Friday Favorites (March 23-27)

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Collective Bias asks: Should You Allow Comments on Your Blog?

Kara Fleck shares When It Isn’t So Simple

Should we just wish someone to Have A Day?

Carpool Goddess says It’s Okay To Age, Just Don’t Tell Anyone

And don’t forget to check out our great submissions from this week:

The Year I Turn 40

Ovaries, a Uterus and a Woman walk into a bar…

Hey mum, I’m gonna save the world

The Year I Turn 40

self nov 2014I never stick to my resolutions. Honestly, never. Not a single one in my adult life. Despite knowing this, I eagerly create a long list of resolutions every single January—legitimately motivated and excited by the prospect of self-improvement. I’m not exactly sure why, but within weeks (days) I always convince myself it’s perfectly ok to give up. It’s not really my fault, I say. I was born lacking the requisite steadfastness and willpower. (Truly, I was.)

I’m not sure if this makes me pathetic, rebellious, or just plain normal. Either way, it’s the same story year after year. Diets canceled, dress sizes unchanged, good deeds incomplete, bad habits continued. And up until now I haven’t really cared or apologized for any of it.

But this year is different. It has to be. This is the year I turn 40—the age I’ve been subconsciously saving all my resolutions for—the one that really matters. In my head, this age carries so much responsibility and promise. In the most exhausting way, I will not—cannot—quit anything this year. Amazing or unsettling, failure isn’t an option. And it’s stressful as shit.

Part of this stress stems from one (particularly influential) childhood memory:

It was 1984. I was 9 years old and at a sleepover with a group of girls—my first real girlfriends. It was late and (after playing Truth or Dare and Light-as-a-Feather-Stiff-as-a-Board) we started talking about the future. As in, the VERY VERY FAR AWAY FUTURE. We fantasized about where we would be living, what our jobs might be, and—most importantly—who we would marry. Our idea of the future was thrilling and, although I don’t recall exact details, I know the conversation was too exciting to sleep.

Our young minds found the concept of living in a new century completely unfathomable. So we sat up in our sleeping bags, doing math out loud in the dark. We calculated what year we would graduate from high school, how many years we’d date our boyfriends, and what year we would travel to Paris or New York. Then we figured out our future ages: How old would we be in 1999? 2010? And 2015?

In 2015 we would be 40. I remember our reactions like it was yesterday. 40 was completely beyond our grasp. 40 was old and EVERYTHING—all our dreams—would be accomplished by then. 2015 was the furthest we reached into the future. There was nothing more to say that night, and I’m pretty sure we fell asleep shortly after that.

So here we are. I’ll be 40 in May. Which means that I’m living into—and beyond—a time that my younger self couldn’t comprehend. And even though I’ve had 39 birthdays leading up to this one, I still feel distinctly immature, that 40 is STILL beyond me. Not because I can’t imagine it, or that I haven’t lived the life I dreamed of, but because I am. And that’s scary to me.

My husband, my children, this home and career; they are all so real and present. And I’m responsible for all of them. Which means I need to GROW UP even more than I already have—to be that person who actually commits to things, and is—dare I say—a healthy, happy role model. Coming from a person who can’t even stick to one resolution, it really is stressful as shit. But I knew it was coming, so this year I’m going to count my blessings and, for the first time ever, stick to my resolutions. Luckily the list isn’t that long. :-)

Bio: Danielle is a mom, wife, graphic designer, flea market junkie, unstoppable home decorating and renovation addict. She writes her blog, Mondays With Love, to make Mondays better.

Ovaries, a Uterus and a Woman walk into a bar…

1482284_10152276238610943_1094453896_n“Let’s make a baby! You know you want to.”
Me: Shut up! No I don’t!
“Remember how beautiful it is feeling kicks? You miss that.”.
Me: Yea but I don’t miss getting kicked in the ribs or peeing my pants from them.
“Oh and the first time you hold the baby. It was the most romantic moment in your life.”
Me: Yes but labor hurts and you guys almost killed me from it.
“But you’re alive. Look at those tiny socks. Don’t you miss newborn clothes?”
Me: Of course but they grow out of that so fast. Plus she had blow outs that made even my iron stomach sick.
“Oh little baby pacifiers and tiny bottom diapers. Everything is so much adorable when it’s this tiny.”
Me: Shut up already! I am not listening to you guys anymore! I’m not ready for more and if you don’t stop I will get rid of you!

This is a true conversation that happened with myself and my ovaries and uterus the other day. Now that the tot is nearing 2 and definitely no longer a baby I do get sentimental. She just got a “big girl” room and I got out the last of the onesies. I actually cried like a man getting kicked in the groin. I tried to push my feelings down deep. Choked back some sobs and put on my tough guy face. Then I went and got a beer and skipped over the scratching myself part.

I know 5 people who are having babies. That is a lot! And out of those 5, I was pregnant with Audrey the same time 3 of them were pregnant with kids. Since I first announced her impending arrival I have been hearing non stop, “Are you guys going to have more? How far are you going to space the next one out?” Whoa now, I just got pregnant with my first and am not even half way through this. Just slow down folks. We both LOVE being parents. It really is the greatest joy in the world for us. But we also very happy with how things are now and are not ready to add another baby to this mix. 2 in diapers? No thanks. 2 in a crib? Hell no! Although, it is a lot easier to wrangle them when you have 4 walls.

As I type this, my ovaries are screaming at me. “You’ll be 30 in 3 years and 7.6 months! You better hurry up and have more if you’re going to have them or you’ll be miserable. Why gap them out so far apart? You want a kid in elementary school and one starting college? That completely will screw up your life plans!” My response was to go get a coke, heat up some mashed potatoes and double check that I took my birth control this morning (I did).

I in no way, have any guilt or shame on not having more than one child. I’m an only child. I’m not a selfish asshole. I gladly share, just ask Jake, he usually takes what ever I just made myself. I shared my body for 9 months with another human being. No, I didn’t grow up to become some creepy person who is almost a serial killer. I’m just a funny asshole who is happy with a small family. Don’t tell me it’s selfish and cruel to deny her the joys of a sibling. I saw the way my cousins beat the snot out of each other. It’s hard when you have long legs and are tall to sit in the middle of the back seat with that damn hump. No one wants to be the divider from siblings fighting. Do you know how many times I got hit because my Aunt was trying to hit one of her other kids and missed because she was driving? So no thanks!

For now, I’m just going to tune out my ovaries and tell my uterus to keep quiet and enjoy my booze. Oh wait, booze is how I got in the situation in the first place…

Bio: Alyssa is a mom to her wild tot, slobbering bloodhound and her man child (husband). She writes at Babies, Bloodhounds, and Booze, Oh My! about the struggles of being a stay at home mom while starting her own business. Cheap wine and crappy beer keep her going. Find her on Facebook and Twitter.

Hey mum, I’m gonna save the world!

But so what? (and be sure to have read my last post so you know what I’m ‘so what-ting’ about!)

It’s all very nice (or not!) to be visualising oneself naked with nothing else around but pristine nature, squiggling toes in the earth and getting tingles all through one’s body as one realises their divine and unquestionable connection to the planet.

But in reality….is that really gonna help change the way things are?

Is that really gonna help reduce the extreme levels of air pollution in the world? Or provide food to the millions who go without?

Is that gonna help convince the crazy governments of our time to stop logging ancient forests, or digging deep inside the earth to find more and more and more?

Probably not…

All it may do is provide for a bit of a laugh…( which is a fair form of healing in itself!) .

Or it may trigger a memory of something that was known before but forgotten on the treadmill of getting somewhere, somehow through life…

Or it may provide an opportunity for someone (who is feeling bored) to scrutinise and criticise and objectify my words to see what’s ‘wrong’ with them…

Or it may provide a reason to take shoes off and see for oneself what happens and what it feels like…

But even then, so what?

How can the barefoot experience help save this beautiful planet?

Well, firstly…I gotta put my clothes back on …reconstruct my house back again and all the things that are inside it…build the roads again…the traffic lights, reconnect my phone and computer…all the things I visualised dismantling, I’m putting back together so that now I’m right here.

A woman. Sitting at a table in a house in Bicton. Western Australia, writing these words on a computer…..and thinking how she can save the world.

This morning when I went for a walk with my mum along the beach I said something about wanting to save the world or at least try to change it a bit and she laughed and said that’s just not possible anymore..that I may as well just accept the world as it is.

Wise words to a degree….but such a bloody bubble burster!…and as any healthy mother- daughter relationship goes, it only added fuel to my resolve to do exactly the opposite and prove her completely wrong!

See, my secret in this ‘world saving thing’ is that I know, that in every moment, along with thousands and thousands of others in the world,
I’m doing it. Changing the world….transforming the things I don’t like about it and making it how I want it…simply by believing that I can. That we can, as little humans living here.

Sorry mum, for disagreeing with you, but if I don’t believe I can make a difference, I get really, really depressed!

So, I believe that I can save the world….

………and then I go for a walk.

And as I’m walking, whether it be to the shops down the road, or along the beach, or through the city…. I know that every barefoot or shod step I take outside in the world….breathing the air and feeling the sunlight on my shoulders, or the wind caressing my cheeks, or the touch of a stone under my foot……I am connecting with where I am.

I’m being a human on her planet

Recognising where I am and falling completely and totally in love with it.

And it’s that love that gives me the fire and the drive and the enthusiasm to do whatever I can to help preserve what little bits of untouched earth we have left.

Yep, mum. I’m gonna help save the world.

Not sure how I’m gonna do it yet, but I know it’s gonna happen.

Even if it’s just a tiny little bit of it that I save…that bit will be something and I’ll tell you about it…..just to bring back your faith that it’s possible….

A tiny bit of earth preserved….or an ancient story that needed telling…..or taking children out into the rain to feel it’s wetness against their skin…

Or office workers out of their boxes – shoes off let’s walk around the park…….

“Wow, I never noticed how beautiful that tree is!’ says the man as he sits on the park bench sliding his work shoes off then squiggling and stretching his toes in the air.

We start to walk a bit…

-It’s amazing isn’t it? Loses it’s leaves each year over winter, but look at it now! The blossoms, so bright! Apparently the council wants to cut it down in a month or so because it costs too much to sweep up the ‘mess’, of the flowers as they fall to the ground…..-

‘Really? What a shame!,’ says the man in the suit, his bare feet enjoying the feel of the soft grass beneath them.

-Yep. In fact this whole park is due for development next year…I guess that’s the real reason why they see it as fine for the tree to go…-

“REALLY?”

His feet are feeling a bit hot now as his temperature rises in anger.

“But that’s my view from my office window! I love looking down at the greenery. Inspires me to keep getting through the day…finish one more report…you know what I mean?’

-I do know what you mean. Completely understand it…-

“And these lunchtime barefoot walks I’ve been going on in this park have helped my whole body feel better. I feel energised after my lunch break now, instead of being all caffinated up and working on adrenalin!”

-Yep. I know. Barefoot walking is amazing like that and it’s so exciting that you’re feeling its benefits.

And about the development…there’s a petition going around and a rally being organised soon…would you be interested in participating? Or making a small contribution to help the organsiers run it?-

etc. etc. etc….I’m sure you can see where this story is going…

The man has felt his environment to the point where he cares for it…. loves it, in fact and sees how he needs it in life. So he helps with the saving of it…and the green space remains and the blossom tree thrives and that bit of earth gets saved.

Gotta feel it to love it, to help it.

That’s all.

I don’t think that’s impossible, mum.

Bio: Tani is a writer, a lover, a mother,a walker, a woman, a pilates instructor, a sustainable development-ologist(!), a traveller….and able to add or take away from this list whenever she feels like… She blogs at Roar Barefoot.

Friday Favorites (March 16-20)

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Nicole asks Are We Raising Our Kids Better Than Our Parents Raised Us?

Life in the Married Lane tells us all about her eyebrows.

Learn about emotional marketing and your digital presence thanks to Project Eve.

Grown and Flows shares a bit about anxiety and stress among students.

And don’t forget to read our great submissions from this week:

Everything Sounds Cool and Awesome in Morgan Freeman’s Voice

The Target Effect: Adoption and the Checkout Line

Music, Inherited

Everything Sounds Cool and Awesome in Morgan Freeman’s Voice

“It started out like a normal day” says Becky, a 78 year old stay-at-home ironsmith who was recently acquitted of manslaughter charges.

“I was just sitting on my porch with a cigarette in my hand and a shotgun across my lap when I saw a silver coloured Mercedes Benz SL65 AMG speeding down the road. I could see that it was going too fast, it wouldn’t be able to stop in time. I watched as the horror unfolded in front of my eyes. In my 2 months of living in that part of town I had never seen something like that happen. I still can’t believe that driver just broke the red light and sped past as if nothing had happened.”

My name is Morgan Freeman and you are reading “Everything sounds cool and epic in my voice.”

Life is a wonderful gift. But not all gifts are wonderful. My aunt Ida recently gifted me an orange sweater that is so bright that it would make the VLC media player logo blush. I hate it. I hate my aunt Ida too.

The universe is a giant melting pot of cosmic material. You add 3 parts of radiation, 2 part of cosmic dust, 2 parts of matter and 1 part of physicists saying “Interstellar is SOOOO overrated, its not even accurate” and you don’t get the universe. Of course that’s not how the Universe was made. If I knew how the Universe is made, would I be here? I would be patenting the formula, licensing the patent to Apple so that they could sell “clean, efficient, sleek; its the new iUniverse” at double its actual price and suing God for infringing my copyright.

I tried talking to Jay and this is what he had to say “My name is not Jay, stop calling me all the time, I don’t know what the hell you are talking about, next time you call me I’ll file a complaint against you.”

Why would the driver of that Mercedes break the red light? Did he not see the red light? Or was he colour blind and couldn’t make out that it was red? Or was it a case of “Ain’t nobody got time fo dat.”

From “This American Life” and WBEZ Chicago, this is Sarah Koenig and you are listening to “Serial.”

You see, religion is just an excuse for men to fight. Humans will always find something to fight about. If it wasn’t “Hey my god is better than yours” it would have been “hey my hair colour is blonde and you’re a ginger so you’re dumb.” Which is true.

In the US, people don’t fight so much about religion. But they still fight. There’s not much religious tension but there is racial tension. The recent events in Ferguson and the shooting of 2 cops in New York is testament to that. Race and religion are 2 of the main reasons people kill each other. But if not for that, humans would have found something else to fight about. If everybody was white, they would have fought about something else. If everybody was Buddhist, the would have fought about something else.

What I am trying to say is, life is like a flat circle.

The hunt for the driver of the Mercedes SL65 AMG became a national affair. Nobody had a clue where he/she was (the slash means that I don’t know what gender the person is, not that he/she was both a he and a she)(think of it like Schrodinger’s cat). He was placed on the FBI’s “Most Wanted Men” and GQ’s “Most Desirable Men” lists. Finally the owner, a 54 year old man, was found in a fortified compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan by a team of Navy SEALs and killed in a brief encounter.

The questions still remains- who was this man? Why did Osama Bin Laden jump the red light? Why is space black? What is the capital of Czech Republic? Who killed Michael Jackson?

“The thing is, I would feel ok if they said I was a jerk but I didn’t jump the red light, you know what I mean? I mean, I just want somebody to say that I am a crazy, mean, horrible guy but I didn’t jump the red light. I’m just so sick of it all. Think about it- why would I jump the red light when the light was green?”

That was a recording of the owner of the Mercedes found after his death. He speaks clearly and certainly believes that he did not break the red light. Things like these happen in life. Life is what happens when you’re busy making plans. John Lennon stole my quote. I said this to Yoko Ono one day and then the next thing I know, everybody is saying “Whoa man John Lennon is so cool and deep.” I am deep. I’m so deep that the Marina Trench looks like a shallow puddle next to me. I am so deep that the term “to be in deep trouble” was named after me (my name is Trouble). Actually my name is who, my name is what, my name is *chika chika* Slim Shady.

“To me, boxing is like a ballet, except there’s no music, no choreography, and the dancers hit each other.”

Jack Handey

“I feel like a tree, I feed the branches of other people”

Kanye West

“I am Groot”

Groot

“I think gay marriage is something that should be between a man and a woman”

Arnold Schwarzenegger

“Hasta la vista baby”

Arnold Schwarzenegger in T2 (the movie, not the airport terminal)

“Beta get me some water”

My dad

Bio: My name is Parth Gyani and I am a 21 year old engineering student. I am a a huge fan of pop culture and I think that is reflected in my writing. I am also a fairly (or barely) decent guitarist. I like to write both humourous stuff and serious fiction. I blog at Meta Indian Beta and FDRMX. Find me on Facebook

 

The Target Effect – Adoption and the Checkout Line

Remember that teacher who told you there’s no such thing as dumb questions? That teacher lied.

The checkout line is part of everyday life for most of us. I guess there are some snooty falooty people that have staff to run their errands. For the rest of us peasants, standing in line at Target is a reality.

The checkout line is a weird no man’s land where you’re sandwiched between strangers at close range. Make eye contact or no? Meaningless, awkward small talk? All part of the experience.

Lately, I’ve become pretty slick at avoiding that eye contact because eye contact results in small talk that results in The Questions. The Questions run the gamut between truly offensive and “I’m just tired of answering that”.

Most people easily figure out that my adorable Chinese boys did not come out of my hoo ha. People are quick like that. I have red hair and blue eyes and I’ve never been mistaken for anything other than a white girl.

Some people take the extra step and ask if my husband is Asian, just to make sure. I have so far been pretty good natured about this but I can’t imagine questioning a stranger about their spouse’s ethnicity, or even assuming there was a spouse in the first place. Can you?

I accept that people are curious about my family and that curiosity comes in varying degrees. I can almost hear the wheels turning in those checkout line people’s heads. If I make that eye contact or smile then I’m opening the door to conversation and The Questions when I just want to be a shopper. Just a mom. Just an “average Jill” pushing a shopping cart.

There is a window between eye contact and The Questions. I can almost smell it. I wish I could give a knowing nod to those checkout line people before “say, can I ask you a question” tumbles out of their mouths. I wish I could whisk a FAQ sheet out of my bag. I mean, why not? I carry around enough crap in there, right? I could hand over the info sheet and then zone out on my phone like everyone else standing in line.

Answers to Dumb Adoption FAQ:

My boys are adopted from China.

Yes, they know. (we’ve actually had people ask if we plan to tell them they’re adopted. Here’s your sign, honey. They don’t understand everything but they know they were born in China and that their dad I rode a big airplane to China to bring them home. They know their Chinese names. We’ll say more as they get older but that covers things for now).

I’m sure they’re Chinese (I have been told they look Korean, Japanese and Mexican).

My husband is a white dude from Michigan, but the mailman might be Asian. We didn’t exchange a lot of information. It’s hard for me to talk about.

Do I have any real kids or normal kids? All of my kids are real. If you pinch them, they will make a noise. (Don’t actually touch my kids, k?) Normal is up for discussion.

No, I can’t have “my own” children. If you want to ask me more, let’s take this little chat beyond the checkout, k? And, if we’re gonna talk about my ovaries and stuff, you’re going to have to buy me a drink. That’s fair, right?

My children are American citizens. Yes, real American citizens. Yes, regular American citizens. (I am slightly worried there is some kind of citizenship category I don’t know about).

They will be able to vote when they’re 18 unless the laws change. And yes, I know that as naturalized citizens (real ones, btw) they won’t be allowed to run for president. (these are not things I spend time thinking about.)

Yes, they’re brothers. Real brothers. I know what you meant. They are REAL BROTHERS.

They eat macaroni and cheese and most other “kid food”. I’m very lucky they’re not picky. I’m not sure if they “used to eat cats and dogs”. Wow. Thanks for asking that. Something to ponder.

We have no plans to enroll them in gymnastics, violin or competitive ping pong. We’re not sure if they’ll be “really good at math”. Right now, I’m more focused on getting them to wipe their own butts. Maybe my expectations are too low, but that’s where we’re at.

I’m the “real mom”. The subject of our sons’ birth mothers is not something we talk about outside our family. And, my kids can hear just fine. How do you think questions like that make them feel?

How did we “get boys”? Well, we didn’t “get” them. They’re not Birkin bags or organic avocados. They’re not accessories. While you might think that all kids adopted from China are girls, things have changed and there are lots of boys available for adoption.

How much did they cost? Say! Is that your real hair color because your eyebrows are this really dark shade that doesn’t match your hair…and what is that thing on your chin? Is it a birthmark or just a zit? I’m just curious. Seriously if you’re interested in adoption, contact any reputable adoption agency and they can give you the deets.

We adopted from China’s “Waiting Child” Program, which takes 12-18 months on average. Yes, waiting was hard. Yes, they were worth it.

If you have just asked me “so, is there anything wrong with him?” take cover. I throw a mean left hook and I’m a little unpredictable when I haven’t had enough coffee. Yes, my kids have some mild medical needs. Yes, those needs were a factor in their being placed for adoption. Do I really want to talk about it in Target? No. I think I’ll answer the next person who asks with “why yes, there is something wrong with him. He has low tolerance for dumbasses.”

We chose China adoption because it was the best adoption choice for our family. If you asked me why I didn’t adopt from “my own” country because there are “so many American kids” to adopt, then I think you need to get smart about the foster care system in the United States.

If you told me my kids are “so lucky”, thank you. I know you meant well and I tried to accept that compliment gracefully. However, I want you to think about what your words will mean to my kids when they are old enough to understand them. While I am a really cool mom and they are totally lucky, those kinds of comments might make them feel like charity projects versus just my kids. It might not, but something to chew on.

These kids needed a family. I had one. Simple as that.

I’ve been asked all these things and more by strangers or people I don’t know well. These are some intensely personal questions, people. If you are doing the asking, keep this in mind:

Curiosity doesn’t give you the right to info.

If you are a parent who is in the process of an international adoption, well, I just gave you a peek at what you’re in for when you stop by the store for milk and doggie treats.

Use caution when asking an adoptive mom any variation of “can’t you have your own”. Those kids you’re staring at are her own. Besides, a family whose chosen adoption after struggling with infertility or miscarriage might not want to share the particulars in the checkout line. Or playground. Or church. Be careful when asking any woman about her ability to make babies. It’s a touchy subject.

So, think before you ask that question, k? You just might get more than you bargained for. I would love to see the look on someone’s face if I suddenly launched in to a discussion about the nitty gritty details of my lady bits. Just once…

Bio: Jill writes about adoption, motherhood and midlife on her blog, Ripped Jeans and Bifocals. She has a degree in social psychology that she uses to try and make sense out of the behavior of her husband and three children but it hasn’t really helped so far. She enjoys dry humor and has a love/hate relationship with running. You can regularly find her on Blunt Moms. She’s also been featured on Babble, Scary Mommy, In the Powder Room, and Mamalode. She willingly answers any questions that end with “and would you like wine with that?” You can follow Jill on Facebook and Twitter.

Music, Inherited

I got to indulge in one of my favorite pastimes today- being alone in the car, blasting music. It’s a rare thing for me since I became a mother. With my son, PJ, in the car I have to watch the content and the volume of the music choices but when I’m alone, I love to blast whatever music is playing and sing at the top of my lungs. I set my iPhone on “Shuffle” and the car filled with “America” by Simon and Garfunkel, “Levon” by Elton John, “Pet Sounds” by The Beach Boys. It was mixed in with some LL Cool J, Britney Spears, and the soundtrack to the movie “Pitch Perfect.”

As the songs ticked by, I started thinking about my taste in music and where it came from. The answer to that is, largely, from my parents. I can score the entire soundtrack of my childhood with the music my parents listened to in the car. My parents had control over the radio, and the music from two Philadelphia stations (Oldies 98 and WMGK Magic 103) would flood the car during every drive. Not all of their choices stuck- I passed on my Mom’s penchant for John Denver and my Dad’s taste in The Doors (yuck). But now, I can see exactly where my parents taste in music influenced my own. I prefer gorgeous voices, lyrics that tell a story, amazing harmonies. Simon and Garfunkel, Elton John, The Beach Boys, Carole King, Fleetwood Mac, The Eurythmics, and Motown, Motown, Motown- I can see myself sitting in the back seat of my parent’s car, singing those songs.

My musical preferences expanded as I got older. School choirs gave me a taste of classical music and my own love of singing took me right to the music of Broadway. A few questionable choices snuck in here and there (ahem, Debbie Gibson) and new talents came onto my radar as musical trends changed. But if you take my favorite band from my 20’s and 30’s, Barenaked Ladies, and draw a line it goes directly to The Beach Boys. The powerhouse vocals of Patrick Stump from Fall Out Boy? Draw the line to Art Garfunkel, one of my favorite voices of all time. If you made a flowchart of every song I added to my catalog, they would all trace back to the songs I listened to in my parent’s car.

I’m 37 now, and most of the things I do in my life revolve around my son. PJ dictates the games we play, the places we go, the movies we watch and the music we listen to in the house. But in the car, Mommy chooses the music, just as my parents did. Of course, some of it is censored. We don’t listen to the soundtrack from The Book of Mormon (hoooooo, boy! Bad words!). I also keep the volume at the respectable level. But when I set a playlist, PJ gets a taste of the music that makes his parents happy. I am certainly not a perfect person. I make mistakes, every day, but the music I grew up on helped shape the person I am today. That music gave me my love of words, my love of telling stories, my love of theatrics and my love of beautiful sounds. Apparently, that is something that can be passed on from the front seat of car to the back.

Brie’s Bio: I am a twenty thirty-something, regular girl who is often still trying to find my way! I started blogging over 8 years ago as a way to vent and record the various moments of my life! I keep hoping that someday, the person with all of the answers will read my blog and clue me in!!!! I am the mama of a sweet, wonderful, hilarious son named Peter, named after his father and my husband, who is almost as sweet and wonderful! ;-) I like to write about all of my life’s adventures, from parenthood to family, from diapers potty training, from Cheeze-It binges to dieting, from happiness to sadness. It’s a very ordinary life I lead, but it’s mine and I am thankful to have a way to record it all.

Friday Favorites (March 9-13)

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Nicole tells us about the day she let her kids in on her dream.

Stephanie asks Is Motherhood a Job?

Liz also explores the idea of motherhood being a job.

Standardized test season is upon us. Some schools are ‘bribing’ kids to take the tests.

Baby Sideburns knows that This Playdate is Going to be Awesome!

And don’t forget to check out our great submissions from this week:

Metal Mom Not a Soccer Mom

I Ran a 10K!

Finding Myself

Metal Mom Not a Soccer Mom

SergiodrummingWhen we first moved here to Wisteria Lane, I knew we didn’t fit in. First of all, let me clarify, we don’t actually live on Wisteria Lane. We live in a cookie cutter subdivision where everyone has 2.5 children, a dog, and a vehicle with third row seating. Sure, everyone said hello when we moved in. It’s not like they stood around making the sign of the cross and hissing. They asked us where we had moved from, and what brought us here, etc. When they found out that we had a teen son, they asked us the question that pretty much ended any hopes that our son would have best friends in the neighborhood, “Does he play soccer?”

I may or may not have rolled my eyes before answering. Does every child have to play a sport? My son does not play soccer, or lacrosse, or football, or basketball, or baseball, or any sport. He plays guitar, and drums, and keyboard, and he sings and writes music. Metal music. My son is a musician, and I am a metal mom.

Whenever I told the new neighbors this, they gave me the uncomfortable smile. You know the one. It’s similar to the one you make when you’re at a crowded party and you have to fart. But this one wasn’t due to gas; this smile was because they thought my son was “bad.” They never said that in so many words, of course.

In reality, he’s not bad at all. As far as teens go, he’s actually kind of calm. He doesn’t do drugs. He doesn’t even drink alcohol except for the occasional beer I allow him to have at home. He only stays out late when he has a show or goes to another band’s concert. Other than that, he is in our basement practicing with his band or watching TV with his girlfriend. He cuddles with our dogs and cats, and passes out candy to the trick-or-treaters on Halloween. But, he does not play soccer, so most of the local kids and their parents didn’t know what to say to the weird new kid with the beard and the stretched earlobes.

That’s ok though. We are used to being odd, and in truth my family and I would rather be weird than “normal.” Normal sounds dreadfully boring. Personally, I would much rather be a metal mom than a soccer mom, and here’s why:

My car is way better than any soccer mom’s ride. I have a Volkswagen Jetta GTI Autobahn Edition with paddle shifters (that I don’t know how to use), a Fender stereo system, satellite radio, and Bluetooth, not a minivan filled with fast food trash and dog hair.

My son has learned not to fit in. He doesn’t NEED to fit in. He will never do something just because the other kids are doing it.

He’s creative. My son wrote a song about all of the people who have died in our family. It is a beautiful song, and a great way to deal with grief.

Every season is metal season. My son can enjoy his hobby of choice at any time of the year. There’s no waiting until summer or fall or whatever.

I don’t have to sit outside at some field either sweating or freezing my ass off. His gigs are INSIDE, where there is some sort of climate control happening.

Also, his shows are usually at places with a full bar. Can you get a martini at the soccer field?

He’s more interesting to talk to, at least for me. I don’t want to hear about balls, and goals and coaches. BORING! My son can talk about how he is inspired by hair metal bands that I listened to in school. He also knows which songs are Ozzy Ozbourne and which are Black Sabbath. I don’t even know that.

Right now, there are at least 852 soccer moms who are just itching to post a nasty comment under this blog. Go for it. But before you do, take a look at the header on this site. It does not say Dr. Stork’s parenting advice column. It’s a humor blog. Don’t worry; I’m not going to run for president and make soccer illegal, so don’t get your panties in too much of a bunch.

Lisa’s Bio: I specialize in brutally honest self-deprecating Humor on my blog.  I’m a three-cat crazy writer who also happens to have two dogs, which means I spend a lot of time talking to animals.  They haven’t started talking back. Yet. I started writing when I was 7, when I would jot down alternate plot lines for the Saturday morning cartoons. Misfit Academy is my first published novel. I am currently writing The Lizard King Club, a novel that explores what would happen if certain members of the 27 club reincarnated.  I also like to blog, eat my husband’s delicious cooking, embarrass my teen son, and spend way too much time on Facebook and Twitter.