Jenny’s Life Klass: What NOT to Put On Your Car

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Oh my, my friends, it’s been too long since I ripped a portion of the general population a new one here on this blog and woo-wee am I ready! Are you ready? Jenny’s Life Klass is back and it’s meaner than ever!!

Let me tell you what’s got my biscuits all burnt up today, friends.

People.

Specifically, people who drive around with profanity, lewdness, and general skeevy perviness on their cars in decal or ornament form.

Case en pointe (that’s FRENCH, I’m KLASSY, remember?): yesterday I was innocently driving my kids home from school in the very nice area of town that they matriculate in, literally right next to the fancy Lexus dealership where my husband fixes cars for rich people, very far away from where we live in the dirty city, and at a very long stoplight, right in front of us was a new-ish Chevy pickup truck with a decal on the back window…

of a cartoon man and woman having sex. In a style that was decidedly NOT missionary (not that THAT would have been ok either, but this was just to be over-the-top-CRUDE, apparently.) And underneath this lovely cartoon couple engaged in what I’m sure is an act fueled by their great love for each other, the words, “Making My Family”.

Um, WHAT?

WHAT??

YOU HAVE A FAMILY?

God help us all.

I’m sure the beautiful children born of a man who depicts their conception in a crude cartoon bang decal on the back of his Chevy have a bright and beautiful future. I have no doubt they will respect others, work hard, and contribute to the betterment of society.

I mean, I think the family that displays cartoon sex acts on the back of their vehicle is also definitely the family that stays together, too. Right? And probably the kids of that family have lots and lots of friends because whose parents don’t want their kids to be around THAT Dad, amIrite?

I was praaaaaayyyying that a) the light would change really fast  or b) God’s hand would reach down and pluck that truck from the road and deposit it and its decal in hell before my kids SAW that monstrosity. Fortunately, Joshua and Sophie had their heads buried in books or homework and didn’t see it, and Jonah is clueless.

But what if they see it next time? What if they ask me about it? What am I supposed to say, you d*ggie-style exhibiting jackwagon??

AARGGHGHGHGH!! There is STEAM pouring forth from my ears as I think about that. WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?

Ok. Deep breaths. Namaste. Center myself. Take a mental walk in the woods. I’ve got to calm myself down so I can educate the rest of the world, in case, like that Chevy-driving pukebag, you don’t know what is and is not appropriate to display on your motor vehicle. HERE GOES.

1) Sex acts. I think I just covered that. Keep your cartoon Karma Sutra under your mattress, perv. My 8-year-old doesn’t need to learn about that stuff until she’s at least 30. DO NOT MAKE ME TAKE A SLEDGEHAMMER TO YOUR CHEVY, mmkay?

2) Your scrotum. SERIOUSLY, if you have your ball sac hanging from the back of your truck…this is a DIRECT ADMISSION that you’re a eunuch. 100% non-refutable PROOF. You’ve just outed yourself, grossed  me out, AND stolen my kids innocence, NUMB NUTS.

3) Profanity. HEY GUESS WHAT? A VAST MAJORITY OF TINY HUMANS CAN READ. And that “Don’t like my driving? Call 1-800-EAT-Sh*T” bumper sticker is a) a total fraud – that number is answered by some Bangladeshi guy who wants to sell me a satellite dish and b) a doorway to a room in the American lexicon that I am not ready for my 4-year-old, WHO CAN READ, to enter yet. I mean at least not until we get him through speech therapy so he can REALLY understand how to  use  those words properly. YOU IDIOT.

4) Naked ladies in profile. Just don’t, pervert. Like, you’re driving, YOU CAN’T EVEN SEE IT. I mean, do you just need us to know that you know what a naked woman looks like? CONGRATULATIONS. Next time I am behind you at a stop light I am going to get out and shake your hand (nope, nope, nope I cannot even FATHOM where that hand has been). Really, what an achievement. Your mother must be BURSTING with pride shame.

Ok. I am SURE there are more categories, but this is a good start – and now I need to go take a mental shower because I am so disturbed by the free speech that the general population CHOOSES to put on their vehicles (????).

So I will let YOU add to the list my friends!! What do you see on someone’s car that makes you want to CUT a jack@$$$?

GO forth and spread these wise words so EVERYONE CAN KNOW – in case they don’t – that it’s not ok to put cartoon sex acts on your car window! BECAUSE YOU GUYS, I DON’T THINK THEY KNOW!

Love,

Jenny

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And now she’s 11.

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My Kate turns 11 today.

I’m having trouble with that, to be honest.

It feels like we’re on the precipice of an entirely new stage of parenting and our relationship with her, and I’m not sure I’m equipped to deal with it.

I really don’t want to screw her up.

Also, eleven. That’s like 61 percent to adulthood, yet she’s still very much a kid.

Even her birthday presents reflect this weird in-between stage. A board game and a movie… a comforter and a pair of shoes. All at her request.

I really don’t know how to do this. Just thinking about it makes my heart pound.

But, I’ll do my best to figure it out. And, as she navigates the bumpy road of adolescence, I’ll do my best to show her the grace she’s always shown us as we’ve fumbled our way through this parenting thing.

I love you, Kate. Thanks for being you.

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We Are the Dirty People

You guys: I have good news and bad news.

The good news is, I love my job, and it is going really well. I signed a year contract in March and For Every Mom has had a couple of really killer weeks. Thanks to all of you who hop over and support me every day!

The bad news is, I suck at literally everything else in my life.

Oops.

I mean, I haven’t like, forgotten to pick up a kid at school or anything (there’s still time, though) but for instance, I have gone over a week without blogging! That has never happened in the history of the WORLD, not even while I was on vacation or after I had a baby, I don’t think. Not even when I was super-depressed. So, I am sorry, I really am. I have missed it, and you. I’m finding that working and mothering and wife-ing and carpooling and speech therapy-ing is kinda just leaving my brain a big ol’ blank at the end of the day. I will do better this week. Maybe I just needed a week off!

Also, I haven’t drugstore shopped with coupons in like 3 weeks. I really miss it!! I just can’t seem to GET THERE. :( Scandalous!!!

Next big fail in my life: housekeeping. Ok, we all know I’ve always been terrible at that, but now I am like REALLY BAD. So bad that Bobby graciously researched and found for us, someone to come in and clean twice a month. Because in my current state, there is no way the shower is gonna get cleaned more often than that anyway.

So the first time she came, she estimated it would take about 3 hours, since it was her first time and all, and the house was a *bit* dirty.

YEAH…four hours later she had to go because she had another appointment, and she hadn’t even gotten to my kitchen yet! BECAUSE IT WAS THAT BAD YOU GUYS. I’m feeeeelthy apparently. Well, not me personally. You’ll be happy to know I am showered and made up before my children leave the house at 7:10 a.m. every morning, but as always I prioritize my face before my floors.

So, that’s embarrassing. I hope she comes back. I know I can keep it much cleaner with the extra deep-cleaning help twice a month. I’m already doing better! BUT I REALLY NEED HER TO COME BACK!!

Anyhoo. That’s the update with me. I’m still here. Still crazy. Still stressed 24/7, but in a good way.

What’s going on with YOU??

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Time Hopping

Do you have the app TimeHop? It is pretty clever – it links to your social media accounts and every day it shows you what you were doing on this date in history. Or at least as far back as when you joined Facebook.

It’s probably one of my favorite apps, as it often sparks a memory I’ve forgotten.

For example, three years ago today, we went to a Reds/Cardinals game with my dad.

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Anyway, it got me wondering what we were up to on the blog on this day in history, so I took a little stroll through the archives.

Would you believe it was nearly exactly a year ago that I first told you all about my gigantic tongue in a lovely post called “My Tongue is Trying to Kill Me”?

You're welcome.

You’re welcome.

That was, I must say, one of the most memorable events in my life.

In April 2013, Jenny brought us one of her famous editions of Jenny’s Life Klass.

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I think it’s about time for another one of those, don’t you? I mean, it’s been a while and we know Jenny hasn’t become less judgy, she’s just keeping it from us. Not cool.

In April 2012, Kate and I went to Portland to visit the Nike Headquarters.

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Jenny and I have done a lot of amazing things because of this blog, but the Nike trip will always have a special place in my heart because they invited our kids. It was the only trip Kate and I have taken together – just the two of us – so far, and it will likely be the only time either one of us flies first class for a long, long time!

In April 2011, Jonah had a side mullet.

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Jenny found herself knocked up in April 2011.

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In April 2009 I blogged about how we always forget to pay our taxes.

In April 2008, Sophie became famous.

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And in April 2007, this blog didn’t exist.

All this has left me with one question. Where does the time go?

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Spring Break Broke Me

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During Jonah’s SUPERSIZE spring break, he has become an expert at this puzzle ball. Baby genius!

Today is the 9,782nd day of my kids’ Spring “Break”. Well, technically it’s the third for the big kids, and yesterday was the last for Jonah. But to me, there is still no end in sight.

Because.

Jonah has been off school since March 24th. That week they were testing the preschoolers to see how much they’ve learned compared to the testing they did in the fall (plus! IEP meeting coming up! WHEE!) so he only went ONE day that week. The next week was his actual spring break, which extended to the Monday after Easter. And then the big kids’ break started Good Friday.

SO basically, my work-at-home productivity has been tanked and my already fragile work-life balance has been non-existent for oh, I don’t know, about 15 straight days.

I mean, you guys. It’s 9:11 a.m. AND I DON’T HAVE MY MAKEUP ON YET! The world is clearly ENDING!!

PHEW!

I really want to have some fun with the big kids this week, but the weather is of course RAINY/thundery so far (hey: better than snow. I am counting my blessings!) so I think we might be limited to indoor playdates and board games. We’ll just have to make some lemonade. You know, in between work, preschool pick-up, and all that jazz.

And now the best part of this lackluster post: I was going to end with a zinger of a story about something I forgot because my mom brain is totally overloaded and spring break broke me. BUT. I can’t remember what it is!!!!

Stick a fork in me, folks!

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My baby is SEVEN.

  

My little Sammy turns seven today. I don’t know how that happened… it doesn’t seem possible that he’s been around that long. 

It doesn’t seem possible that he was ever not here.

Sam is a great kid, if I do say so myself. He’s so sweet, and he’s hilarious and kind and fun to be around. 

In the past year or so, Sam’s developed an obsession with comic books and super heroes. He and Andy take a trip to the comic book store every week to get the newest editions. Last weekend they went to their first Comic Con.

  

It’s hard for me to put into words how much I love this kid. I am so grateful for the seven years we’ve had with him. Here’s to many, many more.

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This Girl is Excited About the New Fresh Thyme!

This post is sponsored by Fresh Thyme, but all opinions are my own. 

Super-geeked-out shopping post ahead!

Last week, coincidentally on my 15th wedding anniversary, a new Fresh Thyme market opened up near me in Centerville!! I had been super-excited about the opening ever since I saw it being built next to one of my most-frequented retailers. Then, the ads for the store started showing up in my Sunday newspaper and I got more excited than ever!

Why? Fresh Thyme, for  one, has a HUGE selection of gluten-free items, which, since I am allergic to wheat, I need! Check these out!

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Come to mama!

Ok, I am going to stop here before I get too excited about all the amazing products Fresh Thyme has and tell you pretty much THE most important thing you need to know about Fresh Thyme.

It’s a not-secret that I need to make sure you need to know: DOUBLE AD WEDNESDAYS. “What,” you say, “can this be?” Let me tell you friends: quite possibly the greatest invention in the history of sales! You see, Fresh Thyme’s sale ads are EIGHT days long instead of seven. And they start and end on Wednesdays. Which means EVERY Wednesday, you get two shop TWO sale ads. DOUBLE the sales!!! Double-dipping! Double savings! Double Ad Wednesday!

You can probably guess which day of the week I will be frequenting Fresh Thyme. I mean, is that not AMAZING?!?!? I seriously cannot wait to get there tonight to double-dip! This is not an April Fool’s joke, my friends, this is a REAL DEAL! Whoop whoop!

Ok, so back to the amazing products they offer. Here are some other great reasons to shop Fresh Thyme!

 

  • Natural meat, raised without hormones

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  • Seafood flown in daily
  • Hearty breads and delicious treats from local artisan bakeries and hot out of their ovens (which I already posted a pic of above!! So excited!!)
  • Healthy meals made in their kitchens which are ready to eat on the run
  • Barrels full of natural and organic bulk foods

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  • Locally roasted organic coffee beans
  • Aisles of nutritious and delicious groceries

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  • Earth-friendly cleaning supplies
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I am super-obsessed with Dr. Bronner’s soap! I’ve never seen this many varieties in one place!

  • Specialty foods
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Grind your own nut butters? Well if you insist!!

  • Gluten-free and dairy-free options

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  • Plus a whole department filled with vitamins, supplements and pure body care products

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So basically, what I am saying here, kiddos, is Fresh Thyme is pretty much the bee’s knees!! If you’re local, you’ve got to get to our new store in Centerville for Double Ad Wednesday to shop two sales at once! I’m going tonight and I can’t wait to get my hands on some gluten-free baked goods, fresh local produce, and Dr. Bronner’s soap. And also, I can’t wait to check out the rows of locally roasted organic coffee beans!!!

Have you been to Fresh Thyme yet? What was your favorite treasure you found there?

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Learning That It’s OK to Fail #GirlsNeedGoldie

This post is sponsored by GoldieBlox and TheMotherhood.com. All opinions are my own! 

Recently we’ve had some issues with Sophie where she’s balked about doing activities she’s required to do in school – specifically writing a story and drawing pictures. She loves to read and is pretty much a voracious reader, but she doesn’t like to write stories or draw pictures because she thinks it’s “too hard”. Translation: what she comes up with is not good enough for her standards. She wants it to be perfect, and she sees her efforts as failure. So, she’d rather just not try.

UGH. If you’ve  been reading this blog for awhile, you know that Sophie has conquered some pretty difficult obstacles already in her young life. Therefore, her mother thinks she can do ANYTHING! The truth is, the girl who I was told would need 3-4 years of speech therapy stood up in front of a room full of strangers at her district speech meet a couple of weeks ago and got a Superior rating – the best you can get! So she’s definitely an overcomer. And she’s motivated to do something she wants to do.

I’m afraid now I’m going to have to teach her how to overcome her mindset. Now I am going to have to teach her the value of working  hard and being willing to fail, to learn from failure and that it can make you so much better.

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I recently shared two things with Sophie to help  her understand how failing is only bad if we let it keep us from trying again. One was this awesome trailer about girls and failure from GoldieBlox. I love the message – and to be honest, Sophie is more prone to believe something from her favorite toy maker at this point. If Goldie says it…it must be true. Check it out – it’s awesome and inspiring, and a great conversation starter for you and your girlies!

The other thing I shared with Sophie was my own personal story of failure. I am sure this is *shocking* to you, but I have a few. Ahem. One that I thought might resonate the most with Sophie is the story of the first test I ever failed. First and ONLY, I might add. Because I definitely learned from it!

So I told Sophie of how when I was a freshman in high school, I signed up for Honors Algebra II. I had taken Algebra I in 8th grade, and had gotten an A with no problem so when the guidance counselor suggested I sign up for Honors Algebra II, I did with no qualms.

Well. Up until that time I had never had to study for math. It came easily to me. But I found out real quick, on our 2nd test that I was going to have to study REAL hard for Honors Algebra II. I got a 64% on that test. I was COMPLETELY shocked when the teacher returned it to me, and very ashamed. I cried the rest of the day at school. I was shocked because I don’t think I knew I was capable of failing. It hit me really hard – both the failure and the fact that it was possible. I know that may sound crazy, but I was 14 and school had always come easily to me.

As upset as I was by that failure, I was determined to learn from it and get past it. What I learned was that if I wanted to do well in this class, I was going to have to work really hard to keep up. I was going to have to get my dad (a math teacher, thank goodness!) to help me after school with homework and I was going to have to study really, really hard for test.

That test did set me back the first quarter, and I think I got a B, but I pulled it up the second quarter and my semester grade was an A. Whoop! I really, really worked for that grade. It was the first grade I worked super hard for and I was so proud. I found out that what I lacked in natural ability in that instance I could make up for with practice and hard work.

Math in high school got harder, and I had to work harder. I took Trigonometry and Probability & Statistics the next couple years and I had to study and work really hard in those classes. But I knew I could do it if I wanted to do well – and I did. It wasn’t easy, but I did it. And at the end of my high school career, I was one of our class Valedictorians, with a 4.0. I didn’t let math stop me from achieving that goal.

So, I told Sophie this. And I told her that maybe writing stories and drawing don’t come a naturally to her as memorizing a poem or learning her math facts do, but that if she wants to do well, then we can practice together and work hard so she can do as well as she wants to. My mom helped out by getting her a book that teaches how to draw animals, and we’ve already had fun approaching her drawing obstacle from that angle.

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As Sophie and I built with GoldieBlox the other day, we encountered some failures, too. The instructions were simple and easy to follow but we had some other obstacles in our way. For instance, when it was time to put up Goldie’s zipline, we had trouble finding a good surface in our  old house that the suction cups would stick to (we have plaster walls and woodwork galore!) It took us quite a few failures, but we finally figured it out!

First attempt looked great, but the suction cups wouldn’t stick to our woodwork for long!

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So, we had to get creative!! After several failures we realized there just wasn’t a good place for two suction cups to go in our downstairs. The solution?? One suction cup stuck to our glass front porch door:

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And one end of the rope tied – not stuck – to Jonah’s basketball hoop. We made it work – even though we had to think outside the instructions!

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Goldie enjoyed her ride on this zipline! She got a little crazy, too!

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We had a blast putting together GoldieBlox and the Builder’s Survival Kit, learning from our failures, and playing with the Goldie action figure, too – and Sophie and I want to pass the fun along to you!

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First of all, we have a special 20% off discount code good through April 5 on your entire order from GoldieBlox.com!!! Order through this link and use discount code Spring2015-s2se3t6a and WHAM! You’ll get 20% off these great toys just in time for Easter!

Secondly, we also have a GIVEAWAY for ya! One lucky lucky winner is going to get the GoldieBlox action figure with zipline as well as GoldieBlox and the Builder’s Survival Kit, so you can build with your daughter and teach her about learning from failure, too!

To enter, simply comment on this post telling about one of your biggest failures and what you learned from it.

One winner will be chose at random at 6pm EST on Tuesday April 7, 2015. Good luck and GO Goldie!

 

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Angelina beat me to the punch.

So… earlier this week, Angelina Jolie announced in a New York Times op-ed that she had had her ovaries removed because of her family history and BRAC1 gene mutation.

It’s about damn time.

Earlier this week, I was supposed to have my ovaries and all their accouterments removed as well, but unfortunately my surgery was postponed. It’s going to be a couple more months before it actually happens.

I am adjusting my calendar and my spreadsheets, and it’ll all work out. I’ll busy myself with the kids’ birthdays, Easter, and whatever else comes our way, and the new date will be here before we know it.

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Fifteen

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We were just kids who thought they were adults. We had been dating four years, friends for 10, and we THOUGHT we knew each other. We THOUGHT we knew what marriage was all about.

Heh.

Despite our human-ness, Bobby and I are celebrating fifteen years of happy marriage today. FIFTEEEN! How are we even OLD enough for that? It seems impossible.

I am so thankful that God has given us grace, kids, love, and patience to work through what life throws our way – and what we sometimes put in our own way.

I love you, Bobby. Fifteen! Our marriage is almost old enough to get its temps!

Thanks for being in it to win it with me.

windy

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