5 Ways to Begin the New Year Inadequately On Purpose

Dec 31 2013

I headed to bed with a migraine this afternoon, and I want you to know this is a perfectly acceptable way to end the old year and ring in the new. 

This is the time of year I feel bombarded with the message that my life is inadequate and I must fix it all right now. It’s the New Year! Time to turn over a new leaf! No time like the present! GET ON IT, STAT!

To be clear, I’m not opposed to turning over new leaves. I think leaf-turning makes profound sense at the New Year and beyond.

It’s just that I don’t feel the need for all new leaves right this minute. Nor do I think that just because some of my leaves are worn and comfortable and a little patchy in places means they need to be exchanged for shiny new leaves just yet. Leaf-growing, after all, is a process that takes energy and sunlight and nourishment and water, but it also takes the things I’m less inclined to see as growth: becoming crackly and brittle, falling to the earth, waiting in the darknesssitting in the mud, pushing against the dirt and, eventually, straining again toward the light

I just listened to an interview on National Public Radio about starting the new year with a financial fast. Twenty-one days of buying only the absolute necessities. Basic food. Prescriptions. Regular bills. Nothing extra. Reset your financial goals! Feel good about what you have! This is a GREAT idea. 

I’m not doing it.

I just saw an article that details how to gift-wrap activities and crafts for small kids to open every hour on New Year’s Eve to help them pass the time without boredom. Engage with your family! Be present to your littles! This is a GREAT idea.

I’m not doing it.

I just read eleventy hundred ideas for New Year’s resolutions that will help me be a fitter, thinner, richer, more active, organized, involved, patient, magical parent in 2014. They are GREAT ideas.

I’m not doing any of them. 

Here’s what I AM going to do in the New Year:

photo 2 (74)

1. I hereby vow in the New Year to do my best. Except on the days when I have no best to give, and then I will do my mediocre. Except on the days when I have no mediocre, and then I vow to give myself a break for being human. To forgive myself, make amends if needed and move on.

2. I vow in the New Year to be healthy, wealthy and wise. Except on the days I desperately brave the sticky underside of the couch cushions to scrounge for enough change to buy the biggest possible vat of ice cream.

3. I vow in the New Year to be present and involved with my children and my husband. Except when I need to take a break to be present and involved with myself and take a bath with the door locked and a glass of wine and a novel that will rot my brain. 

4. I vow in in the New Year to pay attention to the difference between guilt and longing. To recognize that just because I long for my children does not make me guilty of any self-assessed mama infractions. 

5. And, finally, I vow in the New Year, like I vow every year, to bear witness to the lives of the people who are the life of me. And I vow to do this as a human who is heroic and horrible, and magical and messy, and beautiful and bumbling, with love and laughter and light, and grace and gratitude and grime. Imperfectly. Inadequately. And on purpose.

Won’t you join me?

It’s the Part of Winter Break When…

Dec 30 2013

I caught my kid’s puke last night inside the puke bag – all of it except for the chunks that landed on my left hand before they slid with a shake of my wrist into the bag with their buddies.

I don’t know when I started considering puke shots that make it in off the rim worthy of full points, but it was a 2-pointer in my book, for sure. I marked up the stats, credited myself with the assist, and moved quickly down the court to help the rest of my team, because the game doesn’t stop when someone makes or misses a shot. It just keeps going and going and going until someone calls timeout or the buzzer sounds Game Over, except without timeouts and no game ender in sight, ’cause this is Life, not basketball.

My cousin came over the other night and said, “Are you OK? You don’t look OK.” 

I said, “I’m tired.” 

It’s the part of Winter Break when I’m sure I have mono. Or a defunct thyroid. Or a rare blood disease. Or an entire, malevolent alien race harvesting my energy to power their space ships.

So tired.

I’m so, so tired.

I did it, though! I pulled off the logistical side Christmas!

It came with ribbons!
It came with tags!
It came with packages, boxes and bags!

And EVERY SINGLE ONE of my little Whos in our Ville had a gift. Because I did not falter, I did not fail, and I REMEMBERED each of them! Which is a feat worthy of retelling because I have FIVE KIDS, man, plus some extras this year, and I forgot to hand over loot to zero of them. 

Which is, I know, not the point of Christmas at all.

Except when you’re the mama and in charge of These Things. 

And then remembering the packages really is one of the Thousand Points of Christmas, along with the Light in the Darkness and the Birth of the Baby and the Magic in the Mess. Both/And, it turns out. It’s all very Both/And.

photo 1 (67)

But now…

Well, now’s the part of Winter Break when Christmas is over, and we’re hung over on Christmas treats and dragging our feet from a tsunami of rapturous Fun Family Time Together.

We’re swimming in a sea of discarded wrapping paper and drinking the dregs of the peppermint hot chocolate.

photo 3 (52)We’re recovering from surgery and exhaustion and the flu and too much free time. And, by recovering, I mean we are distancing ourselves from those things in time, not that we’re actually showing signs of recovery per se.

I’d write in a cute action phrase here, like **wipes sweat from mama brow**, except I have neither the time nor the motivation to wipe figurative sweat which will reappear in mere seconds. Just like making my bed, brow-wiping is an exercise in futility and thoroughly wasted effort, so I’m opting out.

My children haven’t changed their clothes since Saturday. Or Friday. Or Thursday. I don’t even know. And they’re staring at All the Screens. Every Screen we own. All at once. And I am doing nothing by word or by deed to discourage them. 

I’m under the Winter Break water, friends. It’s true. But I am NOT drowning because I DECLARE I’m not, and I have a thin straw to my lips with which I’m sucking an inadequate amount of oxygen. But OXYGEN nonetheless; I have some! I am upright!

You know, except when I’m flat on the floor, on my face, and done in. 

There is not enough coffee in all the world, friends. Not enough coffee in all the world. 

The End

……….

P.S. There are still 3 more giveaways coming! I think we’re on Day 10 of 7+ Days of Giveaways. Or something. I’ve lost track of this along with my sanity, sense of self and appropriate personal hygiene. I WILL get back to the giveaways soon, though. Probably even this week. And maybe even back to bathing myself. But I must feed my children before I do anything else. They insist on being fed. 

P.P.S. Status report requested. How are YOU doing this Winter Break? Feel free to report Trials or Triumphs — I plan to either feel less alone or live vicariously, depending on your update. 

Merry Christmas Eve and Happy Mother’s Day (and Day 9 of 7+ Giveaways)

Dec 24 2013

I gave my dad homemade cinnamon rolls for Christmas because I’m a kind and loving daughter. 

And because I’m amazing and can do All of the Things at Christmas time!

And maybe a teeny tiny bit because I let my kids eat the cinnamon rolls I gave my dad for Father’s Day.

All of them.

As in, I let my kids eat every single cinnamon roll I gave my dad for Father’s Day, and my dad didn’t get any.

In my defense, though, my dad’s been to my house and has watched the cloud of locusts descend, like, hundreds of times, so he should know to eat things quickly before they’re consumed by the insatiable swarms.

Still, my dad’s been extra pathetic for the past 6 months about the rolls, so, in a fit of Christmas weakness, I became a cinnamon roll enabler. 

Also, I lied when I said I can do All of the Things at Christmas time. 

I lied and lied and lied, and I was a lying liar who lies.

Because I can’t do All of the Things at Christmas time.

Or All of the Things any of the time. 

I can’t do even do Most of the Things most of the time.

I can do SOME of the Things some of the time, though!

Except when I quit and lay down underneath my table and do None of the Things. So I do None of the Things some of the time, too.

Unless feeling guilty for not doing Any of the Things counts as a thing. In that case, I rarely do None of the Things, but I often do One of the Things, and I do that thing really well.

We found out yesterday that we’ve got a kid having surgery this Friday. He needs his eardrums repaired and his tonsils removed, and it’s Winter Break so WHEEEEEE! Off we go! But I was struck by the fact that the Things I’ve Done for Christmas at this point will have to be Enough of the Things. Because I can’t do Any More of the Things. I just… can’t.

I wrote my friend Mary Beth last night after I found out about the surgery. Mary Beth’s a mama who Has Mama Experience, like me, and I thought she might Get It, so I wrote about the day, and I wrote about the stress, and I confessed that this week may slay me, but then I said, “You know what’s nice about being a more experienced mama, Mary Beth? Knowing that there’s truly VERY little my kids need to have a happy Christmas. Main ingredients: sporadically attentive parents, one gift they really love, too much sugar, mass chaos, Baby Jesus and full stockings. Beyond that? Meh. Who cares?” 

And then Mary Beth wrote back and said,

Kids are good. 

All you really have to do to raise them well is:

1.) Everything
and
2.) Just breathe, and time will carry you across.

And I thought YES! And THAT’S IT, EXACTLY. Because we humans raising other humans must do everything – we must – but we also learn, eventually, to just breathe and that time will carry us across. Both/And. Both Everything and Just Breathing.

As soon as I finished Mary Beth’s email, I went to my less-than-pristine bathroom where I saw the message my eldest wrote on my mirror in my very best lip liner last Mother’s Day. Yes, before the Great Father’s Day Cinnamon Roll Caper. And yes, 7 months ago, in which time I haven’t cleaned my mirror. 

Abby wrote, “Happy Mother’s Day! I love you.” 

Which seems like a Very Important Reminder this Christmas week. As we rush and fret and do All of the Things. Or Some of the Things. Or One of the Things. Or Just Breathe. 

It’s enough, friends. 

It is.

Whether the Things get done or don’t.

It’s enough.

So, from our family to yours, Merry Christmas Eve and Happy Mother’s Day and Happy Father’s Day and everything in between. Here’s wishing you breath and air and life and time,

Beth

 photo 2 (73)

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Today is Day 9 of 7+ Giveaways!
(Day 8 is still accepting entries: click here.)

I invited the 5 Kids Blog advertisers (see the column to your right) to join me for 7 (and more!) days of giveaways. CHECK BACK for a NEW GIVEAWAY EVERY DAY.

LittleMissPeaCapeandCrownToday, our friend Jenni of Little Miss Pea, a company that specializes in unique gifts that are handmade with careful attention to detail and that little extra touch, is giving away a cape and crown set in the color of the winner’s choice.

“This cape set is so much fun! Your toddler can be a fairy princess, a knight, a wizard, a super hero, or anything he can imagine! A great birthday or Christmas gift. Made with shiny satin on both sides, every set is reversible with two colors. Velcro closure on cape allows for ease of use and safety. Set fits most kids ages 2 to 6.” 

This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Malinda, the Little Miss Pea cape and crown winner!

TO ENTER: Leave a comment on this blog post by 11:59pm (Pacific Time) on Thursday, December 26th. One entry per person, please. A winner will be selected using a random number generator and posted on Friday.

This giveaway is open to international participants. International shipping provided by me.

LittleMissPea

Note: The 5 Kids Blog advertisers provided no additional compensation for these giveaways. Jenni of Little Miss Pea is paying for the cost of the giveaway and U.S. shipping. She paid me for her ad only, and this just seemed like a fun way to work together for your benefit. OK? OK.

When Baby Jesus Gets Dropped on His Head and Other Reasons I Love the Christmas Story (plus Day 8 of 7+ Giveaways)

Dec 23 2013

I admit I laughed WAY too loud at last year’s church Christmas pageant when Mary #2 (for the times when a solitary Mary just won’t do) dropped Baby Jesus on his head. 

Our 4-year-old Understudy Mary fumbled the baby pass, as parents sometimes do, and there went our Lord, tumbling onto the ancient yellow carpet to lay prostrate at the foot of the cross, sacrificed before his time.

I couldn’t help but think of all the times I’ve dropped my own metaphorical Jesus on his head, friends, because my theology slipped again, and I was uncertain whether I’d broken Jesus for good. So when Mary #2 cheerfully shouted “WHOOPS!” and swooped to the floor to pick up poor, mangled Jesus by his plastic legs to try again, I gasped a little, in joy and revelation, because that’s when God, whose other name is Love, leaned over and whispered to my soul, “That’s exactly it, Beth. That’s how faith works.”

Now, I’ve been to a lot of Christmas pageants in my time, and I’ve seen flocks of adorable sheep and herds of darling shepherds and gaggles of wise men in solemn procession. I’ve watched Marys and Josephs cradle their babies Jesus with an abiding love beyond their years. But I find I’m drawn every time to the parts that don’t fit and the people who stick out. I’m drawn every year to the children who trip on their robes and the boy who flips off the congregation and the girl who flashes her pink princess panties with her skirt over her head and the preschooler who sits down to pull his socks off through the toes of his sandals because socks are too stupid to be endured.

I’m drawn to the peacocks and the lobsters who were, apparently, present at the birth of Christ.

And I’m drawn to all the wonky bits and weird paths and the unexpected ways we see the Light and find our way to Love made flesh among us. 

I’m over the sanitized version of the Christ story, I suppose. And it’s not because I don’t love the pristine and beautiful bits. I ADORE those. The love of a mother for her child. The angels singing en masse by the light of a brilliant star. The gold and frankincense and myrrh. Those are all intrinsically part of it.

It’s just that I want to know the other parts, too – the messy parts and the funny parts and the devastating parts.

The part about the uncertainty of an unwed pregnant teen.

The part about the foreign astrologers traveling to worship a homeless Jewish baby.

The part about a young family fleeing a genocide to become refugees and illegal aliens.

The part about a 4-year-old dropping plastic Jesus on his head.

And the part about welcoming the filthy shepherds and the drummer boy and the peacocks and the lobsters to the witness the bare, baby feet of God.

These to me form a more complete picture. And the more complete picture matches the messy life I’ve come to love.

This nonsensical, chaotic, smelly, heartbreaking, gorgeous life and the choice, always, to pursue the path toward Love.

This is why I value the Christmas story. Because it’s the wild ride by the Light in the darkness to fall at the feet of Love that saves us.

And that’s what I mean when I say I wish you a Very Merry Christmas.

xoxo,

Signature

 

 

 

……….

If you’re looking for more about Christmas, I’ve added a section, “On Christmas,” at the top of the column to your left. There’s everything from The 3 Kings Were Neither 3 Nor Kings to 5 Fun Facts on Flying with Santa
Enjoy!
……….

Today is Day 8 of 7+ Giveaways!
(Day 7 is still accepting entries: click here.)

I invited the 5 Kids Blog advertisers (see the column to your right) to join me for 7 (and obviously more!) days of giveaways. CHECK BACK for a NEW GIVEAWAY EVERY DAY.

Today, our friend Laura of Guided Renewal is giving away one consultation valued at $100.

Fullscreen capture 12232013 15855 PM.bmpLaura contacted me a couple of months ago to ask if I’d consider a business like hers for an ad. And then she graciously put up with ridiculously LONG conversations with me about what, exactly, “guided renewal” and “energy” and “reading” mean to her. Laura is a fellow Christian who, like me, has had a hard time with some of the asshattish ( <— my word, not Laura’s — I think her word was “douchey”) things that go on in the name of Christianity; she’s eager to love people without regard to creed. Laura went on to explain that being gifted with the ability to pray for people and receive messages from God about blocks and openings – darkness and light – in their lives has been a process of acceptance for her. It’s not how she was taught to experience God, after all, but it’s been a wild, weird, and wonderful way to experience Love, for sure, and something she wants to share to help improve the lives of others. I was struck by Laura’s warmth, sense of humor, openness to hard and persistent questions, and her heart for helping people who are hurting.

Laura explains this way, “I want to help people. I think I have a gift for doing just that. I feel this gift comes from God and the gift is full of light and love and nothing mysterious or dark. I am a piece of the puzzle that can help people discover their best selves and move on if things are tough or keep on trucking on if things are going well. I work with anyone from any religion, point of view, philosophy and life style. I love and include all! This is an ongoing process and I love when people will trust me and become part of the process by letting me do a reading for them.” 

A consultation with Laura includes meditation, intuition, prayer, concentration, writing, and an optional discussion with you. Please note, as Laura says, “I can give guidance in a way that can help people move forward. I am not a counselor, psychologist or psychiatrist.” 

This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to the Guided Renewal winner, Loren! 

TO ENTER: Leave a comment on this blog post by 11:59pm (Pacific Time) on Wednesday, December 25th. One entry per person, please. A winner will be selected using a random number generator and posted on Thursday.

This giveaway is open to international participants.

Note: The 5 Kids Blog advertisers provided no additional compensation for these giveaways. Laura of Guided Renewal paid me for her ad only, and this just seemed like a fun way to work together for your benefit. OK? OK.

……….

3 (Actually) Fun Family Activities (and Day 7 of 7+ Giveaways)

Dec 21 2013

My parents always called it Fun Family Time Together, or, abbreviated, F2T2. And there was a LOT of F2Tduring my childhood years.

To be clear, anytime my mom pulled out the F2TPhrase in a voice pitched with forced enthusiasm, we knew we were about to enter FAMILY HELL.

Long trip on a rickety train with a questionable safety record through the Indonesian mountains, our mouths raging infernos from cripplingly spicy fried rice we didn’t know how to order “mild,” on our way to our new home where we weren’t at all sure we wanted to live? 

“But kids!” my mom would say, “It’s Fun Family Time Together!”

Wildly boring road trip through three states to spend a week sharing a bed with my grandmother who was the nicest grandma in the whole world, and who always let me have peach pie and ice cream for breakfast, and who held six World Records in Exceeding the Snore Sound Barrier?

“It’s F2T2, Bethie!” 

My parents even invented a hand signal for F2T2 – a sort of full-arm, stirring-the-soup-pot / let’s-bring-it-all-in-together motion. I invented a secret hand signal for F2T2, too; mine was more efficient, though, requiring just one finger and a flip of the wrist.

Well, here we are on Day One of Winter Break! Day One of 17 Days of Fun Family Time Together, relaxing and sleeping in and bonding and creating beautiful, indelible family memories, minus the relaxing and sleeping-in bits and a little heavier on the magical mess than the more traditional pristine beauty.

Our morning started with stunningly loud sibling screeching, is what I’m saying.

Winter Break is, of course, Not a Break. Except for teachers who feel they’ve done their part by being directly responsible for our kids for a mere 35 hours per week for the past 16 weeks, plus an additional 100 million hours of prep work, grading, conferences, I.E.P. meetings, late nights, early mornings, giving up their free time, etc., etc. and so forth. But is it enough that we heap teachers with unfathomable riches and piles of personal wealth? Nooooooo. We also give them time to be away from our kids. For a Break! As though they’ve earned it.

(Psst… my sarcasm is a cry for help… don’t leave me, teachers! I NEED you!)

And now, all of a sudden, I find I’m the mama in the Fun Family Time Together scenario. The mama making the angry kids hug it out. The mama set on brainwashing my offspring into believing, though my voice is tinged ever-so-slightly with hysteria, that this insanity of togetherness is AWESOME. The mama who – get this – actually believes it’s fun to be together. And that this is a privilege. And that the exhaustion is somehow worth it. And the mess is a symbol of life. And the struggle a symbol of love.

Which is, truly, entirely my parents’ fault and proof that F2TBrainwashing works. 

It works!

I know it works because it was only three weekends ago that we celebrated Thanksgiving with my cousins. Five nights and four days of Family BLISS. Or, as I like to call it, the Dress Rehearsal for, OH MY WORD, WINTER BREAK IS COMING.

Every Thanksgiving since we’ve had kids, we celebrate at either my cousin Jen’s house or mine, driving north or south for hours and hours through the Pacific Northwest with tens of thousands of squirrely kids in our respective cars — none of whom ever have to pee at the same time. And then we have fun.

Actual fun.

Real live fun.

With our family.

Which means we ought to never underestimate the power of mothers like mine who are determined to create families who love each other. Those mamas have mad skills. 

So, from my family to yours, here’s wishing us all some very Fun Family Time Together.

xoxo,
Beth

And, P.S., in case you’re looking for some (actually) fun family activities to add to the usual fun like eating too much and sitting on the couch, here are three of my family’s tried and true ideas:

1. Host a Tasting: Cheese or Apples, Fair Trade Chocolate or Wine… the options are endless. Of course, some tastings are suitable for including children and some, HOORAY, aren’t. But if you’ve been looking to expand your family’s food horizons, this is a fun way to do it. You can have folks take notes or do research or vote on their favorites or you can just, you know, consume it.

photo 4 (32)

 

 

This year, my dad hosted Scotch Tasting for the grown-ups.

He did an amazing job. Lots of research. Impeccably sourced liquors. Fact sheets. He was thorough

Which worked out better for some people than it did for others.

photo 5 (17)

 

 

 

 

—>

My cousin Jen and me tasting the Islay Scotches.

 

  

 

 

2. Compete in Family Olympics

photo 5 (18)In addition to our other family sporting events (see below), this year we added Family Olympics. Now, please understand, although I love to run, exactly zero of these Olympics and sports activities are my idea. Ever. This idea belongs to my cousins, Leslie and Nathan. My ideas tend to center more around meal planning, meal eating, dessert planning and dessert eating, but I have to admit, even when I was faced with the skinny slide portion of the obstacle course and had to decide whether I could send first one of my legs down and then the other, since there was NO WAY both of my legs were going to fit at the same time, Family Olympics was a blast.

photo 2 (73)

We began with the obstacle course at a playground, moved on to the relay event which included hugging balloons ’til they popped and rolling toilet paper along the floor with our noses, and followed up with measuring the capacity of each of our mouths (using water and spitting into a beaker) to decide who has the biggest mouth – an event for which I was the favorite but surprisingly didn’t win (GREG.)

 

 

3. Have an Annual Soccer Match or Family Fun Run

Hold your own 5K Family Fun Run. Or send everyone out for an annual family soccer match. If you’re like me, you’ll find an excuse every year to sit this one out and have ONE WHOLE BLESSED HOUR of F2T2 all to yourself. And that, my friends? Really is fun. 

……….

Today is Day 7 of 7+ Giveaways!
(Day 6 is still accepting entries: click here.)

I invited the 5 Kids Blog advertisers (see the column to your right) to join me for 7 (and more!) days of giveaways. CHECK BACK for a NEW GIVEAWAY EVERY DAY.

HumdingerGoodsGiveaway

Today, our friend Anne-Elizabeth of Humdinger Goods, a company that offers small batch culinary items, garden art and home goods, is giving away a beautiful Sweet Stuff Gift Basket containing:

1 bottle Tahitian Vanilla
1 jar infused Vanilla sugar
2 cookie cutters
1 Potluck spoon
1 Christmas ornament
Sugar cookie recipe

~~~

 

This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Jessica, winner of the Sweet Stuff basket. Jessica wrote, “I am trying to throw myself into the Fun family time together, i really am…hopefully we all come out unscathed on the other side!”

HumdingerGoods

TO ENTER: Leave a comment on this blog post by 11:59pm (Pacific Time) on Monday, December 23rd. One entry per person, please. A winner will be selected using a random number generator and posted on Tuesday.

This giveaway is open to international participants. International shipping provided by me.

Note: The 5 Kids Blog advertisers provided no additional compensation for these giveaways. Anne-Elizabeth of Humdinger Goods is paying for the cost of the giveaway and U.S. shipping. She paid me for her ad only, and this just seemed like a fun way to work together for your benefit. OK? OK.

Unsolicited Parenting Tip #5 (and Day 6 of 7+ Giveaways)

Dec 20 2013

From time to time I offer unsolicited, but important, parenting tips. Not to toot my own horn, but these tips will probably change your life.

Unsolicited Parenting Tip #5:
“TAKE THAT, MASTERS”
sounds similar to,
but is not the same as,
“TAKE THAT, BASTARDS!”

So BEFORE you take your 1st graders to task for hollering, “TAKE THAT, BASTARDS” at the video game over and over (and over and over),

And BEFORE you turn off said video game mid-play,

And BEFORE you sit down with the Stern Look and provide a rather loooong winded explanation about what, exactly, a bastard is, and why, exactly, it’s inappropriate to call someone that, EVER, even an inanimate video character,

And BEFORE you talk eloquently and with passion about your family’s respect for ALL PEOPLE and honoring their stories of origin,

And BEFORE you mention that if you hear your boys using language like Bastard again, there will have to be Serious Consequences,

You MIGHT want to double check what they were saying.

In conclusion,

ParentingNailedIt

Parenting?
Nailed it. 

……….

P.S. If you ever need anyone to define the word Bastards for you, my 7-year-olds can help you out.

……….

Today is Day 6 of 7+ Giveaways!
(Day 5 is still accepting entries: click here.)

I invited the 5 Kids Blog advertisers (see the column to your right) to join me for 7 (or more!) days of giveaways. CHECK BACK for a NEW GIVEAWAY EVERY DAY. 

Many poetry books promise cutesy, eloquent wit and charm.

This is not one of those books. This is Judd Goobey. And today, father/daughter author/illustrator duo, M. Tompson and Paige Lane, are giving away two copies.

JG_Front_Cover.png

Packed with thirty disgustingly hilarious poems and deftly uproarious illustrations, Judd Goobey: Less Artsy More Fartsy explores the rich and universal culture of childhood in its purest and funniest form.

Winners may pick Kindle or paperback format. 

Would your little ones love a book bursting at the seams with stinky, crusty, gassy comedy gold? Judd Goobey is available for $9.99 paperback and $4.99 e-book for KindleiPad and nook.

This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Wendy and Cherish, winners of the Judd Goobey book!

TO ENTER: Leave a comment on this blog post by 11:59pm (Pacific Time on Friday, December 20th. One entry per person, please. A winner will be selected using a random number generator and posted on Saturday.

This giveaway is open to international participants. International shipping provided by me.

Note: The 5 Kids Blog advertisers provided no additional compensation for these giveaways. Paige Lane is paying for the cost of the giveaway and U.S. shipping. She paid me for her ad only, and this just seemed like a fun way to work together for your benefit. OK? OK.

 

25 Totally ROTTEN Things Parents Have Confessed to Doing Which Are RUINING Their Children’s Lives (and Day 5 of 7+ Giveaways)

Dec 18 2013

I wrote to you on the 5 Kids Facebook page last night because I needed to confess, and we all know Facebook is the very best place for purging one’s soul. 

Here’s what I said:

I need to confess right now that I have been extraordinarily unreasonable lately. For example:

  1. I asked a middle schooler to take a shower even though, ‘GEEZ, MOM.’ 
  2. I asked a sister to open a garage door for her brother even though, ‘THAT IS STUPID AND NOT FAIR AND I HATE EVERYONE.’ 
  3. I asked small children to put away ALL the pieces of the Legos even though stiff bodies and laying prostrate on the ground and wailing and gnashing of teeth and, ‘But we can’t do ALL of it; it is TOO HARD.’ 

I know. I know. I SUCK. 

Please feel free to confess your own failures in the comments section below. I’ll try not to judge you for ruining your family’s lives.

And then YOU DID. You did confess, and you also OBVIOUSLY did ruin your family’s lives.

As a result – and a way to honor the victims of our collective MADNESS – I present to you:

ID-1007071625 Totally ROTTEN (Horrific! Untenable!) Things Parents Have Confessed to Doing
Which Are RUINING Their Children’s Lives

  1. “I asked my son to stop spitting his chewed up carrots in random corners of the house.” Mariah
  2. “I told my son he may not take a bubble bath with the dog.” April
  3. “I had the nerve to ask – expect, even – my son to both eat protein and drink water in the same day. He rightfully retaliated by yelling, ‘You only care about what I need! Not what I want!'” Stephanie
  4. “I asked my daughter to flush the toilet.” Nikki
  5. “I ruthlessly tore a bagel in half (like an animal!) so when my 20 month old inevitably fed it to the dog or dropped it on the floor (same diff), he’d still have half to eat. Feverishly trying to paste it back together with cream cheese was no way to make amends! It was an insult to his intelligence and I am ashamed for even trying.” Megan
  6. “I made my children brush their teeth even though ‘You make us do this TWICE a day; it’s soooo unfair!” Susan
  7. “I make my 14 year old wear shoes in public and go to bed at 10 pm EVERY school night.” Jocelyne
  8. “I asked my offspring, ‘Wouldn’t it be a good idea to study for finals?’ who responded with “Why do you HATE ME? Why can’t you understand what is IMPORTANT in my life?” Grace
  9. “I cook gross food for dinner… every night.” Diana 
  10. “I gave my son a peanut butter and strawberry jelly sandwich even though I should have known he wanted PEANUT BUTTER AND PEEEEEEACH.” Molly
  11. “I asked my daughter to go pee when she need to instead of playing longer and getting wet. My priorities are wrong.” Jennifer 
  12. “I told my 10 year old she HAD TO eat one spoonful of vegetables before she could have ice cream even though “all vegetables are TERRIBLE and HORRIBLE and WILL MAKE ME THROW UP!” Sheila
  13. “I expect my teens to take a shower at least every other day. I’m too demanding.” Ruby
  14. My child will be calling Child Protective Services and suing for $20,000 cash because I threw out a gnarly toothbrush and replaced it with a fresh, new one, which is clearly child abuse. Jamie 
  15. “I suggested my son put his coat in the car just in case we broke down and needed to walk EVEN THOUGH HE’S NEVER COLD, and our stupid car is old, and I’m not him I don’t know his body temperature, and we probably won’t break down anyway, and I’m a freakin’ jerk.” Anne
  16. “I made my 5 year old put on ALL of her clothes before going to school today.” Shawndy
  17. “I made my child tell her teacher (all by herself) that she forgot her homework at school over the weekend and that was why her project was not finished. Then I made same child finish her book report.” Leann
  18. “I asked my 3 year old grandson to stop biting his sister EVEN THOUGH she kept taking his toy car.” Janet
  19. “I made my 15 year old shovel snow even though it will just snow again.” Sonja
  20. “I fed him his favorite foods for lunch.” Katie
  21. “I made my 12 year old hang her own washing even though it nearly killed her.” Simone
  22. “I dared to ask the last child out of the minivan to push the button to close the door.” That child ALWAYS has to do EVERYTHING. Kimberly 
  23. “I made my 3 year old go to bed even though ‘I’M NOT TIRED YET’ and ‘I ALREADY WENT TO BED LAST NIGHT.'” Rachel
  24. “I ‘force’ my boys to do all their chores or they won’t earn full allowance.” Kristen
  25. “I simply exist.” Elaine

In conclusion, we are all clearly HORRIBLE people out to irrevocably wreck the lives of small people around us. And we should be ashamed.

The End

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P.S. Today is Day 5 of 7+ Giveaways!
(Day 4 is still accepting entries: click here.)

I invited the 5 Kids Blog advertisers (see the column to your right) to join me for 7 (or more!) days of giveaways. CHECK BACK for a NEW GIVEAWAY EVERY DAY.

Now, obviously, we’re not REALLY ruining anyone’s lives, parents. Not, you know, really really. Just sort of the “Of COURSE You’re Going to Need Therapy Someday” kind of ruining people’s lives, you know? BUT I’m aware, as I’m sure you are, that there are people in our world who are truly, actually (really, really) struggling to make ends meet and provide for their kids. That’s why I’m ecstatic today to introduce you to today’s giveaway from Dignity Regained.

Dignity Regained

Dignity Regained is an online store that exists to bring attention to the Fair Trade movement and the positive effect it has on the fight against human trafficking. All products at their site are made using Fair Trade standards, giving artisans around the world fair wages, a safe and clean working environment, financial and technical support, and developing more direct relationships between consumers and products. Buying Fair Trade empowers women and vulnerable people, provides sustainability to small businesses and families, opens doors for education, and offers a bright future.

Wrapped BraceletToday, Dignity Regained is giving away a Red Wrap Bracelet made by the Ana Art Group in Old Delhi from thick cotton bands with metal beads.  20″ long with two closure options, it’s fair trade and handmade, offering sustainability, hope, purpose and dignity.

Dignity Regained ALSO offers a discount to YOU, the 5 Kids Blog readers! Save 15% using the FIVEKIDS code at checkout.

This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Sheri Gingrich, winner of the Red Wrap Bracelet!

TO ENTER: Leave a comment on this blog post by 11:59pm (Pacific Time) on Friday, December 20th. One entry per person, please. A winner will be selected using a random number generator and posted on Saturday.

This giveaway is open to international participants. International shipping provided by me.

Note: The 5 Kids Blog advertisers provided no additional compensation for these giveaways. Dignity Regained is paying for the cost of the giveaway and U.S. shipping. She paid me for her ad only, and this just seemed like a fun way to work together for your benefit. OK? OK.

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“Grumpy Child” Photo Credit to Clare Bloomfield via freedigitalimages.net