Tuesday, November 1, 2016

I Let My Son Wear A Dress

#3 is a free spirit, to the very core. He is the most loving, kind and creative child you will ever meet. He also likes to wear dresses, play with dolls and wear makeup. I let him. I let my children make choices for themselves and be individuals. As with all my children we have a "no makeup if we are going somewhere, and no makeup to school" rule. This is never a problem. As a parent I let my son wear dresses. I also let my daughter ride a skateboard, I let them go days without showers sometimes, they eat junk food, I vaccinate and medicate, we see a chiropractor, my nine year old probably knows as much about sex as some adults, I sometimes let them ride bikes without their helmets, they can play outside without me, I probably let them have too much screen time, and watch too much TV. My list could go on--I am not a perfect parent. But, do you know what the thing I am questioned about most on that list? I let my son wear dresses. We have had neighbors ask my other two children if their brother is gay. We have had adults stop and tell him that boys don't play with dolls. We have had people stop in our front yard and ask if people treat him differently because he's in a dress. I had a cashier put a doll in sack once, after #3 asked to hold it, because she said she did not think he should play with the doll. I took the doll out of the sack and told her it was his doll and he could play with it. I get a little bristly when it comes to my children. #3 takes most of this in stride. Our family mantra is "boys can do anything girls can do, and girls can do anything boys can do." Mr. Mayer and I are trying to let them be kids, and not raise assholes. We do the best we can. Some days we win, some days we lose.

This year for Halloween #3 chose to be his favorite character-Queen Elsa. He was so excited about his costume. We had a couple of events this past month where he would be able to dress up. As it got closer to time to dress up, he started saying "Well, maybe I will wear something else for this party." When I asked him why he didn't want to wear his Elsa costume he would say "I don't want the other kids to make fun of me." As his mother, that broke my heart to hear. Kids and adults alike can be really cruel. I also understand he is getting older and becoming more aware of social norms. That's my issue. Social norms. There are so many bigger issues in the world, state, this town, than whether a boy wears a dress or not. But, for some reason, because he doesn't do what everyone else does, he gets labeled and ridiculed. It's the grown ups that have to change. Not the child. The day of our first trick or treating and parties arrived. I gave #3 several choices of what to wear, including his Elsa costume. For his Dad's work trick or treating event he decided to wear his Elsa costume. As we were trick or treating around the different cubicles people would ask him if he was Elsa, or tell him how pretty he was. #3, being the no filter guy he is, would look at them and say "I'm a boy. I just like Elsa." He handles this much better than the adults in his life. I am trying to learn from him. Our second event was a bonfire. He didn't want to get his dress stinky, so he chose to wear his favorite bat wings to that. He was just as happy as a bat as he was as Elsa. Last night for trick or treating in the neighborhood he wore his Elsa dress, complete with sparkly makeup. He was a very happy little boy.


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Let's Start This Over

By 8:24 this morning I wanted to start my day over. The past 24 hours have been a roller coaster of extreme emotions.

Last night the Dudes came home from karate and I sent them upstairs to shower and get ready for bed. In our upstairs bathroom we have 3 towel hooks for the Dudes to hang their towels on each night. The hooks are a little high for them to reach without a step stool, so I keep a step stool under the hooks for them to use. After #2 got out of his shower we heard him start screaming. Initially Mr. Mayer and I both thought that #2 and #3 were fighting because we could hear #3 yelling. Then we both realized that #2's cry was a little different. Mr. Mayer goes upstairs and before I could blink I hear Mr. Mayer exclaim "OH SHIT!!" Um....that's bad. I run upstairs, with the kitchen towel, because for some reason in my panic I thought a kitchen hand towel was needed. I don't know. Anyway...running upstairs. I get up there and #3 is jumping around in a panic, #2 is stark naked and covered in blood and Mr. Mayer is in front of #2 with a towel going "It's okay, It's okay..." Um....what the hell is happening?! Apparently #2 yanked a towel off of a towel hook, and the towel hook came off with the towel--right into #2's forehead. It was pure carnage upstairs. We calm him down and assess the situation. It's decided that if we can get the blood to stop we can doctor him at home this time. Poor guy is so hard on his forehead. I take him downstairs and doctor him up and clean the blood off of him while Mr. Mayer tries to clean up all the blood upstairs. Amazingly, the blood all came out of the carpet, rugs and clothing. After some snuggles, hugs and kisses it was finally bedtime.

After last nights fun activities I was ready for a normal day today. Mr. Mayer got the kids up and started making them all breakfast while I was getting dressed this morning. Mr. Mayer comes in the room where I am and says "I think #3 just had a seizure." Excuse me, what? Repeat that. Mr. Mayer repeats the scenario. Yup, he totally had a seizure. After the event he seemed okay, although a little lethargic. He wanted to go to school so I took him. I called the doctor's office as soon as they opened. They decided that they didn't need to see him, but referred us to a neurologist for some testing. I consult family members to see if there is a history anywhere of this. I freak the freak out because there is something going on with my baby and naturally play out every worst case scenario in my mind. #3 hadn't been at school two hours when I get a call saying he is the nurse's office crying because his head hurts so bad. Shit. Shit. Shit. I go pick him up and call the doctor's office back. They hadn't wanted to see us because he was behaving fine. Well, now his head hurts and I am not even sure if I can give him Tylenol. The doctor's office decides they want to see him and give us a time to come in. We snuggle, watch movies and hang out until it's time to go. I'm sure he hated all the one on one time. Mr. Mayer meets us at the doctor, because he has been playing out worst case scenarios too. We go in and the Nurse Practitioner takes #3 a series of motion tests to make sure he has normal functioning--he does. She looks in his ears, mouth, eyes, at his belly, arms, legs, feels his head. Everything looks great. She tells us that in these situations it could be just a one time, freak thing, or it could be the start of something else. However--silver lining--if it were a tumor he would have other symptoms--which he does not. That was a relief to hear. We do have to watch #3 closely in case he has another seizure. He can't play outside by himself, can't take baths without one of us in there with him, etc. He's handling everything pretty well. Including his crazy Mommy. Now we just wait for the neurologist to get us in. Today was probably one of the scariest moments of my parenting history. I swear it instantly aged me ten years. 


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Tuesday's

Good Tuesday morning everyone! I could use some happy this morning, how about everyone else? Tulsa, the place that I love, is a pretty tense place right now. My social media sites are filled with a lot of unhappy things right now. I figure we could all use a smile and a good laugh. Right?

I wanted to share with everyone the culinary experiment that has been happening at my house recently. I am busy. I have a "crap ton" (according to some) of kids, a husband, a job and an endless to do list. Dinner was slagging lately, and we had been existing off of cereal and ramen. I saw something on TV about a website and app called Gathered Table (www.gatheredtable.com). *This is not a plug or sponsored post. This is just a I love it post, but if they want to sponsor me I will plug the poo out of them.* I went online and checked it out. They let you sample their site for a day to see if you like it. Of course I did, duh. That's why I'm telling you. This site has dozens of recipes you can choose from and make your own menus-or-my favorite part and the entire reason I signed up-they meal plan for you! Awesomesauce! You can also tailor the menu to your dietary needs. For instance, I chose Paleo as our meal preference since I am gluten free (thyroid issues, not to be trendy). You can also choose what days you want them to plan for. I chose Monday through Friday, we are on our own for the weekends. The best part is that they will also generate a grocery list for you. They make it so easy! So far the recipes have been extremely easy, quick and everyone has loved them. There were a few times I would see something on the menu and think "there is no way the kids will like this," and then they eat it all and ask for more. That is how I discovered that both #2 and #3 love KALE! Except, #2 insists it's actually called Kelp, but whatever. He eats it. I find it equally exciting that 90% of what I have made so far looks exactly like the picture. #nerd. Now, when you sign up for the program you do have to pay a fee, but I thought for what is provided to me it was worth it. We are no longing surviving off cereal and ramen alone.
This is the life changing kale/kelp recipe. 

On Saturday #2 had his first basketball game. He thinks he is quite the baller now and going straight to the NBA. Unfortunately for him he is my kid through and through. He has my natural grace and coordination, as well as my natural athletic ability. That was sarcasm-I have none of the above. So, there we were at the YMCA, ready for our first game. I had the pleasure of observing practice a few days prior. I knew how it was going to go down. All the little boys were adorable with their little sweat bands, basketball shoes, jerseys that were two sizes too big, and shorts that went past their knees. A-d-o-r-a-b-l-e. There are nine boys on the team and only five can play at a time so everyone was being rotated through. When it was #2's turn on the court he ran out, full of energy, then just stood there in the middle of the court. Just stood there. Watching everyone else run around, chewing on his fingers. Just stood there. The next time it was his turn he was more into it. He ran around with his teammates and participated. Then! Then! He got the ball. He was so excited. He attempted to run and dribble at the same time and quickly gave up on that. He can't dribble and run. He just held the ball under his arm like a foot ball and took off running. The wrong way. After some yelling and his coach turning him around he ran the right way. He got close to the basket, grabbed the ball, shot and.....totally missed. Completely. No where close. But he was so excited and proud of himself. The next thing I knew both teams were wrestling on the ground for the basketball. The referee was trying to break it up. The coaches finally had to step in and start lifting little boys off each other and figure out who should get the ball. It was definitely an entertaining 45 minutes. At this age, and I guess YMCA rules, they do not keep score, but if you ask #2, his team won. I'm pretty sure he is convinced he single handedly won the game for his team. 
My little baller

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Plague

We have been infected around here. So far, just three of us have gone down. I'm hoping it stays that way. I have to say though, we are fairly healthy around here. I better knock on wood! We all started seeing a chiropractor three years ago (maybe 4?) and started taking multivitamins and probiotics. Prior to that it seemed like one of us was always sick. We have knocked our average down to maybe twice a year, maybe. #1 hasn't even had strep throat in two years. Before she had it twice a year. There was a good solid four years she had strep throat on Halloween. That's just torture for a kid. So, back to my initial statement. We've been infected. Ugh.

It all started last Tuesday....I picked the kids up like usual after school. Everyday when I pick the kids up #2 runs as fast as he can to me with his backpack on backwards. It always makes me smile. Tuesday he didn't run. He barely trotted, but his backpack was still on backwards. He gets in the vehicle and is coughing a deep croupy cough. Hmmmm, that's weird. Then he says "Mom! I'm coughing." In which I reply "I can hear you." Then he announces "It hurts when I breathe, right here." as he motions to his chest. Well, that's not normal. Now....I am not a rush to the doctor every time someone has a sniffle. I am definitely more of a let it run it's course and wait type person. But, for some reason my gut feeling was I needed to take him to the doctor. He is not my complainer. So, I call the doctor's office and they can see us immediately, so we head that way. Once we are all back in the exam room and the PA comes in and starts examining #2. She looks in his ears and asks if he has complained of his ears hurting. Um, no. Not a word. The PA then tells me that he has double ear infections. Oh. Well. Okay. She looks him over some more and says that in addition to the ear infections he also has croup. Oh, well. Aren't I mother of the year. Doh! We leave, prescriptions in hand, stickers on our shirts. When we get home I ask #2 if he would like some Tylenol for his ears. He gives me crazy eyes and says "No, they don't really hurt that bad." What?! I would have to have #1 and #3 admitted to the hospital at this point, or shoot them and put them out of their misery.  Thank God for #2. We carry on with the rest of our day like nothing is going on. The next morning comes and #2 is still feeling just fine so I send his skinny butt to school and hope the other two don't get sick.

Fast forward to Thursday. Up to this point everyone is feeling great. Then I wake up Thursday morning with a sore throat, stuffy nose, blah blah blah. Well, crap. I have lots of plans for the next few days, being sick is not included in those plans. I proceed to start taking my menagerie of alternative supplements-cause according to my family I'm a little crunchy granola. I will not impose my beliefs on others, but I will walk the alternative path myself. Thursday I feel okay, Friday I feel a little bit worse, but okay. That's kind of been the pattern since Thursday. My nose is stuffy, my head cloudy, but I feel okay. I don't really feel bad, but not good. I attribute this to my crunchy granola methods. Saturday Mr. Mayer goes down. He comes home from a football game and is feeling rotten (and not because of what happened at the game). He proceeds to just feel worse every day that goes by. I know he has the same head cold I have. I also know I have taken some proactive steps and he has not. I'm using this as a science experiment (I'm sure he loves reading this right now). While we are both sick, his symptoms and general feeling has been way worse than mine. However, I am hoping that we are near the end of this plague. I have better things to do.

I love wheatgrass shots from Jamba Juice when I'm not feeling good. 

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Traveling with Children


It's a long established fact that I have 3 kids. I try to forget this fact from time to time, but it's unavoidable. Traveling is something Mr. Mayer and I have always liked to do. We don't let having kids hinder that. However, there are some logistics involved when traveling with kids that you don't consider when traveling alone. Mainly-survival. How on earth am I going to survive a long trip with my kids?! When you travel alone (or in my case with Mr. Mayer) you pack your bag and saunter to the airport. Flight delay? No problem! Long flight? No problem! I have a book/Facebook/Internet/Etc. Traveling with my children that first concern is packing. I have learned that staying somewhere with a washer and dryer is essential. Especially with 3 kids. Being able to do laundry during your trip cuts back on the amount you have to pack immensely. We recently went to Disney World and stayed at Animal Kingdom Kidani Village. Our room was equipped with a washer, dryer and small kitchen. I only packed each family member 3 changes of clothes plus what we wore to the airport and swimsuits. I packed 5 people for 7 days in two suitcases. I packed snacks, drinks, clothes, swimsuits, toiletries, shoes and Mr. Mayer's running stuff (he's training for a marathon) in two suitcases. As a reformed over packer I am very proud of this feat. Another perk to our stay was that we could "pre order" groceries. I sent in a grocery list ahead of our stay and when we arrived they had the kitchen stocked with my order. We were able to eat breakfast in our room each day and had plenty of drinks and snacks on hand which saved some $$ in the long run.
The second concern I always have when traveling with my children is the actual travel. Last year was our first year to take #2 and #3 on an airplane. We had taken #1 several times and she is a champion flier. I wasn't sure how the twin tornadoes were going to do. I considered buying earplugs for the entire flight....but I didn't. Instead I bought each child a small backpack. I filled the backpack with a small book, coloring book and crayons, stuffed animal, tablet and a small action figure toy. This year I varied the contents and omitted the small toy and included their IPods and headphones. All 3 kids have the same things (different colors) and I carried snacks in my backpack. Just before we left I added new games to the Leap Pads and the IPods. Second year in a row my kids showed me up and erased any fear I had about them alienating the entire flight. They played with their toys and games. No one threw any tantrums or got grumpy. We did potty breaks each time we landed and just before take offs. It was smooth sailing. This was one time I did not mind my kids proving me wrong.
My third and final concern is always how much are the kids going to be able to take? Are they going to wear out and get grumpy? Are they going to be little machines always on the go? Mr. Mayer and I have the agreement we will take our vacation activities at the kids pace. This cuts back on melt downs and everyone (including those around us) has a more pleasant experience. We will go and do until we see the kids fading. For instance this last trip we would spend several hours at a theme park and then spend some time at the hotel pool. That's what the kids wanted to do. We didn't get to see and do everything we wanted, but we didn't have many melt downs or protests either. This has been something we've continually done on all our trips and it seems to work. I'm of the belief vacations should not be work.
Now....I handle road trips slightly different, but not much. We stop every few hours and try to tailor our pit stops somewhere that has something fun- a playground or play place for the kids to burn off some energy. We travel to New Mexico a lot and the Texas travel centers have GREAT play grounds for kids. We also travel with lots of movies.

Pranksters

Pranking in this house is an expected occurrence. It is as normal as sarcasm around here. In fact, if someone does not try to prank you, there is a problem. Except, do not prank #2 because he cries. Especially if you honk the car horn at him. He is totally down to prank someone else though.

So, yesterday was just a normal, ordinary day around here. School, work, dentist appointment after school.....blah blah blah. The kids have a really fantastic dentist and they love going. It is never a struggle to get them there. After their appointment they always get to pick a toy off the shelf. One of the boys ALWAYS picks a whoopie cushion, and then both boys spend days pranking people with it. Yesterday was no exception. On the way home the boys came up with an idea to prank Mr. Mayer. I think what makes the boys pranks so hilarious is that they are so bad at pulling them off. Their idea to prank Mr. Mayer was just as bad as all their previously ones. 

Here's how it was going to go down:
When it was dinner time they were going to place a whoopie cushion in Mr. Mayer's chair and cover it with a towel so he would not see it. Then he would sit on it and everyone will laugh because Dad farted.

Here's what really happened:
Mr. Mayer gets home and the boys instruct him to stay in his office because they are going to make his chair at the table "even more comfier." Mr. Mayer obliges and the next 10 minutes are spent in fits of giggles as the boys set up his chair with a whoopie cushion covered by a very inconspicuous brightly striped towel. #2 brings Mr. Mayer out of his office and directs him to sit in his chair. #3 is standing by said chair laughing uncontrollably. Mr. Mayer being a good sport sits in the chair. Now....this is the part where the whoopie cushion is supposed to deflate and make farting noises and we all laugh and laugh. Well, that didn't happen. The whoopie cushion burst. Yup. The whoopie cushion had a blow out. Who knew they could do that? I won't lie. I laughed so much I was in tears. #3 was in tears, but not from laughing. Mr. Mayer just sat there in shock because he blew the whoopie cushion out. #2 thought that was the coolest trick ever. #3 is now demanding Mr. Mayer buy him a new whoopie cushion because he didn't get to prank anyone else. It was a good prank :)

I won't lie, I still giggle when I think back to the event.

This is not the actual whoopie cushion. I didn't get a picture of ours in time. This is an almost identical one though that @JoshGroban posted on twitter. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

6 Six Seis Sechs Sei....You get it.



The dudes are officially a hand and one finger old. That's right, they are 6! Woot! Woot! That means Mr. Mayer and I have kept twin boys alive for six years. #2 likes to challenge us. I'd like to say that those early years are really fuzzy and full of warm feelings, but no. I still remember that first year as really hard and I still don't have warm fuzzy feelings about it. Maybe in another six years. Maybe.

Because I am me and I believe that birthdays should be celebrated, I, in true Jayna fashion, stretched their celebration out for a week. We had a party for them and their friends last Saturday. It was a pool party complete with water balloon fights, minecraft brownies (dirt) and rice krispie treats (sand-I think), and nerf guns. Oh my the nerf guns. #2 has died and gone straight to nerf gun heaven at this point. Their actual birthday was the following Friday. They were seriously born on 90210. All the nurses got a kick out of that at the time. I wasn't so amused at the time. 

It has become our tradition to take the little dudes, sorry big dudes, to Toys R Us and let them pick out their own birthday gift. Last year we were in the store for HOURS. I thought we would never leave. Things have changed a lot in a year. We were in the store for MAYBE 20 minutes. Those guys knew what they wanted. Wham. Bam. Thank you Ma'am. I was in shock it was so quick. I had packed snacks, drinks, a movie in case I got bored.....they fooled me. 

Another tradition in our family, if it is your birthday you get to pick dinner. I can make it, we can order it or we can go out. This year the dudes had a lot of discussion. A. LOT. Have you ever watched to two bull headed six year olds negotiate dinner? It's intense. Finally they settled on Osaka so they could see the volcano. We had been in the restaurant five minutes and I remembered why I hate taking them to restaurants. Gah!
That was just in the first few minutes. I also had to say "You cannot eat your ice cream with one chop stick." and "Candles are not food." Seriously. At what point will we be able to go out and sit down like normal people? #1 eats, drinks and sleeps cheerleading these days. She's on a competitive and regular cheer team. Our dinner turned into a chance for her to practice in between the hibachi tables. I have nightmares about cheers. 

Because the dudes birthday always falls around Labor Day the rest of the weekend was spent tailgating and cheering on our OSU Cowboys, birthday parties for friends (because other people have birthdays too) and a backyard pool party/cookout with family. By Monday night I could not hold my eyes open and I was fairly convinced I was going to need a liver transplant. But, a few days later I think I am going to make it. I have five months to prepare for #1's big 1-0. She has been making plans for months. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

I'm Not Dead Yet....

Hey y'all! Surprise!! I know, I know. Life happened. Just to catch everyone up since my last post....a year ago (whoops!) here is the highlight reel of what has happened in my little corner of the world:

-I started working from home. It's been a bigger adjustment than I expected, but getting easier, maybe? Cause that's what I should be doing now instead of tending my very neglected blog.

-My Dad had Alzheimer's and he lost his battle in January. Much of last fall was spent traveling south to help. Then I had to take a few months away from it all and get my mind right. Don't worry. My mom is still around and still crazy.

-We built a pool, and some other stuff. Y'all, that almost did me in. It took 4 months!!! Ugh!

-None of the spawn was kicked out of school last year. Woot! Woot! Crossing our fingers for this year!

-We only suffered one concussion, one split open face that required gluing, one broken thumb and one sliced up pinky finger that was glued back together in the past year. Our stats are down from previous years.

-Mr. Mayer got a vasectomy and handled it like a BOSS! No more babies in this house.

-We adopted a chocolate Labrador named Archer. He's a very happy boy who loves #1, Mr. Mayer, his ball and the swimming pool. He's not really working out to be the great hunting dog Mr. Mayer was hoping for. He doesn't really follow directions, stay with you when outside, or like loud noises. He kinda just does what he wants.

-I stopped taking my anxiety and antidepressants in May. There were a few bumpy weeks, but I think I have evened out and handling life pretty well. Says me :)

-Our sweet old man Beau passed away a few weeks ago while we were on vacation. Although it was expected, I still miss him a lot.

-I decided to spend the months of July and half of August traveling. While incredibly fun, I was worn out. There is something to be said about sleeping in your own bed for more than a night.

I think that brings everyone up to now...
School started yesterday. I tried to control my excitement and not run out of the school building. The little dudes are in Kindergarten this year, will be six next week and started wearing tennis shoes with laces. They think they are very big deals and there is no living with them. #1 is brooding 4th grader this year. She had cheer pictures over the weekend. Me, being the super awesome mom that I am, didn't make her wash her face afterwards. She rocked the first day of school with racoon eyes from her smudged mascara. I'm really killing it at this mom gig lately.

So....yeah....there you have it. A year in review. Maybe I will do a little better this next year....maybe ;)