Not your average suburban mom. I’m more your typical, normal, commonplace, everyday, garden-variety suburban mom. With a thesaurus.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Top Five Ways To Tame the Stress Monster

Some of us could use some closure over here.
I've led a pretty charmed life. Sure, I've had my share of hard times and trials, but I believe wholeheartedly in a Pollyanna outlook so I really can't complain about too much. (Except for the cancellation of the hit prehistoric drama Terra Nova - BIG mistake, Fox Network. HUGE. *shows Fox my many purchases from other networks, including a hardcore allegiance to NBC's The Blacklist. Fox stands there speechless and watches forlornly as I waltz away to take my viewing time elsewhere* (Okay, that was totally a scene from Pretty Woman and never happened.)(Me and Fox are still boyz because MasterChef Junior.)(We've been letting Eve and Hosanna watch this in order to lay the groundwork for one of them to fall in love with cooking and become the family chef. For those who are wondering how good parents do it = television.)

Even with my Pollyanna outlook, sometimes life just takes you through hard seasons, and prolonged difficulties can require certain means of coping to endure. We've faced one of those hard seasons with Brian's recent illness. I thought I would share a few of my go-to methods for coping because I'm nothing if not helpful.

1. Hating on Inanimate Objects - I've focused on three main objects to bear the brunt of my frustrations.

The freaking potty seat that mocks me in the bathroom. Yeah, I get it, Potty Seat, that my fourth child completely refuses to use the toilet. That is certainly no reason to sit in the bathroom all braggy-like about your position in the home. Your only job seems to be to look pretty (which, not to get all Mean Girls, but you are totally failing because you are a potty seat) and even then I noticed you are totally covered in a thick layer of freaking dust, which in only evidence to show how infrequently you serve any purpose. Maybe I give you the finger every time I use the bathroom sometimes. Maybe if you were more comfortable/looked like Lightning McQueen/offered Goldfish crackers Ezra would be potty trained already. Way to fail at your only job.

This box full of items I need to finish the master bathroom. Yes, I'm really proud of the budget friendly way I've collected all the materials necessary to make my master bathroom function again. (A $40 shower curtain from Bed Bath & Beyond marked down to $10, with a 50% off sticker, and a 20% coupon? Sure, I'll buy it for $4.24. A $20 tension rod marked down to $10 and another golden 20% off coupon, making the total around $8? Twist my arm.) So, Box of Bathroom Treasures on the floor of my bedroom, while you are usually a source of pride and joy at my shopping prowess, the day I stumbled out of the bathroom and tripped over you, kicking half the contents around the room and waking up a sleeping toddler in the process, and also rendering my outer three toes a mass of throbbing digits, you no longer brought me joy. In fact, all the money I saved purchasing your contents transferred directly from my savings account to the family Swear Jar.

Pure Michigan radio spots with Tim Allen voice-overs.

Maybe it's because I don't even need to be premenstrual to tear up when I hear you. Maybe it's because you are usually spouting about the grandeur of Michigan nature when I am stuck in parking lot type traffic ready to freak the heck out because DOESN'T ANYONE KNOW HOW TO MERGE????!!!! Maybe it's the music. Or maybe it's because I'd love to marvel at the wonders around me, but someone has to do the laundry. And every time I take a deep breath of Pure Michigan it's tinged with poop because Ezra is not potty trained yet. Thanks for that reminder, Tim Allen.

2. Caramel Mocha's from McDonalds/ this potential BFF in my own hometown. I was on my way to Meijers (*honk if you're from Michigan and didn't even notice the added "s"*) and followed this car for close to a mile before it turned into the same McDonald's drive-thru I was about to frequent. It's like God knew I needed to know this person existed and could rest in the hope of an amazing potential friendship. Too bad I was behind her in line or else I totally would have paid for her Caramel Mocha because what else would she be getting?!, fully cementing any best friendship we already potentially had.

3. 1-2-3 NOT IT! Remember this gem from childhood? All you had to do was yell, "1-2-3 Not it!" and you were completely exempt from the task at hand. When I find I am absolutely at the end of my wits and Ezra spills an entire bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch all over our hardwood floors, I simply revert to my youth. Who's cleaning this up? 1-2-3 NOT IT, y'all.

4. The old "Oh, I can't control my circumstance? I'd better control my environment" method. This is mostly about me freaking out and throwing away a ton of stuff, making extremely important decisions about where to put the things we own, and craigslisting (totally a verb) the heck out of shelving units in which to house all our newly organized junk. I know, "Pics or it didn't happen", but seriously, that work is it's own post, so stay tuned for photographic evidence. As a teaser, I was inspired by this article, so, yeah, bizness got real up in here.

5. Googling videos of people that can't.stop.laughing. Also, because I use my time wisely (and who really needs clean bathrooms anyway?) I also watch videos of people that can't stop laughing at other people laughing. Incredibly stupid? Heck yes. But people once thought penicillin was stupid, too, so, yeah, call me Alexander Fleming. (Bonus: school for the day. Bam! You're smarter.) I dare you not to laugh at gems like this:

Esther's birthday cake - sole survivor.
I am most proud of the one thing I haven't done in order to cope. I've managed to avoid stress eating until I bought a bag or three of Halloween candy. This piece of cake (what was left of the 1/8 sheet cake we got for Esther's birthday) sat on my kitchen counter for a full week before I threw it in the garbage. And? It's a corner piece.

Right there? That is what victory looks like.

So go forth today, and stress less. Victory can be yours as well.


  1. I have a piece of pumpkin pie sitting on the counter, daring me to eat it....I need to throw it out too!!!!

  2. Honk! ;)

    Thanks for always making me laugh! Hope your week goes great from here on out!


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