#nannylife

For the past 8ish months, I’ve been watching my friend’s baby a few days a week in exchange for keeping my horse on her property. It isn’t always the easiest job taking care of an infant, but thanks to some imagination and excellent social media image filters, I’m managing.

Face-swap goodness

“You’re a wazard!”

We created some sick alter-egos. Meet “Mildred and Ethel”. They enjoy gossiping, pointy edged glasses, and silently judging you.

Working on her RBF

“Unlimited power!!”

This is just my son being…my son.

It’s Almost Summer?!

Untitled_Artwork (3)The sun is shining, and for the moment my kids are in school, but not for long! They only have a few more days of school left and then it’s summer break 2018.

I personally have a love/hate relationship with summer. I love that I get to be outside in the sunshine riding my horse, or out in the kayak, or camping. I also love not having to wake up early to get the kids ready for school (that’s always a marathon in itself). It’s just awesome.

On the other hand, summer means lots of heat and sun exposure. I am a very pale person that doesn’t tan, I burn. No matter how much sunscreen I dowse myself in, I always feel like i’m burning/melting. If you’ve never experienced that feeling because you have gorgeous, not mega-ultra-pasty skin, I probably hate you.

The other reason I tend to dis-like summer is because after the summer break “honeymoon” period is over, there always comes a time when I realize my kids are home for the next couple of months. With me. Every day. That realization tends to make me a little sad. Not because I don’t love my kids, it’s because their bickering and constantly injuring each other really starts to grind on me after a short period of time.

So whether I’m ready for it or not, summer is nearly here. Fingers crossed for good times and no trips to the emergency room because one of my kids seriously injures the otherĀ one with all that time they’re going to be spending together.

Good Luck and Stuff: Writing and Illustrating a Book

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(Book cover draft for my upcoming book “This is Fine. We’re Fine.”)

I’ve been creating comics about my life and about other things I find funny for about 3 years now. I started out drawing comics on paper and scanning them (yuck). Now I use a tablet and illustration software (yay!). Like most artists, it’s taken me a long time to find my style. There are infinite possibilities when it comes to art, which is simultaneously awesome and intimidating. Not that I can compare myself to Picasso, but I feel like i’m going through the same sort of thing that he did. I began my artistic career doing very realistic work. Horses in particular have always been some of my favorite things to paint. Now i’m primarily a comic artist, drawing pretty unrealistic things for the sake of comedy. Obviously Picasso didn’t draw comics so much as he painted whatever the hell he wanted to because he didn’t like being told how to create art (go, Picasso!), but you see my point. This is not where I started.

So now I’ve decided to throw myself into the deep end of the pool by attempting to write and illustrate a book. It isn’t so much that I think the whole world will love what I create and I’ll become famous, but that I believe humor has great power to change people and brighten their day, and I have the power to do that through something as simple as a book.

This is going to take me a lot more time than I’m accustomed to taking on a project. I am impatient and work fast, and I wont be able to do that with this book. Writing and drawing with quality takes time, so that’s what I’m going to give this project. Fingers crossed that I come out of this feeling like I’ve accomplished what I wanted to, even if only two people (probably my parents) buy the book. Wish me luck and stuff.

 

Housework

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I know that I should be better about housework, but I’m not. I’m pretty terrible at it actually. My poor husband rarely gets to come home to a spotless house. The problem is that I’m a creatively driven person. That basically means that when I get an idea in my head, I have to execute that idea. It could be as small as putting an entry in my journal, or making a vlog or blog, or creating art, or coming up with new ways to improve my business. It could be any combination of those sorts of things. Whatever the inspired task that I give myself is, it trumps housework. It trumps housework every time.

Thankfully for me, I have a husband that tolerates my lack of interest in housework. He doesn’t necessarily love it, but he tolerates it. I think that as long as he comes home to his family and we’re all healthy and happy, and there’s a plan in the works for dinner, he’s a happy dude. One of the many reasons that I love him so much.

Growing up my mom and dad kept our house pretty clean. My room and my brother’s rooms and our bathroom might have been a different story, but I remember my mom being good about cleaning pretty regularly. The point is that I don’t come by my lack of affection for housework honestly. It’s just something that I have never made my priority. I almost need to throw a party once a month to force me to clean. That isn’t going to happen, but it’s a thought. I clean a little here and there and when we have guests over I clean as much as I can. I both envy and pity the people who have a beautiful, spotless house. I envy them because, who doesn’t love a nice, clean house? I pity them because I know how much time and effort it takes to keep a house perfectly clean.

My husband and I joke that we could have a clean house, or dogs and kids. We chose dogs and kids. Also, I’m bad at cleaning which doesn’t help.

I Yelled at My Kids Today

This morning I yelled at my kids. I didn’t scream at them or beat them, but I yelled at them. Why? Because they weren’t listening. Most moms deal with this problem. You try to ask your kids to do or to stop doing something as nicely as you can. They don’t listen, so you ask again. Still nothing. So finally you get so frustrated that you start yelling at them to do (or stop doing) what you asked. I really hate when it gets to that point.

In my kid’s case, today was one of those mornings that we were going to be late to school if they didn’t hustle and finish getting ready for the day. Instead of doing that, they chose to bicker and mess around with each other. My oldest son was the main subject of my yelling. You see, he’s eleven, and in my opinion he’s old enough to know that when I tell him he needs to stop harassing his brother and get ready for school, I mean it. We just expect more from him because frankly he’s old enough to know better. Because of this our oldest tends to feel picked on, and he’s probably right. He does tend to get the brunt of our frustration. There are times when I feel like we should ease up on him, and then he goes and does something he knows he shouldn’t do, so we have to get after him again. It’s kind of a vicious cycle.

When I dropped my kids off at school finally this morning my son said, “Bye.” in a less than enthusiastic voice. I was feeling the same way, so I said, “Bye.” instead of my usual, cheerful “Have a good day at school, buddy! Love you!”. As soon as I said it I knew I couldn’t leave things like that, so I told him I loved him and he said “I love you too.”

No matter how upset he makes me, I just never want him to go to school without knowing that despite how our day starts, I love him. There’s no guarantee that when I drop him off at school I’ll see him again. The world can be a dangerous place, so no matter how angry your kids make you, tell them you love them. You’ll never regret telling your kids that you love them, but you would greatly regret not telling them if you ever lost them unexpectedly.

Look to the Future: A Letter To Stressed Moms

pexels-photo-568027.jpegHi Momma Bear,

If you have young kids, I bet today you got thrown up on, or pooped on, or peed on, or had a booger rubbed on you. You probably had to deal with a meltdown (or three). That coffee you had likely wasn’t enough to get you through the kind of day that awaited you. You aren’t sleeping well. Your nerves are shot. Your sex life and social life are suffering. Your hair is going on who knows how many days without being washed. You never understood how anyone could want to kill their own child until the first time your child drove you to near insanity with their refusal to nap when you desperately needed some time to decompress. Maybe you’re the mom of an uptight, hormonal teenager who makes poor life choices and thinks you’re an idiot. It isn’t just you, sister. I think it’s safe to say that basically every (normal) mother has been or is there.

If these things are all basically inevitable, where is the silver lining? How do we (and our children) survive this? I think besides the obvious things like making time for yourself whenever possible, making time for you and your spouse/partner whenever possible, and knowing when to just put your screaming child somewhere safe and leave the room for a while to prevent losing it are extremely important things, but I think that a bigger answer is that you have to look to the future.

When I have been in the darkest place I could be as a mother, the thing that got me to keep my sanity is that I thought about how quickly this time will have come and gone. I think about how one day I will actually MISS the times my kids wouldn’t leave me alone for five seconds because they needed to ask me a million questions about why the sky is blue, or when they came home from school discouraged and needed emotional support. There’s going to be a day when I’ll regret the times that I was so tired and grumpy that I didn’t give my sons a hug or kiss before bed. Obviously You wont miss the days of babies crying all night, changing gross diapers, having to physically drag your toddler out of a store because they straight up had a meltdown in aisle 7, or being told you’re the worst parent ever because you said no to your teenager. The point is that we tend to live only in the here and now, and it’s when we can’t see beyond our difficult days that we suffer. Remember that no matter what, this is just a season of your life. You’ll wake up one day in the future (faster than you think) and your kids will have grown up. I’m willing to bet you’ll look back on those times with more fondness for the sweet memories than you will disdain for the difficult days. So grab a glass of wine (even boxed wine, i’m not judging), kiss and hug your kids no matter how annoying they’re being today and remember that you are not alone. Everything is going to be ok.