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31 Sure Fire Ways to Screw Up Your Kids

free photo: pixabay user/sasint

Raise your hand if you’ve ever gone to counseling.

If you didn’t raise your hand, it’s not because your parents were perfect or that you actually have your schtuff together. You either didn’t raise your hand because: you’re lying; you didn’t hear the question; you were raised with strict religious, intellectual, or spiritual shaming messages that counseling is for the weak or faithless; or, it’s just that your parents probably didn’t believe in counseling because their parents didn’t believe in counseling because their parents didn’t believe in counseling, so, like a helluvalotta other things, they passed that belief onto you.

It’s not our faults. It’s theirs. It’s always “theirs.”

But every generation has the opportunity to write its own story…every generation, collectively and on individual scale, is responsible to make peace with the past and create a healthier today and tomorrow.

And if you’re a parent, one day, when your kids encounter conflict, especially if they’re off to college and possibly for the first time hear they’re actually designed with “critical-thinking,” all their problems will be because of you.

That’s right. It’ll be your fault…you’ll be the “them,” and that kind of sucks. But it doesn’t have to be all that bad!

So, how does one generation screw up the next? When are we going to start owning our schtuff long enough to see our part in the mess? And what can we do to deal with and let go of our schtuff in a healthy and timely fashion as not to project our sludge into the future generations but cheer them on to explore and do it differently and better than us?

Here are 31 Sure Fire Ways to Screw Up Your Kids, in no particular order:

  1. Know everything and make sure your kids believe you’re the authority on all the things.
  2. Shut down questions with, “Because I said so, that’s why…end of discussion.”
  3. Forget you were once a kid, of all the ages your kids are and will be one day.
  4. Believe you have nothing to learn from a kid, or anyone else, for that matter.
  5. Multi-task time with your kids with something you have to check off your to-do list.
  6. Never let your kids see you sad or disappointed or anything other than happy happy joy joy.
  7. Forget that you are figuring it out, too…all of it.
  8. Demand immediate submission and obedience. 
  9. Believe, “Treat others the way you want to be treated,” is something kids need to memorize, but not something you have to live out in front of them.
  10. Do things because that’s just how you’ve always done them.
  11. Overcompensate for the lack of whatever thing you think your childhood was missing.
  12. Tell your kids HOW to believe and WHAT to believe in, and DEFINE what their faith should look like.
  13. Let your fear of death and eternity be your filter for everything.
  14. NEVER model authenticity or vulnerability…get yourself together, dude!
  15. Never tell them you are sorry, by God, you’re the freaking parent! Parent up, YO!
  16. Diet or “cleanse,” constantly exercise, own a scale and use it often, and pinch your muffin top in the mirror in front of them, but tell them they are beautiful.
  17. Tell them never to talk to strangers, and model the part where you don’t make eye contact with one.
  18. Demand perfection in every area, especially: manners, appearance, grades, performance, hygiene, human interactions.
  19. Use God as your scapegoat by cherry picking scriptures and whatever your pastor said, to back the way you’ve chosen to “discipline.”
  20. Abolish all empathy from your parenting game.
  21. Model intolerance, first for yourself, then especially for “others.”
  22. Live offended…of everything and everyone, especially when your kids think differently than you.
  23. Teach them to believe the worst about people.
  24. Use blanket statements, stereotypes, and generalizations when talking about people.
  25. Drive like you own the road and tell those people in the other cars just what you think of them, out loud.
  26. Make them eat their veggies, but you don’t have to since you did your time as a kid.
  27. Have people over only when your house is clean.
  28. Project onto your kids what you assume they are feeling, thinking, experiencing.
  29. Forget that the back of your phone and computer are today’s “Cat’s in the Cradle.”
  30. Tell them they have to pick a “real major” in college because you know it’ll financially help them in the long run, even if you hate your life, but have a padded bank account.
  31. When they come home from their first year of college and tell you they learned their family of origin is dysfunctional, tell them, “Hey, I put the ‘fun’ in dysfunctional.” And then change the subject and discount what they’re saying as stupid, 18-year old rebellious teenage stuff…cuz, what could they know, right?!

 

And this list could go on…

We’re all figuring it out. The point of every generation is to not only teach the next, but to learn from them, too…not hold on for dear life to the lessons of those who have gone before them. Our great greats and greats and grandparents and parents did a lot of things right, and they also had some things wrong, big and small. Same with us. And same with the next. It’s not rebellious to do it differently when hate or ignorance isn’t sustainable.

Let’s posture ourselves for learning and see what happens.

 

Show Me Your Moves

20+ years with this guy! (Photo: Jessica Quadra, Barcelona, Spain)

20+ years with this guy! (Photo: Jessica Quadra, Barcelona, Spain)

As we were driving home from Denver this evening, after a fun day where Jason and Em went climbing at REI and Ryan and I watched monster trucks in all their volume do their thing at the Pepsi Center, we were flipping through the channels looking for some good tunes to pass the time.

Em told me to stop it at a certain song. It had a pretty good dance beat. And it’s like it’s automatic, or something…but the ribcage just started going.

I turned to Jason, my ribs all over the place, and said, “Show me your moves, Graves.”

Jason has one move, and well, it looks like this: Stand up straight, bend your arms to a 90 degree angle, elbows at the waist, hands held in loose fists. K. Now, barely move your hips from side to side.

That’s it. That’s what he’s got. Though, if you must know, he did once have a mean moonwalk, but that was before I ever knew him, you know, way back when he and his best friends wore parachute pants.

I said, “Dude, we would have never hooked up if we had met at a club…”

He smiled and said, “I would have learned to dance to get you.”

And that’s the end of the story, folks.

Jason Graves is my lobster.

Recycle Those Pillowcases, Girls!

I’m a thrifter.  I love thinking outside the box and have been recycling, or upcycling, or repurposing old clothes or sheets or parts of clothes for a very long time.  Once I made Emily and myself skirts from a pair of Jason’s khaki’s he had cut off…and I’ve even stooped to make myself workout shirts out of Jason’s old pitted out white-T’s, cutting out the pits, obviously

But let me tell you, old sheets and pillowcases are the best!  I have yellow and white checked gingham pajama pants from my Grandpa’s sheets, cornflower blue with rose bud pajama bottoms from 1974 (the sheets from my childhood bed), and when Em was little I used two of my favorite pillow cases to make her a sun top and super wide-legged flare bottom pants.

In 1993 when we got married, Ralph Lauren bedding was ALL THE RAGE 😉  No, but really, every. single. piece. of. bedding. we. had. was prepster, for sure.  Remember when mixing plaid and floral and stripes and solids and paisley’s was super cool?  And then when Ralph was mixing up the patterns with rustic western themes, this Arizona girl got all giddy and bought up some o’dat.  Mixed up on our old 4-poster log bed and it was very Taos-esque, Southwesternish, even in the Midwest.

About 9 years ago I made a pillowcase skirt by simply cutting off the end which is sewn shut, folding it over twice, about an inch in width, sewing it and lacing it with a drawstring.  I stitched an antique handkerchief onto it…dang that thing was cute…I think I recently gave it away…anyway…

I’ve had these pillowcases forever and have wanted to use them to make a skirt or dress but they have just been sitting in my pile…for a very long time.  But, with Spain around the corner, and my goal being to wear a sundress almost every day, I thought why not whip one up?

Here goes (hope you are easily able to follow along with the instructions):

Pick your favorite pillowcase.  This is circa 1993, old school Ralph Lauren bedding, probably from his Taos collection 😉  Oh, and it’s a KING SIZE case, which gives you ample length with which to work.

Fold the pillowcase in half length-wise (so it’s narrow)  Use scissors or your handy dandy cutting mat and fabric slicer to cut the sewn end of the case off.

Sorry, I don’t know why this one is horizontal, but then turn the pillowcase inside out and use the natural fold, as well as the seam as your guide.

Fold the fabric over one inch, the part that will be the top of the dress.  The cuff or ruffle on a pillowcase will be your natural hem at the bottom.  

Find a random piece of good elastic in your sewing box, or actually buy some for this project.  I happened to have a piece that, when pulled taught, was the exact width of the pillowcase, so decided to try it and see if it would work.  I kind of wing it like that…but it worked, so you can follow these instructions 😉  

At the natural seem, with one inch of the material folded over but not sewn down, sew one end of the elastic on securely with a zig zag stitch.

Then, pull it tightly and sew the other end to the natural fold on the opposite side of the pillowcase.

I have a base on my machine that can be removed for sleeves…remove that if you have the option, but otherwise, fold the elastic over one more inch and pull it taught with both hands, guiding it slowly through a straight stitch on your machine.  DO NOT SEW THRU THE ELASTIC BUT NEXT TO IT, so you are creating a pocket, basically, for the elastic.  (Sorry, I’m not sure I’m a “technical” writer…)

On the front side of the top hem, you will have one seam from sewing the twice folded one inch roll all the way around.  I then wanted to stitch a few rows of thread on the top front edge for a little extra touch.
***Note, when I tried it on, it was a little loose, so, tomorrow when I have a few minutes, I am going to pinch one inch on either side of the top hem, probably centered over each breast, one, to make it stay up better, and two, to bring some of the poofiness that is going on in the back around to the front to add dimension, if that makes sense???

Add a belt and some boots, and a partial afro since I haven’t used a blow dryer all summer but am trying to be “natural”, and there you have it.  A pillowcase dress in less than 20 minutes, but that I’ve had hanging around for 20 years in the linen closet.  I’m taking this little number to Spain to eat tapas and drink wine with mi esposo.

Your Peacock…Your Peacock!

Let me see your peacock!

I couldn’t resist.

Unfortunately I’ve heard the song.  I have another post for another day regarding my affection for Katy Perry, but not today.

Let’s just say, since I don’t really know what I’m doing before I go into a project like this, unfortunately I’m not able to write a DIY type of blog post.  That would be cool, but to be honest, I really DKHTDIM (Don’t Know How To Do It Myself) except for winging it…All I know is, recently in a few books and when I heard a person speak, the questions were posed:

  • What makes you feel alive?  
  • What memory from your childhood do you have of yourself being really happy while doing something you enjoyed?  
  • What do you LOVE to do?

At first I wasn’t in a place where I even knew or remembered how to answer the questions.  I LOVE to be with my family.  I LOVE to be with my friends.  I LOVE to be alone.

Oxygen makes me feel alive…

All great answers, but not exclusively “me”…but when I’m in my basement, tearing things apart and re-creating, well, that’s when I see glimpses of what makes me feel alive…

Creating.  Art.  Designing.  Making it up as I go.  
And doing it on a dime.  It’s fun for me!


I’m not bragging.  I’m just so excited I’ve found something I love to do, something that gives me inspiration and energy to face the laundry and piles of dishes.

Here’s how it’s going so far.

First we cut strips of tan ultra-suede we had left over from Em’s Sacajawea costume,  celery green ovals from some upholstery, kelly green ovals from a Baja Expedition t-shirt, and royal blue spots from an oversized man shirt Jason got from a work softball game.  We added tassels from upholstery cording my mom had given me years ago that was sitting in a box that. whole. time.

These are for the feathers that will make up a bustle type thingamajigger on Em’s tushy.

Em had a navy blue t-shirt she wasn’t wearing so we used it as the base for the bodice.  I sewed royal blue feathers for the chest out of more of the oversized man t-shirt.

Remember “Caboodles?”  Yep.  That’s my Caboodle from Junior High which once housed my electric blue mascara, now posing as my sewing box.  And that lavender tulle is going to be a bolero.  I had to have my mom come over and tell me how to work with elastic.  There are some things I can totally wing.  But elastic stumps me every time…I don’t know why, but my brain freezes and I’m not sure how to use it…it’s weird.  Maybe I got flicked by too many flying rubber bands in elementary school???

And this is my favorite part because it’s entirely Emily’s design and creation.  We got the peacock feather with a few others attached in the floral dept of Wally World, but she did all the rest, complete with gold embossed feathers and all the bling.  The kid’s got an eye for this stuff!

As the “feathers” for the actual skirt were starting to come together, Em said, “Mom, this is actually going to be cool!  I had no idea you had something like this in mind…”

Thanks, kid.  Apparently she hasn’t been that impressed with my other impromptu costumes.  Smack.

And since the creative juices are flowing in the basement, Em’s gotten out her sketch book and started designing gowns and other fancy numbers.  It’s fun to see her put her dreams on paper…one day she and I will put her paper dreams into material.

NIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIICE!

So, along with Ryan’s page of translated words, one thing that he says regularly is, “Nice,” as in, “Yes,” “Nice, I like what you are thinking,” or “Totally!  Now we’re tracking, Lady!”

It’s pretty much my favorite thing, along with “Peas” and “Deek Doo” which translate: Please and Thank you!

Without further ado, here’s the little man after breakfast this morning…

Ryan is NICE from Jason Graves on Vimeo.

Some Friday FUN!

Below you will find a quiz.  It’s a language quiz.  And by “language quiz” I mean, it’s the language of my 2 year old son, Ryan.  A language I am expected to interpret and act upon every day.

Let’s be honest, it’s more like a game of MadGab, but I want to remember his sweet words at this stage in his life, so thought it would be fun to make it into a test for everyone else.  Don’t worry, I’m recording some of this, too, and will post those later next week so you can hear how sweet it is.

In the comments section, answer as many of the questions you can with one guess/translation per question.  I will keep this open until Tuesday, September 25th at midnight Mountain time.  The person with the most correct answers wins a pair of sterling and freshwater pearl earrings from bebe&boo.   *Hint:  “moo moo” does not translate = moo moo, it actually means something…

Welcome to my life…please translate the following words in your comment (I’ll go easy on you, to start…because I’m nice like that…)

  1. Moo, moo = Cow (freebie)
  2. Pay noun = 
  3. Moe neen =
  4. Hail puh = 
  5. Honey =
  6. Jiss =
  7. Obble bus =
  8. Moody =
  9. Icky =
  10. Eeb rah =
  11. Hop hop =
  12. Eebitt =
  13. Nay nay =
  14. Cow =
  15. Boof =
  16. Me Oh Me =
  17. Yay dee =
  18. Deet =
  19. Oonie = 
  20. Beet boot =
  21. Boot =
  22. Sue =
  23. Rarrrr =
  24. Boat Ee Goo =
  25. Dough Ghee =
  26. Oat shyed =
  27. Bay oh =
  28. How whoooo =
  29. Bieber =
  30. Hoo hoo, ha ha =
  31. Pwffft =
  32. Maah tee =
  33. Booty =
  34. Poopie =
  35. Boobie =
  36. Dood doy =
  37. Mook =
  38. Dood nye moon =
  39. Num num =
  40. Cuckoo =
Have fun and have a fantastic weekend!
xoxox

Glass Class

For my 40th birthday in January, Jason and Emily gave me a gift-certificate to do a glass sculpting class.  Seriously, this was the most thoughtful gift I’ve ever been given.

Jason knows I am a huge fan of glass blowing and glass work.  Whenever Dale Chihuly specials are on PBS the channel turns no further…I am mesmerized by glass and heat and molten-ness and the whole idea that from a simple rod of glass come some of the most beautiful pieces of art in the world.

Well, I know it’s August and my birthday was 8 months ago, but today I finally redeemed my coupon and headed to a place called Glasscraft up in Golden, CO, to learn something new.  Last week my friend found out I was doing the class and decided to join me, so it was fun to share this experience with her, too!

A bit of history, though, first.  I grew up in Arizona.  For weekend trips now and then we’d head up to Sedona to explore and wander through the art galleries to appreciate the creativity of local artisans, check out the architecture (my dad was a builder), and to see God’s beautiful creation.  Our favorite place was called Tlaquepaque.  I’m not sure if the glass blower is still there, but when I was Emily’s age, (which is now 10 and I still have to post about that…), I would head straight to his shop and watch and watch and watch.  And, with my hard earned allowance money, I’d add to my collection of trinkets no one needs but every kid thinks they want: glass swan with blue liquid inside, glass unicorn, glass Pegasus, glass swan with different colored liquid inside…you get the idea.  Anyway, to a 10 year old girl, this was cool and I remember having an appreciation for glass work at the time.

Fast forward 30 years and today I got to dabble in the art of glass.

I did not blow glass, which is what I thought I was going to be doing, but that’s a class a little higher up the food chain for a first-timer.  I did, however, get to sculpt and manipulate it by rolling rods of glass in a propane/oxygen torch flame and stretching it to form it into leaves.  Unfortunately they are still at Glasscraft in the kiln…show and tell another day.

Molten glass is totally stinking cool!  Except it’s not cool, but so very hot!  And, thankfully the only thing I burned off my body today was a few knuckle hairs.  It could have been worse…I guess it’s been a while since I took high school chemistry and used one of those flint spark starters.

And, for the record, my knuckles look nice smooth…or something like that!

The class started at 8:30 but I picked Kiera up at 6:45 and made her go sit at Whole Foods to enjoy the quiet morning, first

glass rods

When wearing safety glasses, one must look like they are straight from MadMen

Kiera the ’50’s glass worker

Curtis our instructor

My flame

Kiera hard at work

That kid, across the table, is from the Royal Tannenbaums…well at least he looked the part…

Me rolling my glass rod into a ball in order to start my leaf

Overall, this was an awesome experience!

No matter what you choose, I’d encourage you to try something new, or something you’ve always dreamed of doing.  Dr. Daniel Amen encourages us, as we age, to stimulate our brains with new experiences and new ways of learning and thinking.  Today I made a few new synapses.  I feel a little smarter already 😉

My Little Lover

Two exciting things happening in this picture:  One, Ryan is sitting at his big boy table, and two, he’s practicing blowing his own nose.  (Em’s old Jenny Lind table and chairs.)
Ryan and I have been heading out on bike rides in the mornings.  He thinks his sister’s hand-me-down helmet is pretty cool (hula dancer on the back and all…).  He yells, “Neigh, Neigh!” the whole time as we head over to a meadow near or home filled with horses.
Sometimes he wants to wear his hand-me-down froggy boots, rain or shine.
The shirt is wide open because so you can see his hairless chest…no, but really, we had to re-dress after lunch today.  Notice the little black eye!  I’m so sad!  Ry got his first little shiner while climbing up the steps on the playground last evening.  
This is the face I stare at every day.  He knows my name.  He hugs my thighs.  He kisses me and snuggles on my shoulder.  My heart is so very, very full…

A Funny

(Photo: What’s Cooking in America)

After dinner Em was searching the freezer for the stash of chocolate chips.

As she was going to shut the door a bag of walnuts slipped off the top shelf.

In her 9 year old way, she tried to shut the freezer door while the walnuts fell in mid-air instead of having to bend over, pick them up and replace them on the top shelf…

As Jason and I witnessed this from across the kitchen, I cried out:

“Careful not to slam your nut sack in the freezer door!”
Yes, Emily had to brace herself on the kitchen counter she was laughing so hard…and yes, Jason’s cheeks turned a little red.  It was funny, but thankfully this girl still has bladder control, even at 40.

Go Green

These are some veggies I’ve been juicing lately.  I couldn’t rotate the picture for some reason, which is annoying, I know, but what has stood out to me the most as I’ve juiced one or two times a day is how colorful the foods are and how great I feel.  For some reason when I eat a salad or a plate full of sauteed veggies, I don’t really notice that the colors are so vibrant!  This has GOT to be good for me!

Pretty much if you add lemon, lime, or fresh ginger to any juice recipe, it’s a winner!

The veggies pictured previously did not create this smoothie.  I got it from the Juice Lady’s recipe for Cherie’s Awesome Green Smoothie.  Here is a link to more recipes.

Yes, it’s thick.  I’m slowly chugging it as I post…

And just for fun, this is what I’m wearing as I post!  It’s a snow day here in Colorado, so that’s Em in the background with her friend, suiting up to head back outside for a second round of snow fun!  And me?  Well, several years ago I found that green treasure at the Goodwill Thrift Store.  You know you want one!  I couldn’t resist buying it because it was SO retro and out there!  Jason and I shoveled the driveway together earlier today…and this is what I wore…I’m so glad he loves me even though I’m a weirdo!

So, I’m not going to lie.  The smoothie by Cherie Calbom is delicious, but it’s thick going down.  Here’s the recipe and then I’ll share my thoughts:

  • 1 Avocado, peeled and seeded, cut into chunks (I forgot to cut it into chunks)
  • 1 cup raw spinach
  • 1/2 English cucumber, peeled if not organic, cut into chunks (I used a regular one)
  • juice of one lime (I used 1 Tbsp organic lime juice from my fridge)
  • 1 Tbsp green powder of choice (I used Garden of Life Perfect Food RAW)
  • top with 2-3 tsp ground almonds (I skipped this as I am avoiding nuts right now…)

Then it says, place the top 5 ingredients in a blender and blend well, until smooth.

Let’s just say, I put it all in the blender and nothing happened.  I even have a high-powered blender.  I added a little water…this helped…for a little bit.  I added 8oz of water which finally allowed the ingredients to become a smoothie.

So, here’s the deal.  It actually tastes good.  It really does.  But.  But.  But.  I had what I think is a brilliant idea, since, really this drink is like trying to chug guacamole…

Add one or two more avocadoes, some fresh cilantro, a tomato and salt, up the green powder to 2 Tbsp and double the lime, then serve with fresh veggies sticks, yummy root chips or corn chips.

Seriously, your kids (or your husband) won’t know it’s got spinach, cucumber or the green powder in it.  It’s like that Deceptively Delicious book by Seinfeld’s wife…except taken up a notch.

And, always, always, always eat this wearing your green retro snowsuit from the 70’s.