush his teeth for 20 seconds before declaring that he was all finished.

In case you were curious, 20 seconds isn’t really long enough to brush. 120 seconds is way more like it.

Enter the Oral-B Disney Timer App.

The app helps kids brush for the recommended two minutes by turning brushing into a game.

As your child brushes, the app brushes, too, revealing a Disney or Marvel character as it goes. At the end of 2 minutes, teeth are clean and so is the screen!

Joshua loves declaring himself the winner when the timer is done.

He’s not wrong. Clean teeth while having fun is totally a win.

Disney Timer App by Oral-BThis paid post is brought to you by the new, free Oral-B Disney Timer App as part of a Type-A Parent Community Sponsored Post. Featuring sixteen of your favorite Disney and Marvel characters, use this app to seamlessly encourage your kids to brush longer. Collect a new digital sticker after each successful two minutes of brushing; track progress with stars and milestone badges on the Brushing Calendar. Longer, happier brushing for your little one is just a download away!

Download the Free App Here

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Joshua’s Superhero Birthday Party

March 24, 2014

Joshua just turned five, you guys. Five feels so huge! It really feels like just yesterday I was planning his Super Mario Super Birthday Party but no, nope. I was recently tasked with planning a FIFTH birthday party. When I asked Joshua to pick a theme for this year’s birthday, he asked for a Superhero birthday […]

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Tomorrow You Are Five

March 21, 2014

Dear Joshua, Tomorrow you are five. When you wake up, I’ll give you cupcakes and ask you what you want to do with the day. You’ll say “play Mario Kart Channel” because you’ve been waiting for this day for a year. Five. There’s something about this birthday that feels so much bigger–more–than the others. It […]

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Stop It With the Victim Blaming.

March 19, 2014

Remember when I wrote that little post about How to Tell if a Kid’s Show is for Boys or Girls? Let’s expound upon that a little, shall we? Rarely do I ever respond directly to the posts of other bloggers, particularly those known for writing linkbait posts they know will go viral. Just as viral […]

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5 Things Children Need From Parents

March 12, 2014

Any time a new movement hits the Internet, conversation inevitably erupts about the soundness of said advice. When the #banbossy campaign hit Facebook, I saw chatter on both sides of the argument, but what I saw most of all was a disconnect about what, exactly, our boys AND our girls need from their parents. While […]

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Disney Side at Home Celebration: Calling All Characters!

March 2, 2014

Growing up I was a Disney kid. Sharing my love of Disney with my children has been a fun perk of parenting. When the opportunity to host a Disney Side at Home Celebration hit my inbox, I signed up, crossed my fingers, and waited. We were chosen. Our party kit arrived and our evites were […]

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