Frankie Says Relax

I’m sitting here watching my daughters play outside with their friends. Its a cool, rainy day but they don’t care. They bundle themselves up and forge on outside.

CJ is upstairs painting our bedroom. Sandy is sleeping on the couch next to me.

What am I doing? Racking my brain trying to think of something productive to do.

I’ve already gone to the grocery store, done several loads of laundry, unloaded the dishwasher, planned meals for the week, sketched out ideas for the bedroom that CJ is painting and read 2 articles for a class I’m taking.

All before 3:00.

But now what? I really need to pack my bag for work tomorrow. And there are a ton of boxes downstairs to go through. However, both of those options would require me being on a different floor as the play group and I really don’t want to leave them alone, unsupervised.

Part of me says, hey, just sit and relax. Read a book! Watch TV! Play a game on your phone!

Another part of me feels guilty for that. Like I’m not contributing if I’m not actively doing something for the greater good of the house and family.

I’ve struggled with this problem for years. The inability to relax and “do nothing”. Even in situations where it’s my job to relax (i.e. during a massage), I can’t do it. I can’t tell you how many times this has happened at a chiropractic appointment:

Doc: OK now relax your arm.

Me: Yep, I am.

Doc: No you’re not. Your muscle is engaged. Take a deep breath and just relax that muscle.

Me: OK, done.

Doc: *sigh* Um, no. As he let’s go of my arm and I’m still holding it up.

Sometimes I look at this one and envy her.

Sandy, like all dogs, never has trouble taking it easy. She can sleep anywhere, anytime.

In some ways I think a lot of women face this same struggle. We try to be everything to everyone which means we are always moving and going. If we stop for too long, someone or something will suffer.

Men never seem to be plagued by this.

I have to remember though that the more I push myself, the more I wear down. Relaxation is good for me. And what’s good for me is good for everyone in my family.

So now that I’ve spent half an hour writing and editing this post, I think it’s time to publish and then sit and read a book with a hot cup of tea.




Hero. For such a little word it sure has a lot of meaning. When you label someone a hero, it’s kind of a big deal.

And then, as if being a hero wasn’t big enough, we also have the next level up which are super heroes. I am personally a big fan of one super hero in particular.

Yet being a hero doesn’t have to be such a status symbol or echelon event. We can be a hero to someone just by paying for their coffee if they’re low on money. Or sending a card to say “I’m thinking of you” when you know they had a shitty day. How about standing up for them when no one else will.

Or buying them a donut because you know they really want one and would eat it if someone gave it to them but would not buy it themselves.

Ok maybe that last one is just my idea of a hero.

I used to think a hero was someone who literally saved lives. Now I’d be cool with someone who just saved me a seat in a crowded room.

Isabella was asked to do a writing assignment about a hero. She had to include a main idea, 3 details, and a concluding sentence. Of course because she’s my daughter she did extra credit and added 2 extra details.

Here’s what she wrote:

My mom is a hero. Do you want to know why? If not, stop reading.

She is pretty. She gets her hair colored. Dad says she is beautiful. Every time she gets a haircut Cora says, “You look pretty.”

She is fun. She plays lots of games. She will play almost anything. She plays games on TV.

She is daring. She does the Polar Plunge. She does lots of scary stuff. She does belly flops in the water sometimes.

She is strict. Sometimes she yells. One time she took away my toys. She makes us follow so many rules.

She is nice. She bought us angel food cake. She gets us toys. She smiles a lot.

So now I’ve told you all about how my mom is a hero (if you read it).

See. All you need to be a hero is pretty, fun, daring, strict, and nice. Its achievable yet also enough criteria to weed out the posers.

Also, I don’t know where she got the belly flop thing because I never jump in the water….I’m afraid of water. Can a hero be a hero and still be afraid of water? I feel like that in and of itself shouldn’t disqualify me. I just won’t be the kind of hero to save you if you’re drowning.

What is a hero to you? Who is a hero in your life? Have you told them? Maybe you should. I guarantee they’ll feel pretty special.

Now let’s go talk about it over angel food cake. I’ll buy!

Silly Little Sentences


Isabella: Cora, think of something to ask Google.

Cora: Shamrock paper.

Isabella: No, it has to be a question.

Cora: Shamrock paper!

Isabella: A question! But not something like when are mom or dad going to die. Google’s not a doctor….


Dad, can I call you mom for short?


Let’s sit at the table and talk about Smores. Maybe that will get mom and dad interested.


Mom, I love little cakes. They taste like heaven. Unless they use poop as an artificial ingredient. Who wants poop with sprinkles?

I love those 2 silly girls!!


The other night as I was making dinner and Isabella was doing homework, she casually said, “Mom, did you know that on YouTube they have videos of naked people having sex?”

Well that was not the conversation I was expecting to have on a random Monday night in March.

In my head I’m thinking, “Yes of course I know that! It’s called porn! There’s all kinds of porn out there.” Then I switch to, “Wait a minute, how do you know this? Did someone tell you? Have you seen it? What exactly did you see?” And from there, “What should I say? Do I acknowledge it? Do I brush it off? Is this a teaching moment or a funny ‘remember when Isabella brought up porn’ moment? “

Turns out that with kids, if you wait long enough, you don’t have to do anything and they’ll just keep going.

“Why would anyone want to see naked people having sex? That’s like so gross. I don’t even like to see you and Dad kissing.”

And there it is. The sweet innocence of youth. For her it’s not about political or societal taboos or what’s right and wrong or even an intrigue into something much older than her. To her it’s giggle worthy and on the same grossness level as puke or salad.

We’ve tried hard to keep our kids innocent for as long as possible (though we can’t plan for everything). They don’t watch violent movies or overly romantic shows. We don’t talk about very adult topics in front of them (little pitchers have big ears!). We even have a code word for sex – Cheetos [You know, if I want to hint to CJ that I’m in the mood, I’ll say, “Hey, want to have Cheetos later?” It’s worked pretty well. Neither one of them has caught on to the fact that sometimes mom and dad eat Cheetos in their room late at night after they’ve gone to bed].

Rabbit hole: at work we have many different systems and each of those systems has their own release schedule. They also all have their own release names. One team names their releases after Super Heroes. Another has gone with Pokemon characters. Yet another one was using natural disasters for a while until they realized how depressing it was to say “The Chernoble release is scheduled for next month”. Well, the manager of one of those systems sits next to me and their releases are named after comfort foods. So they had the Cheetos release a few months ago. I tell ya what, it was an interesting day for me when I heard her say on a call, “Yep, that one goes in Cheetos….Well Cheetos is on schedule right now but can be moved to later if need be….Let’s keep that in there because I’d rather go with Cheetos than Mashed Potatoes”.

Where was I? Oh yeah, protecting the innocence of our kids.

Isabella then added, “My friend at school told me about it. She watched it.”

It’s disturbing that a 9 year old has watched porn already. However, I remember being in grade school (6th grade maybe?) and finding my friend’s dad’s stash of Playboys. We were fascinated by both what was inside and also by the fact that we’d found something secret and forbidden. It was naughty in an exciting way. Back then, this kind of stuff wasn’t as readily accessible as it is today which made it that much more exhilerating.

Isabella then changed the subject and moved on. I was spared from having to really do much of anything. All I said was, “I don’t want you watching any of those videos so if you’re with a friend and they want to watch it, you need to say no and tell a parent.”

She nodded in a way that indicates that would be the only logical thing to do and continued about her homework.

Meanwhile I was left with a lot to think about. And suddenly with a craving for Cheetos.

Interview with Cora

A few weeks ago I did an Interview with Isabella. Now it’s Cora’s turn!

Miss Cora will be 5 next month and is our fearless, funny, sweet, wild child. She’s a Tomboy who loves Batman, Transformers, super heroes, jumping, running, and coloring. She loves to help mommy and daddy and has a big heart. She’s a tiny little powerhouse who’s the opposite of Isabella in many ways…and also very much like me.

Q: What’s your favorite food?

Apples. Just because.

Q: What’s your favorite color?

Dark blue.

Q: What do you like about school?

My friend Allie.

Q: What do you want people to know about you?

That I’m smart. That’s it.

Q: What are your interests?

Playing with my tarantula car. It’s a Hot Wheels car you know. But actually I like jumping and playing with Isabella more than that.

Q: Who is your favorite person?

Isabella. And Lily and Will from school.

Q: What do you like about Isabella?

She jumps with me.

Q: Who would you be if you could be anyone or anything?

Hmm…Flash cuz he runs fast like me. And Green Lantern is fun. Well, I want to be all the super heroes.

Q: What are your final words?

I like you!

And I love her too. A lot!