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Entries in parenting (15)


Twincident #155 I Must be Doing Something Right

This weekend I did some organizing and brought out my new favorite toy, the DYMO label maker. I mean, how can one possibly get organized unless you have labels? I know my friend Lindsay, aka: the Queen of Mabels Labels, would agree. She has an organizer for all of her Mabels Labels but don't ask how I know.

Let me get back to my point.

While I was labeling mail bins the Twofer were making some of their own.

That's when I found this one.



Yes, it's misspelled but it came from them. OK, it might also have come from a book or a movie but for the sake of this post we're going to assume the inspiration for this label came from the wisdom of their....


That's me.

I must be doing something right.

And now that label sits on my laptop.

So the next time you see me at Panera or at a blog conference remember that I can spell.

But I can also inspire!




I Wanted to be Rich and Famous Until my Mannventure with Chris Mann 

As many of my friends already know, it's about ME. I like to be front and center. I like attention. I like to make people laugh. I also thought that I wanted to be rich and famous.

And then I hung out with Chris Mann


Do you have ANY IDEA what it takes to be a pop star?

Here's how it went down. My friend Amy has a baby grand piano and she's sorta known around these interwebs. Chris Mann, is not only really funny, but he's also totally down with casual performances he can Ustream to his fans.

So, when I found out Chris would be in the DC area I pinged him on Twitter to play at Amy's house. Amy, realizing it would be the same day as her birthday and having just moved into a larger house, loved the idea.

My job, besides coming up with this crazy idea, was to get Chris to Amy's house. He's an urban dweller and used to public transportation so he was happy to take the least one way. But more on that later.

Here's what it takes to be a pop star, Chris Mann style

1. I didn't get a photo but first there is the luggage which weighed about 100 lbs. (Two words: BUY MERCH)

2. Be willing and able to read the directions to your driver who is trying to find a decent radio station because she left the Sirius in her car and her husband only listens to the Grateful Dead and Pink Floyd.

3. Own your mad MacGyver skillz because you never know when you'll have to hack together a microphone stand from a banana hammock and electrical tape.

Chris Mann doing what he does best only doing into a banana hammock.

4. Enjoy talking and talking and talking to people. Chris hugs, chats, and laughs endlessly with his fans at these events. He is also totally down with silly birthday photos.

Amy and Chris taunting people on Ustream who had lots to say about the artwork on her wall.

5. Have a good sense of humor when you miss the last metro train by 15 minutes and you can't find a cab for about 5 miles in a major metropolitan city. But you CAN get an Old Skool Ghostbuster Limo Cab. Those, apparently, will stop right away for you.

Chris Mann riding in style.

I no longer want to be rich and famous.

It took me all week to catch up on sleep from that night (I didn't get home until after 1:00 am) and I realized that Chris was going to do the same thing every night for the rest of the week! Granted, he's probably 10 years younger, doesn't have to get up with kids and all that but still. It's got to be hard.

And so I'm now content with watching that pop star live the dream, while I'm curled up on my sofa watching it all unfold on Ustream.



Life Lesson about Manipulation can come from parent or a Lifetime Movie


image of angry mean girl via gotosira on Flickr

One of the twins has a friend who is nice one day, and then not so nice the next. I know that with girls this can happen, but with this particular person it can be minute-by-minute and usually is based on whether my daughter has agreed or not agreed to sit next to her, eat with her, etc.

I describe this as manipulation and yes, it starts as early as 2nd grade.

Actually, with some kids it starts earlier depending on how much their parents have given into it.

Life Lesson #1: People who try to make YOU do, say, act, or think what they want are trying to manipulate you.

Here's how we discussed it and I wrote it from the 'I' perspective because I can't tell YOU what to do, I can only tell you what has worked for me.

When someone's friendship depends on whether I agree to sit next to them at an assembly, a red warning flag goes up in my mind. When that person is sooo nice to me one day, and then is BFF with someone else (usually one of my other close friends) the next day, they are trying to get a reaction out of me. They are trying to get me to act a certain way and be the friend THEY want me to be.

But I am my own person. I have my own mind, and I can be friends with whomever I want to be friends with. Infact! I will be sure NOT to abandon my other friends because this fair-weather 'friend' will turn on me again someday. And I want real friends there when they do.

Life Lesson #2: You can't make anyone do, say, act or think anything they don't want to do

Again, from MY perspective, the only person I can really control is me. I can't make someone do or act a certain way, but I can control my reaction to how they are acting. I can choose to not be upset, or I can choose to let it ruin my day. I can control my expectations of a person, or of an event. But I can't control the outcome.

Once you accept this, life gets so much easier.

Life Lessons in a Lifetime Movie: Reviving Ophelia

The other day I had the opportunity to see a preview of a new Lifetime movie, 'Reviving Ophelia'. The title gives reference to Ophelia, the woman who supposedly made Hamlet mad with love. In it two mothers are having problems with their daughters - one rebellious, the other in an abusive relationship. We see how young teens who have never been in love can misinterpret control and manipulation for love. To them, the person is caring, attentive, and deeply loving. One minute the boyfriend is sweet, the next he is enraged, hits his girlfriend, and blames her for it. Later, he is sweet and apologetic.

It's the same situation as we see starting in second grade, but the consequences are much different. 

"If you don't sit next to me I won't be your BFF"

"If you loved me you wouldn't get me so mad I'd fly off the handle like that and hit you."

This means it's never too soon to start talking to kids about what it means to be friends, to be loved, and to be sure of oneself enough to know when something is wrong.

'Reviving Ophelia' airs Monday, October 11th at 9:00pm. 



Balancing act with twins goes far beyond balacing those infant car seats 

It's tough carrying two infant car seats. One is usually heavier than the other or swings awkwardly around and hits your leg.

It's also tough to balance the feeding/eating/napping schedule of newborn twins...actually that also applies to toddler twins too come to think of it.

As they get older, it can be tough to balance the needs of twins in school, in sports, or even what they need emotionally from you at any given time. 

Most recently we're trying to balance celebrating the success of one twin without discouraging the other.

I know all parents have to deal with this at some point where the older child might always be a better student, etc. But can you imagine being compared to your sibling every day on the exact same projects at the same time?

Luckily they both have strenths in something. It's just that this time El's artistic ability has take her farther... and farther.

Her artwork was chosen to be at a show in a local mall. It was displayed along with other art from kids in her school and in a collection of fantastic art from schools all over the county.

We went and took a picture of her and her "kitty in the city".

Kitty in the City

That yellow dot? Yea that means something.

We had no idea at the time but El's piece was one of only 20 to be chosen to tour the county for the next year! It's quite an honor and while we don't get to see kitty again until Spring of 2011, she was happy to let it be a part of the tour.

Em was gracious. She stood by her sister and smiled and took a photo with her. But I know it was hard.

When the note came home from the art teacher she praised both girls (thankfully that has happened before) and I read that part aloud. I was going to stop there and read the rest of the details to El later, and thus spare Em from having to hear just how fabulous her sister's artwork is. But she wanted to hear it.

She insisted.

She is learning to share that pride.

I'm so proud of them both.



Twincident #151 - Sometimes I am humbled...

Twincidents are not all bad. Sometimes The Twofer surprise me with a twincident that is good. Shockingly, print-it-out-and-forward-it-to-grandma good.

This one came in the form of an email from one of their teacher's at school.

I am proud.

I am humbled.

I'm in no way fooling myself that this will last.

But I'm going to enjoy it while it's here.

Hello Mrs. & Mrs.,

Congratulations on the wonderful work and attitude your girls have in (insert subject).  I can always count on them to be interested, motivated, super learners and excellent examples to others.

I wonder if the teacher ever tells them this directly?

Because this serves as a good reminder for me to tell them I know when they've done something right as much as when I tell them I know they did something wrong.


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