Slim*FAST

slim-fast-2

A can of Slim-Fast. The image is like a cow brand on my brand and memory. From my earliest memories I can vividly see the logo, smell the contents and feel the smooth label. No, I wasn’t drinking it but I was observing the one I admired most consuming the product of promises.

My grandma LOVED Slim-Fast. Cans of powder filled the pantry. Cold chilled cans sparkled as they lined the refrigerator door like tiny weight-loss soldiers. Bars wrapped in crinkly bold colored wrappers stuck in purse and coat pockets. Trendy, that was my grandma! She knew all the latest fashions, makeup and diet crazes. I truly believe that if blogs were a thing back in the day that she’d be storming the internet and blowing up Facebook and Instagram. When she jumped on the Slim-Fast train, it wasn’t a surprise. I wanted to be just like her ( I now see my own daughter with that same glimmer in her eye for my mom). I stole those sips of Slim-Fast like a 12 year-old boy flipping the pages of a Playboy. How good it tasted. That admiration, candy like taste along with fun-promising advertisements I was HOOKED.

As soon as I was old enough, I fell in “adult love” with Slim-Fast too. Loving it so much that during my senior year of high school it became my food of choice. The thick vanilla shake replaced my breakfast and lunch. The crunchy nougat bar goodness became the go to snack. How clever! How brilliant! I could eat shakes and candy bars that promised to make me look like a model, thin with big boobs a tight butt and bouncy hair. Bring the fake chocolate and vanilla goodness on!  Why waste my time eating real food and possibly looking like a troll? At 17, it didn’t matter the grades and the accomplishments that I achieved. What did matter is that I got noticed for my appearance. >>> If only I could go back in my time machine and yank that can out of my hand while slapping some sense into my brainwashed teen mind.

My friend, Slim-Fast followed me to college. What a loyal companion. Always there when I needed her, full of only good fortunes and promises of delight. Sometimes we would fight, sometimes we would break up, but every winter, spring and summer break I ran back with open arms. Completely enthralled with the idea that Slim-Fast would make me perfect. Slim-Fast would make all my dreams come true. Slim-Fast did make me lose weight, but it was also tearing my insides a part with it’s list of foreign ingredients, not to mention causing a perfect canvas for the start of a really bad relationship with food.

During my love affair with Slim-Fast I cheated, falling into lust with calorie counting. I found it thrilling to track and control those little numbers that filled the pages of notebook after notebook. I felt on top of the world when I was able to consume less calories than the day before. I got a high when I was able to see that number dip lower and lower. But with my new found lover, my infatuation with Slim-Fast was ended. My long time companion was standing in my way. My old flame had the same amount of calories each time I picked up that can. Slim-Fast was failing me. Slim-Fast had to get out, we had to break-up. Why even drink a form of liquid calories when there were so many other things that had little to no calories???  Why not just drink coffee or suck on Life-Savers or Gobstoppers at 5 calories a pop?  Why eat at all?

And so it began, a windy twisty road of self destruction and negative self-talk. All started from a brightly colored red and white can full of broken promises marketed in the perfect way.

I hate you Slim-Fast. Thanks for nothin’.

Strip Club Manager.

shocked-woman

Add Strip Club Manager to my resume.

That’s right. I’ve been spending my days basically working in a topless bar of miniature people.

I thought I had heard it all and seen it all as our days of butts finally began to dwindle to an end. Little did I know what was lurking around the corner. Little fleshy buttons were around the bend. That’s right, nipples.

My kids are obsessed with nipples.

My household has turned into one big topless franchise. It started with my eldest and the phenomena quickly attached to my younger son.  Wearing shirts was decided as being overrated according to my three children. My six-year-old went thirty-six hours wearing no shirt.  The streak was only broken in order to put on a shirt for school which was quickly stripped off the second he entered the house.  Not being sexist, my daughter caught on to the trend. Now you will not only see two little boys running laps around our yard with their skinny lanky bodies in the sun but you will also find my petite munchkin of a daughter peddling along on her pink tricycle … topless.

This whole no shirt thing  was a battle I decided to not pick.  After all,  it would be the only time in their lives that this nude behavior would be accepted. Have at it little Halperins.  As always my children proved my parenting choices wrong. Though seemingly innocent the whole situation unfortunately took an expected turn … for the worst and the weird.

As I prepared another gourmet home cooked meal (or whatever fit into a crock pot that day) my three growing bundles of joy ran through the house topless. Shrieking in chaotic joy as they chased after one another giggling.  I heard my youngest son yell “Kiss my nipples!” as he cupped his hands over his chest running from his brother and sister. I stopped mid-cooking-utensil in hand not sure if I had heard him right. I was reassured that my ears hadn’t fooled me when he proceeded to yell again “Kiss my nipples!!!” as he ran past me with my other two on his tail. I spun around and entered the living room behind them as I barked “What are you saying???”  and without hesitation he responded “We are playing kiss my nipples.”  I calmly asked where he had heard about this game and he said his brother. I turned my attention to my eldest asking where in the world had he learned this from and he said … his brain. Not having a chance to think this whole thing through I quickly broke into explanation as to why this was not a game that should be played. Like an out-of-body experience I heard myself say “Listen, only married people kiss one another’s nipples. Nipples are private parts that no one should be touching or kissing unless you are married like Mommy and Daddy.  Nipples are special parts of our bodies that should only be touched when we are washing in the shower.”  As I heard myself say the words I knew it was a possibility that I could be opening a door to a whole other conversation or possibly an interesting story being told to teachers at school.  My fears dissipated as they shook their heads yes and replied in unison, “Okay Mom” with no further questions asked. (Nor have I had any interesting calls from teachers … yet).

Though the nipple games have stopped and my daughter is choosing to wear a shirt more I was reassured that the strip club status of our home is still in full swing this morning.  My youngest son walked into the kitchen, topless, with a pair of sunglasses around his tiny narrow chest exclaiming “Look mom! I’m covering my nipples like you said!”  and quickly ran out the door to join his topless brother and sister in the yard.

I can only imagine what’s next.

 

 

 

Suburban Findings: 6 Who Are You Steps.

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The follow up to  Who Arrrreee Y-O-U?? 6 Steps to Finding Out

The suburban scientific findings to what happens when the six “who are you” steps are applied to the common crazy lady.

First a brief step recap:

#1.  ASK.

#2.  TAKE A TIME MACHINE.

#3.  F-U-N.

#4.  TEST THE WATERS.

#5.  INTRODUCE YOURSELF.

#6. ACT HOW YOU WANT TO FEEL and ACT HOW YOU FEEL. 

Second, the outcomes:

#1. I asked those closest to me for a one word description of who I was:

My eldest son: sweet. My youngest son: strong with muscles. My daughter: good coloring. My two closest friends: Real and tenacious. My mom: Inspiring. My little sister:  My husband: Stunning.

I took those descriptive words in, let them settle into the crevices of my brain folds and then reflected. When it came down to the nitty-gritty it turned out that everything I wanted to be, I actually was in the eyes of those that really mattered. I wanted to be a mom that was tender and sweet. I wanted to lead a life that was real and tenaciously productive. I wanted to inspire others with my writing, thoughts and actions.  I wanted to be physically and mentally fit. By asking those that were closest to me with the clearest insight of my true self their answers gave me a reality check that I had been wasting so much time beating myself up for the personality traits I thought I lacked and the personal goals I considered too far to reach. In reality I carry all the traits that I have admired in others and my goals are actually accomplishments. Why was it so hard for me to see that? 

#2. I certainly feel my best when engaging in tasks that I enjoy, but also grow from. When I am accomplishing goals I feel on top of the world, because I am being productive in what I set out to do and recognizing it all at the same time. I think my confidence and knowledge of who I was took the biggest hit when I found out that as a woman I couldn’t just get pregnant “on my own”. This huge part of my identity sort of just was there one day and not there the next. I felt as if I was a failure. I failed myself and I failed my husband. In my eyes I was a broken woman, unable to have babies.  My body had betrayed me. Suddenly my plan was no longer in my control. Suddenly, I was battling with a problem that I had no knowledge of. It wasn’t fair.  Enter >>> Uncertainty of everything and self. Though six years and three babies later,  it’s unfortunate that I realize my confidence has yet to move on from that place of uncertainty. At least I know where the start took place.

#3. F-U-N. I thought about myself in college … I had a lot of fun then, but the majority of what was fun then was reckless fun. Did I want to be reckless again? NO. Was drinking large amounts of booze still fun to me? NO. So I went another decade back to when I was a child. My findings proved better during that era. My interests were still very much introvert-ish, writing, reading, exploring nature whether it be a field, beach or forest. I loved being near family with a small tight group of friends. I relished in experiencing really good comfort food after getting my hands in the baking or cooking process of it all. The bright lights and busyness of the city caught my attention and made my imagination dance. I was obsessed with laughter. Had an interest in crime and anything media related to it (think Law & Order or Forensic Files).

So I started writing again like a mad woman. Jotting notes, writing articles, leaving unfinished ideas on my computer screen, in the margins of magazines and in the pages of 3 different notebooks.  Reading books two at a time, mostly non-fiction one on Paleo, one on meditation one on happiness. I took to yoga in classes and on my mat at home. I planted some plants and puddled around in the yard with the kids. We are booking a trip to Chicago as a couple to experience the bright lights, the hustle and the bustle as adults. I’m doing a whole lot better at declining invites to things that make me shudder and altogether avoiding situations that may lead to me having to engage in some social activity that wouldn’t be my idea of F-U-N.Focusing on the friendships that scream closeness rather than those relationships that scream surface.

#4. This was sort of a cheat when it came to me. I basically had all the same interests that I did as a child but wasn’t necessarily making them a priority, nor was I shouting from the roof tops about them.  How could I when Facebook and every f**king magazine I picked up was telling me I should be interested in wine bars, the Kardashians, wearing yoga pants just because and hitting the Starbucks drive-thru before I wasted my time trolling the pages of Facebook – GAG.

What it came down to, again, was an issue of self confidence, I needed the confidence to actually be okay with claiming my activities and interests. Going against the norm, had always been my forte so why should I be surprised that my norm was not so norm??? So I started making it the norm, seeking out those who shared my interests or who didn’t care if I loved coffee or wine, as long as I was not a serial killer.

#5.  I feel sort of funny about this one so I’ve decided to designate this intro task to a friend or my husband. Next time I’m out I’ll have my designated person introduce me in this way, I am a mom but NOT just a mom.

#6. One thing I did notice while in my time machine as I visited my college self was that I acted how I felt and felt how I acted. I would probably be described as free-spirit or bad-ass bitch as a 21 yea-old. Now, at this phase of my life,  doing so isn’t celebrated so much, I’m sure if I told a mom that i didn’t like her and I didn’t like her kid’s attitude, I wouldn’t be so cool. I’m pretty sure if I wore what I wanted no matter the venue or the event I may be kicked out. I’m positive the CPS may look into the upbringing of my children if I felt like “calling off” for the day, sleeping in, laying on the couch while I binge watched Project Runway or Law & Order ignoring all other breathing beings.

But I could Looking further into the details of #6 … ACT HOW YOU WANT TO FEEL. I wanted to feel fun, I wanted to feel genuine, I wanted to feel energetic I wanted to feel at peace. I started planning fun events with my loved ones and friends. I focused on reaching out whether in small or big ways to those that meant the most to me to be my most genuine self.  I started partaking in activities that gave me energy but also provided peace. I started taking care of ME (mind, body and spirit) which in turn made me feel how I wanted to.  The reflection is still in process, as long as I remind myself that rather than wishing I felt one way, why not act how I wanted to feel?

Now it’s your turn, who are you? Apply the 6 steps or even just one to find out. 

Who Arrrreee Y-O-U?? 6 Steps to Finding Out.

Who are you

You ask a girl in college who she is and she’ll be able to tell you. She’ll also be able to tell you who she’ll be in the future. Odds are if you find that same girl ten plus years later, she won’t be able to tell you who the hell she is or what the future holds for her. Take me for example. Jumping in my time machine and watching my 21 year-old self, I knew everything and had the confidence times ten of my present day self. I had a plan. I believed there were no life obstacles. I literally had the world serving me what I wanted on a silver platter for the taking.

Now, I’m not so sure . I’m well aware of who I used to be and pretty sure of who I want to grow up to be, but I’ll be the first to admit that I have no idea who I am supposed to be this exact moment.  I’m not alone in my feelings, it turns out the majority of women, especially moms, are in the same exact boat.

It’s all too confusing. Who arrrreee you??  As a mom I’m supposed to act one way. As a woman in her thirties I’m supposed to be interested in certain things. As a wife and stay at home mom I’m supposed to feel a certain way. But what happens when NONE of these guidelines within the handbook of woman, mom and wife doesn’t match the way I feel, act or take an interest in … am I an outcast? Am I “wrong” or possibly not fulfilling my full potential?

#1.  ASK. Ask yourself, ask your husband, ask your fiends, ask your relatives, ask your children. What stands out to them? What is one word that they would use to describe you?

#2.  TAKE A TIME MACHINE.  When did you feel at your best? Why? What was it that gave you that reassurance and confidence? To balance your knowledge, when did you feel your worst? What or who makes you feel less?

#3.  F-U-N. While in your time machine be sure to visit your carefree FUN self. What were you doing? Where were you? What were your hobbies that made you feel alive where clocks didn’t matter and consumed you?

#4.  TEST THE WATERS. Is it the same? Do you still enjoy the activities you found on your time travel? Or have your tastes changed? (I used to like shots of Tequila topped off with Tabasco, I’m pretty sure I don’t like those anymore.)

#5.  INTRODUCE YOURSELF. Studies have found that the majority of the population identify themselves with their title within employment. However when I say I’m a stay at home mom, there are many that are not parents that don’t understand what that career even is so … What do you do?  I learned from a fellow mom to follow up the SAHM thing with your hobbies or interests. For example I would say, “I write a blog and study yoga.” (Or A.K.A I share my feelings through written word for FREE and do weird movements while breathing rhythmically). You are a mom but NOT just a mom >> Spark that conversation.

#6. ACT HOW YOU WANT TO FEEL and ACT HOW YOU FEEL. Pretty simple steps >>> right?

How do these 6 steps work? Well, I am your guinea pig. I tested these 6 on myself and will post the suburban scientific findings in the next post of The Funny In Mommy!

 

Hot Mess.

hotmess

I wonder if when people see me they think “Uh-oh here comes that Hot Mess.” Seriously. I totally have issues getting out the door and even more so when I am out the door. I envy those women that are so incredibly put together. I think “Self –  what the fuck are you doing that you cannot get it together?”  I wonder if there is some “mighty momma” meeting I missed out on or a guidebook that they never handed out when I left the hospital with my first born?

I once had a mom tell me her 3 year old was reading at a 5 year old level while at the same exact moment one of my three year-olds licked left over peanut butter off the table >> I avoided eye contact with her after she made eye contact with him.

Hot Mess.

The other day my three year old daughter and I had a come to Jesus in the bathroom stall of the library during an argument about why she her tummy hurt and that she couldn’t hold her poop in that I’m pretty sure the entire lower level overheard and witnessed.

Hot Mess.

The Monday, during my yoga class God conveniently placed me next to a twenty something blonde in matching athletic garb from head to toe as I wore a “Bieber Fever ” tee with my unwashed hair slicked to my head from leftover dry shampoo and the bottoms of my feet slightly gray from the lack of shoes I wore outside that morning as I yelled at my kids to stop throwing tennis balls against the side of the house.

Hot Mess.

Our eldest dog, though he is neutered, humps every visitor we have, from our babysitter to our Pastor to our cleaning people. A 7 lb little humping white fur ball, yep, he belongs to us. Our other dog can smell the carcass of a dead animal from 3 miles away and brings it back across the neighborhood to our front yard EACH and EVERY time with a limb of some sort hanging out of his mouth as cars drive by staring in wonder.

Hot Mess.

During the warm weather last week my savage children played outside as I made dinner. As I peeked through the window to check on them, my kids had decided to create a small mudd pool next to our driveway and now had our 80 year-old neighbor in a conversation about the pool as they smeared dark brown sludge across their faces while asking her if she would like some as they held up sticks with the goop hanging in gobs off the ends.

Hot Mess.

My daughter wears only pink and refuses to wear her hair up no matter the bed head catastrophe it is. My youngest son wears only the same two outfits day after day. My eldest thinks most adults are below his intelligence and speaks to them as if he were Einstein.

Hot Mess.

Today at preschool drop-off most moms looked as if they rolled out of a j. crew ad while I looked like I rolled out of a TMZ ad while my children portrayed all traits that Dr.Oz warns against.

Hot Mess. And this is only a fraction of a recap of this week … of the PG rated stuff.

I try to analyze at what point did I make the switch from sane to lunatic mom/wife. I often find myself rambling to other customers in line about TMI subjects or running through a parking lot after my children as I scream “PUT YOUR HAND ON THE VAN! YOU’RE GOING TO GET HIT BY A CAR!!” or looking around the gym at all the cute yoga pants and sporty tanks while catching my own reflection in the mirror of possibly a homeless person that they let into the gym for a free membership day. Sane or lunatic? Hot mess or lucky lady?

I woke up and there was a rainbow sticker on the toilet seat this morning. Oh the irony. I’m not sure what God wanted me to know as I put my ass on a rainbow. Was it a metaphor to let me know that my ass was on a rainbow with the life I am leading? Perhaps. When I bare it all, removing all the razzle dazzle, To Do lists and extra stuff (just like the naked cheeks of a butt) I am very lucky (hence the rainbow) with all that I have.

All-Star Celebrity Status.

Brax1 brax2 brax3 brax4

6 years on the job.

Tomorrow marks my 6th anniversary as a mother. Also known as the 6th birthday of my eldest, but don’t tell him that as he assumes that April 27th is all about him (which basically it is). But six years ago I left the corporate world. I left behind the office. I left behind the deadlines. I left behind a chapter in me life while I entered a whole new chapter that I would be living the rest of my life. I became a mother, and as a mother it’s a job that is listed on your resume as PRESENT for the rest of eternity.

I am Braxton’s mom. I am cool but uncool all at one time. I am warm and demanding. I suck at life one minute, but the next I am like a celebrity in his eyes. I sacrificed hours of sleep and my boobs in order to breastfeed. I carried him nine days late and have been quick to carry him when he needs me now. I spent hours watching him breathe to make sure he was okay. I wiped his butt and was even peed on.  I taught him to walk, to hold a crayon, the alphabet, how to write his name, to count and right from wrong. I was there during questions of God and death. I was there during questions of monsters and falling in love. I was there during tantrums, fits, hugs and kisses. I was there during stitches, puking and coughs. I’ve been present at EVERY doctor visit whether well or sick. I’ve never missed a school performance or an at home milestone. I’m teaching him to tie his shoes now. We are solving math problems and completing book reports. We are engaging in discussion on Charlotte’s Web. I’m introducing him to foods that are grown-up like lobster and steak. I’ve even brainwashed him into being my television partner for Cake Wars and Food Network Baking Championship.

My boss of six years breaks my heart and fills it with joy each every day. My boss pays me in kisses and in slamming doors on my face. He measures my performance on how well I remember his favorite foods, colors, sports, Pokemon characters and the names of his friends. My raise is based on my ability to change my voice while impersonating characters while I read a book or if I let him have the cereal he really wants. He has been my best friend and enemy within the same hour. I am the love of his life but one day he will leave me for another woman. My boss is one of my greatest accomplishments. My job is my greatest fear, love, pain, enjoyment and a million other adjectives and feelings.

I’m a motherf**king all-star when it comes to this job. As I look at this little six-year old miniature man today I know that I am killing it in this industry of MOTHERHOOD. When I take in all that he is, all that he has become and all that I know he has in his future, I’m rolling in billions.

I’m a motherf**king all-star when it comes to this job. What’s even better is that my boss will be the first to tell you that I am🙂

 

Spring BREAK

spring-break

The possibility of becoming wrapped up in the To Do Lists of life is a topic I often write about. This article happens to revisit that subject again. Surprise, surprise.  But just like everyone else I need a reminder.  Habits are hard to break. And that damn To Do List is a drug that I can’t seem to fully detox from.

The month of March did not disappoint when it came to the phrase “in like a lion, out like a lamb”. Holy shit. The first 19 days of March were a chaotic frenzy of scheduled classes and events. Though I had seen my family it was as if I hadn’t seen them. Though I was slipping in between the sheets each night it was as if I hadn’t slept. I went into each week hating Monday and hating Friday along with everything in between. It wasn’t until a divine intervention in the form of a wet nasty cough came into play on a Saturday morning. Cue bronchitis diagnosis on all three children not to mention a cold for mommy and daddy as well.

Swim lessons were cancelled. Karate belts were left unworn. Yoga classes were missed. Preschool and Kindergarten were issued absent calls. Tutus weren’t even attempted. The week prior to spring break was one long series of endless days of sick kids and exhausted parents. I sat with my little ones sprawled across my lap. We read mounds of books filled with fiction and talking animals. Plenty of odd characters and colors filled the television screen. The time spent indoors during recuperation, though snot filled and echoed with coughs, was a time of bonding, a time for retreat and not to mention gave me time to clean every inch of the house. The only problem was that we were leaving for Texas at the end of the week to start spring break at Nana and Papa’s house. It was clear we needed the helping hand of a doctor. Two days before we were scheduled to board a plane we wiggled our way into the pediatrician’s office on a sick visit. All three kids were checked head to toe, all three leaving with the same diagnosis. Bronchitis. All three with prescriptions to ease their breathing and help their little frames to stop coughing.

Fast forward to the plane ride. To make traveling with three year-old twins and a five year-old bossy brother even better, my ear tube popped causing a domino affect of pain and sinus problems leading to an infection and visit to the Urgent Care – woo-hoo!  Long story short, I literally broke on spring break.

Breaking forced me to fully embrace the break part of spring break. It helped to be surrounded by family day and night. I went to bed early and slept in late. I sat by the pool and ate apple pie (that GASP wasn’t Paleo – it was homemade by the gals behind the grocery store bakery counter). I didn’t cook dinner once and laid in bed watching Law and Order more than once. I forgot about makeup and wore a hat rather than brushing my hair. Rest. A true break from reality. I welcomed it and so did my kids. They skipped naps, stayed up late, swam all day and ate fists full of candy and squished fries into their little cheeks. They followed on the heels of their older cousins and ignored mommy altogether.

As we littered around the living room after filling our bellies with Easter goodies. We rambled on about this and that, leading to the talk about taking a walk. My brother in-law’s dad responded “I don’t walk on Sundays, it’s a day of rest.”  So simple yet so brilliant. A day of rest. When was the last time that i had a day of rest? When was the last time that I felt like it was okay to rest. March had proved that I could do it ALL, but it also proved that I shouldn’t do it. It also made it clear that days of rest were need for those small and not so small. So why is it that we feel like we MUST do it all? That we should wear all hats and not just one. That being well-rounded with a full schedule is far better than being down to earth and grounded with a lack of schedule.

With the taste of rest that spring break provided, I welcome summer. Not only for its sunny bright days but also its lack of schedules. Lack of structure and more freedom to promote creativity and imagination.  Long days filled with independence, dirty hands and tanned skin.   Far from being useless, resting play is the food that feeds the soul that drives healthy development for the young and the old(er). I invite the productive-lazy days of June, July and August. Months of exploration of not only nature but also the interests of my three wee ones, my own and my husband.

With less than 2 months before the last school bell rings to mark the start of summer, my family is gearing up for those warm days by not only planning but also breaking into restful play days. The bikes are out, sidewalk chalk litters the yard and our hands have already planted the first greens of our makeshift garden. We’ve ditched going home right after school for the play ground or the backyard.  Our days are filled with more freedom and play rather than lessons, structure, treadmills and rules.  I may not be throwing my bikini top off a stage or getting drunk at noon on a beach but I’ll be throwing caution to the wind and getting drunk on the freedom that summer has to offer. You get drunk too …