Hot Mess.


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


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 …


Recognition by a perfectionist …

Brooke Halperin Low Res30

I’ve been thinking about becoming famous.  I’m thinking that it may be a good idea to do something, invent something or create something that would bring me to celebrity status. As a mom who doesn’t shower on a regular basis or hasn’t stayed up past midnight in years (without a child puking as the main event) it’s hard to not want to be a celebrity, I think about the money, the parties, the vacations, the spa days, the clothing, the personal trainers … it’s hard to not get swept up and in the glitz and glamour of it all.

As of lately, I find myself drawn to this idea even more.  In fact, I’ve had vivid dreams of reaching my day-dream status.  Instead of reading something that won a Pulitzer Prize I dive into the latest blogs and articles covering the gorgeous and famous. Did I mention that Oscar night is like my very own version of Christmas morning? So what gives? Why the sudden emphasis and desire of public attention, this focus on bling?

Like the rest of the world, I looked for answers to my questions in the all-knowing Google. According to the articles within it’s not a desire to be in the public eye or a love for money, it’s actually the longing for recognition.

Ah-ha! Now this makes sense! Recognition for what moms do on a daily basis is far and in between. I find myself reminding my kids to say please and thank you at least a million times per day. My dogs could care less if they give me some love to show they realize they would starve and barely survive without me.  I’m not alone in my feelings. According to my placement in Generation Y, it turns out more than 50% of those born between the 80’s and 2000 long for a status of rich or famous.

So which is it? My longing for recognition for all I do or is it my Gen-Y birthday??? Google has no feedback and Bing has no idea. Unfortunately, it turns out the only person that can answer this question is ME. Cue pity violin for ME.

Looking within, it may be that I cannot give my own self recognition. It’s hard to recognize the things I do and accomplish on a daily basis without focusing on what I feel I could have done or accomplished. It’s hard for me to see what I have right in front me when it’s so easy to see what I want in the glossy pages of a magazine. I blame my lack of self-confidence too. It’s easy to be conned into the words and images depicted across the pages of my magazines, within the clicks of my inbox and the screen of my television. If only I did that, looked like that or had that I would be perfect. Damn you perfectionist, damn you.

Recognition by a perfectionist …

For me the solutions to life’s questions or what may be ailing my soul can be found in words. For me the words spoken by another or those I read in a book are similar to the comfort found in the warm arms of a hug from my mom. Words in all forms seem to bring a sense of calm over my crazy. So when I came across the following words without even really searching for them, my celebrity fantasies came to mind …

If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. But those who want to get rich, fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction.  (Mind you this is a biblical verse which I usually tend to stay away from in my own writing but when I came across Timothy 6:9 in not the bible but a Google search, biblical or not it spoke to me.)  To me the word “rich” is equal to famous so YES this makes sense, YES this was the end result of these so-called desires I’ve been having. Timothy knew what he was talking about, even though he may not have had a stay at home mom in the age of Facebook in mind when he uttered these words. My materialistic desires and fancy celebrity daydreams had become a snare, a trap set for my own good fortunes.  Rather than seeing all that is awesome in my own life, those desires fueled by my own lack of recognition for what I do and the woman who I am were ruining and destroying all the good. Because when I pull back the curtain of “the grass is greener” and look through the eyes of gratitude all I have around me is all that I truly need.  All that is around me is perfect in it’s own imperfect way. 

Recognition by a perfectionist …

Taking a cue from Timothy, I focus hard on the present and on my own “green grass”. What do I find? I relish in the love of my devoted husband and treasure the sticky hearts and hands of my small children. I am famous in my own little celebrity world where this blog is my writing outlet and grabs the attention of more and more readers with each article posted. The MOPS group I created that has opened the door to a whole new world to so many mothers. The volunteer work I do. The tiny human beings I raise. The thought and care I put into my actions as a daughter and a friend.  The mundane but necessary work I put in as a homemaker, mother and wife does all matter. I may not be recognized for it all on the front cover of US Weekly, but until I come to recognize it on my own, it wouldn’t matter if I was on the front cover of every magazine in the checkout line of Target.

Recognition by a perfectionist …


  1. Reflect on your What I Did Today List, rather than what is not crossed off on your To-Do List.
  2. Think about who you cared for today … whether it be an ailing parents, a newborn, your high school age daughter, your new husband or your loyal dog. To that one being you mean the world!
  3. Did you flex your talent muscle today? If you’re good with numbers or words, did you jot some down? A great baker or fabulous cook, were you in the kitchen today? Amazing singer or instrument player, did you hum a tune or strike a note? The list goes on …
  4. Think of your body in regards to senses not just looks. Engage in smelling, seeing, touching, tasting and hearing while being grateful for all those abilities to experience this brilliant life. Go a step further and thank the body that holds all those pieces of sensory together.





Potty Mouths and Butt Tag.


I’m worried that I may have some sort of amnesia. It seems that I have forgotten that at some point I taught my three small children the words poop, pee, butt, eww and pee-pee and that while I taught them I laughed hysterically at the use of the words.

Apparently at some point I must have squatted over a basket while also pretending it to be a potty. Along with these incidents I had at one time pulled down my pants baring my ass cheeks while I cupped them in both hands wiggling my buttocks back and forth while humming. I mean I MUST HAVE because my children are constantly engaging in this behavior and where else could they have learned it???

I’m confused as to when my three soft and adorable babies became tiny adults using phrases like “Eww, look at your butt” and turning every ordinary object into a pretend potty.

The more I thought about it the more I realized I do not have amnesia. Rather, I blame the evilness that is Kindergarten. In analyzing where the birth of such language and fascination of bowel movements started I recall an incident in September when my son’s teacher pulled me aside after school to inform me that my sweet first born boy had been engaging in potty talk with some of his friends during class. HOW COULD THIS BE??? My angel? My little boy who I read to nightly and listened to classical music while he incubated in my belly?!!?? Yes, true story, my son had become a potty mouth.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is where it all started. Like a plague the use of such words and play spread like wildfire from my eldest to my youngest. I could physically see with my own two eyes the bright light and gleaming glee that came from the eye sockets of my younger son as he heard the word butt used by his older brother. It was as if a light-bulb had been switched on in some dormant part of his brain producing a euphoria that he could not and would not ignore. When my sweet little girl was ordained into this butt and potty mouth fraternity, she cooperated and followed like a first class potty word slinging soldier. Soon all three were taking the gift of potty words and running with it. What followed was a progression from shaking butts, to making butts talk to dropping their pants at passing cars. The words had taken on actions and a mind of their own.

It gets worse. Now we have hit a whole new level of low. A low where their mother, yes me, stooped as low as her children in attempt to stop the butt shaking, ass tagging, potty mouth insanity. Let me paint a picture of this new low for you:

I’m in the bathroom trying to look presentable when I hear the potty words begin as my three lovely offspring play with different action figures in a KidsKraft Firehouse. In my first attempt to stop the spread of the words any further I yell from the bathroom to knock it off. About one eye shadow swipe and a brush of the hair later and I hear, “Hurry! Throw the toilet out the window! Oh no he’s pooping everywhere!” “Put the fire out with the pee!” Now I leave the bathroom and enter into the living room to make it clear i’m not messing around. Now I’m standing in front of them telling them that they know better and aren’t to use those words and that I can hear them. They all promise to stop. I head to the bedroom to throw some clothes on.

Now as I pull my shirt over my head I can hear the muffled words, “Throw the garbage can out the window! Look at his naked butt, he’s shaking his butt out the window and has no where to pee!” Now with only a shirt and underwear on I storm down the hallway for my third attempt to quiet their potty mouths. As I turn the corner they are already looking in my direction and before I can say my peace my youngest son points at me and loudly exclaims “Eww! Mommy’s underwear! Look at her butt!” Now I had become the butt of their butt jokes. That’s when the low came into play as I exclaimed back, “If you guys like poop and pee so much that is what I’m serving for breakfast, lunch and dinner from now on. If that’s the language you want to use and be potty mouths then that is what I will feed your potty mouths!” As their eyes grew wide and their potty mouths dropped open at the possibility of such a reality I knew I had struck a cord. Apologies were fast and needless to say I finished dressing in peace only hearing that the firemen were saving babies and climbing ladders like normal non-urinating rescue workers would be doing.

Unfortunately, my scare didn’t take as permanently as I would have hoped.  The following day I watched my youngest son run naked through our kitchen while his older brother ran after him trying to swat his naked tush while yelling “BUTT TAG!” It appears that in using their language I had only stooped to their level rather than raising them from it.

Moving forward, I will be claiming my original claim of amnesia. Don’t be surprised if you see me pant-less at Target, but at least you’ll know why.

Passion doesn’t age. Tap that …

As I was leading an open table discussion during a MOPS meeting, the topic of mothers knowing who “they were” once their children left the nest came up. It was only a point of topic for a brief moment in the larger scheme of our conversation on friendship. It was one that we all knew was important but had yet to fully dive into as to why and how.  A few days later the topic came back to mind as I waited for my daughter’s dance class to begin.  On the flat screens displayed on the walls I watch two women in their late fifties fully enthralled in a tap class. Tap shoes slapping the grown as their voluptuous bodies and boobs bounced with each step they took across the floor. It was freaking awesome to watch. Thinking,why the hell not? I commend those ladies for living out their passions and diving into their interests. These women knew what they liked, in turn they knew their selves. Tap on ladies, tap on!

Knowing ourselves. Living out our dreams or feeding our curiosities. Whether it be in the form of an adult dance class, writing a blog, running a race or even fully emerging oneself into a season of “The Bachelorette”.  Taking part in an expression where we are caring for the person we are, not worrying about the type of mother we are.

“Tap on!”

I don’t question what I will do with my time or my thoughts when Erik and I have an empty nest.  I tend to plan for it on a daily basis.

“Tap on!”

Putting myself in the shoes of my children, I try to imagine what they see when they look at me – not physically but as a person with interests.  I want to write books. I want to visit different cities and experience other cultures. I want to taste exotic foods. I want to cook difficult recipes and create amazing cakes. I want to start each day with a yoga class. I want to help others when they feel as if they have lost their way. I want to dive into the pages of the book to venture through the minds of other dreamers. I want to conquer so much while experiencing the brilliance that everyday life has to offers. Who says I can’t just because I’m a mom?

“Tap on!”

As a perfectionist it’s easy to get lost in the ideal outcome of my goals. Even easier to not acknowledge the milestones I hit and surpass. Taking a moment to acknowledge the efforts and time I put into my passions and interests today, I realize that I’m living out all that I want to do. I may not be making fists full of cash in the writing I do but I’m writing. I may not be taking classes from Dali Lama but I’m making it to my mat at least three times a week. I’m seeing new things and tasting new foods. I’m experiencing fresh ideas and technology through the eyes of my children. I’m learning and growing each and every day as a mother, a wife, a leader and a friend. Though they may be small acts and tasks, they be mighty. I have faith that it’s all preparation for the time when my little ones will push off and fly on their own. I’ll always be their mom but when I’m alone with my thoughts and my time, I’ll know exactly the direction that I will take and how to transform baby steps into long legged leaps.

“Tap on!”

The only way we end up failing as mothers isn’t by the acts that we do or the dreams that we follow, but rather the ones that we don’t do and that we don’t follow. A person will never meet their full potential if they don’t try reaching for it at all.

Be brave and “tap on”. Passions, interests, hobbies, dreams and goals never age they only grow wiser and more precise.




Mom Anger … the struggle is real.

I’m a natural-born control freak. I’m a mom of three. The words control and kids are not two that tend to blend well.  The combination of these two means I get angry a lot.

I get angry when I can’t go to the gym when my kids are sick.

I get angry when no one eats the dinner I made with complains of being hungry an hour later.

I get angry when it feels as there is constant squabbling in the first hour of my little ones emerging from their beds.

I get angry when I just want to watch a television show with guns and sex for entertainment but can’t.

I get angry when I have the flu but no one cares.

I get angry when I just want to eat a meal in peace rather than be asked for something every time I attempt to put a fork to my lips.

I get angry when all I want to do is read a book in silence for 10 minutes.

I get angry when I just want to take a shower but everyone needs to poop all at one time.

I get angry when i want to eat a piece of chocolate without hiding in a pantry or separate room.

I get angry when babysitters cancel last minute.

I get angry when I want to leave the house without it taking 30 minutes to get everyone out the door.

I get angry when everyone has clean clothes and I can’t find a pair of socks for myself.

I get angry when other moms say that they never get angry. I get angry when getting angry as a mom is taboo. Getting angry is part of the job of a mom, how you handle that anger is another factor in the equation. I have no fear of my anger, no shame either. I face my anger straight on, I accept it and recognize it. I express it to my spouse, my mom and my friends. As a MOPS Coordinator I share it with my members to let them know they are not alone in their anger. “Mom anger” isn’t just for control freaks, it’s a reality for all moms. Rather than denying that it exists, I embrace it, I deal with it and I use it to motivate happiness and solutions to bad days and terrible mommy moments. Without anger you can’t have happy. Deal with the anger to get to the happy.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words …

2016-03-16 16.13.01

My eldest drew me a picture. Not just any picture but a picture of our “home”, our home through his mind’s eye. A picture worth a thousand words, if not even more.

So what thousand words is this picture worth?  Let’s proceed through the Halperin Chateau…

First, my growing artist drew and labeled an X-Box. We do not own an X-Box nor has he ever played on one. I’m not sure where he saw the spelling, but apparently he feels that we need one from its high placement on the top of the home diagram. I suppose the snap shot is balanced by the incredibly large and full book shelf in the same room (his bedroom) as the X-Box. However, I am surprised by the lack of Legos to be found.

A picture worth a thousand words.

As we move through the “house” we enter my daughter’s room on the top right. Here we see her in a crib, as she sings “A-A-A-A” very loudly … according to my son, the creator. This is a true statement. The girl is always singing or talking or yelling or screaming very VERY loudly.  I ask my self on a daily basis if this is a girl characteristic as my sons don’t hold the same desire to be like a squawking bird 24/7.

A picture worth a thousand words,

Moving towards the second level of the home my husband and I are pictured.  Dad with a very large head, which I completely understand in a figurative way and Mom with a small head. My first born has me saying “YOU”. When I asked him why he pointed me in the room to the right of Dad and Mom. In the adjoining room is my youngest son. My little trouble maker can be seen in his crib “shaking his butt” saying “Mmmm”. This is also a true statement. For months we have been blessed with the struggle of the word butt and our middle child. He is constantly using the word, thinking it’s the funniest four letters in the human language. I grew tired of the word after the very first day he used it. I grew even more tiresome when he started dropping his pants and shaking his bare bottom at cars as they passed by our floor to ceiling windows in the living room. A constant battle that I seem to be losing daily. And yes, I am usually reprimanding him with an array of remarks that being with the word “You”.

A picture worth a thousand words,

Finally, located in the playroom (where the illustrator never can actually be found alone because he believes this room to be “scary” when entered on his own) is my son, the artist.  I’m happy to see that he understands that having a rug is important enough to be labeled, as are “Toys” and “TV”.  I find it humorous that the television is on since there more of a chance of me taking a shower by myself than that television has a chance of being turned on. I’m pretty sure this is a plea to watch more TV. Also, (again) we the viewers are faced with another snap shot of a typical household battle … seen in my son’s dialogue bubble are the words “oh my god”. A daily struggle between parent and son is hashed out over these words regularly. He uses them when out of my view but has yet to realize that as his mother I hear EVERYTHING. What is even more puzzling is the fact that whenever his brother or sister use the phrase he is quick to reprimand. Though I would have rather avoided having ANOTHER conversation around the use I asked him why he  used the phrase which he responded with “My brother and sister were annoying me.” What could I say? I couldn’t argue with the kid, the endless shaking of the butt and the loud singing can even be daunting to an almost six-year-old.  Then in closing his case, he told me that he only drew the words, he did NOT say them. Well played son, well-played.

A picture worth a thousand words,

So here live the Halperins, amongst the TV and rug. What makes me happy is that we are all together. What’s important  is that each of us are pictured smiling. What brings a smile to my face is that mommy and daddy are holding hands and “kissing”.  According to the Polaroid produced from my little man’s ever clever mind, the Halperin family pretty much has it together. No matter who may dropping their pants, shaking their butts, singing loudly (when they should be napping) or when un-approved phrases and imaginary electronics make it into a family portrait. The Halperins have it together … somewhat.

A picture worth a thousand words,


Parenting Pop-Quiz


Since the birth of my twins I’ve been receiving somewhat of a pop quiz from the Texas Twin Project (my babies are TX born).  An assortment of questions ranging from what my little ones eat to when I read them stories to how I handle stress when I am in their presence. The questionnaires have been popping into my inbox every six months. Usually around 30 pages long and containing what feels like a million questions.

A parenting pop-quiz.

Truth be told I look forward to these pop quizzes. They keep me in line. They demand that I stop and take a deep long look at my skill set as a mommy. Filled with questions that ask me how I am treating my children as a whole and individually. I answer the questions with complete honesty. Thinking over my interactions with my minions. Analyzing the last six months of bed times, meals, arguments, hugs, games, books and struggles. Was I right? Was I wrong? They even ask if I think that I need improvement in my skills as a parent. Well, mommy do you????

A parenting pop-quiz.

Though just a simple email, just a series of questions, a click of a mouse and clatter of computer keys. Simple tasks that mean so much more within my mommy self. A parenting pop-quiz that makes me answer uncomfortable questions while confronting the struggles I face as a wife and woman who is a mother of three.  Why do I react to each twin differently? Why do I yell on bad days? How can I laugh more? Emphasize the good I am doing rather focusing on the bad I wish I would stop doing.

A parenting pop-quiz.

In fact, I like this questionnaire so much that I wish I received the same one in regards to my first born. Making me check-in with who I am as his mother. How I interact with my little man. How my mini-me is growing with me by his side. Though I am not receiving any formal questionnaire when it comes to my eldest, the one that hits my inbox every six months makes me create somewhat of an informal check-list and quiz within my mommy brain, taking in to account the words I’ve said and the actions I’ve taken when it comes to my little boy. My own version of a parenting pop-quiz.

A parenting pop-quiz. Holding me accountable for holding one of the most important titles in the world: Mommy. The brilliant minds behind the questionnaire never send me any results or data quantifying how great or bad of a mommy I am. They don’t need to. The questions they ask are enough. The reminder each six months gives me a reality check, gets me interested in the mom I am and the way my children are being cared for. I would say with each day my grade is different. Sometimes I am an A+ and other days I probably deserve a big fat F. Some days I’m a cool C+ being an average mommy, but other days I’m above average with a B+ or an A- after scoring big with no tears, easy school drop-offs, crafts executed with Pinterest quality and five star home cooked meals.

A parenting pop-quiz.

Have you taken your parenting pop-quiz this month??? What grade would you give yourself? How would you improve your scores?




A little over a week ago I was presented with a figure … 81%.

Eighty-one percent.

That’s the percentage of time that we spend involved in activities  NOT present. Not mindfully living the moment. That means we are somewhere else in our minds, whether that be in the past or in the future, rather than in the present. We are thinking of something that happened or predicting something that will. Not giving our complete selves to the person and/or activity we are engaged in at that exact moment.

I can only wonder if this number is behind the increased divorce rate. Or behind the lack of committed relationships and actions we all exhibit. Our minds and thoughts being pulled in a million directions by the pings of emails, texts, Facebook alerts and the technology of our world.

Yoga has taught me so much about being in the present moment but I have to admit that though I am focused on the moment in class and mindfully living out each pose, it’s difficult to extend that mindfulness into my daily life. Especially when it comes to my marriage.

Inside the walls of my marriage I take the “mindful time” opportunities we have for granted. Like many couples in the throes of raising little people, we find ourselves talking about the events of our children’s day or planning out the events of the following day to meet their needs as parents. Then the other part of our time is dispersed among chores, work, bills and then zoning out after our greatest treasures are fast asleep.

I don’t want to be part of that 81% statistic and I certainly don’t want my marriage to be within the grasps of that number either. In order to escape the villain of 81, I searched my mind for mindful moments, to identify and understand them in order to make sure I acknowledge those moments as they come to play out in my present moments before they passed by without a mindful thought.

The evening of Valentine’s Day we put the kids to bed and found ourselves on the couch just talking. Not watching the latest Netflix documentary. Not checking off the DVR list. Not a Smartphone in hand or a laptop on a lap. Just us, just talking. Mindfully talking, completely in the present. Before we knew it two hours had passed feeling like an instant. For me, such a talk is equivalent to a diamond ring. I’m a planner, a person with so many ideas filling the nooks and crannies of my brain. Sharing all these thoughts with the man I vowed my life to, makes me feel complete and cared for.

The act of teaching lead to another opportunity where I found ourselves immersed in the present moment. Completely focused on one another, my husband recently gave me my first tennis lesson. To be taught such a craft, the teacher and the student need to be in sync. My husband needed to be focused on my needs and my body movements just as I needed to be focused on his words and his movements. Being focused mindfully in the present lead to an encounter that was loving and tender.

I love the gym. I especially love the gym childcare. But I really love it all when I find myself in the lounge with my husband, just talking. Just he and I, coffee cup in hand. No televisions to be watched, no phones pinging away, no children competing for attention.  Our attention mindfully on one another as we talk about everything and anything … mindfully.

I’m grateful for the fact that I’m lucky enough to have my husband home for lunch and dinner most days of the week. When we sit across from one another, talking about the day. Or rolling our eyes at the dramatic tendencies of our children.  Or laughing at the weirdness and innocence of our household. Or sharing in the stress of whiny children who seem to be able to get along with everyone BUT their siblings while asking for a glass of milk or seconds each time we raise our own forks to our lips.  Eating our meals, not so mindful of our food, but definitely mindful of one another.

81% is just too much of life to let it go by quickly and without full acknowledgement.

I need to make my mindful presence in my marriage more often.  Rather than waiting for the moments we are alone I need to start taking advantages of the opportunities that pop up on a regular basis. As hard as it may be when children are screaming or dogs are scrambling under our feet. We vowed through richer or poorer in sickness and health and well past death do us part, so why not live all these vowed moments, good and bad completely mindfully.

How will you spend your 81%?