Does Everyone Love Lucy?

After a week of watching Jessie on the Disney Channel (to entertain my son), I have begun to notice a pattern reminiscent of I Love Lucy. The first and most obvious similarity is the red hair. Albeit, I prefer Debby Ryan’s contemporary soft curls. More importantly they share a marvelous comedic timing.

While both actresses have amazing comedic timing, Lucille Ball set the standards for all of the red heads to come. Who can forgot her job in the chocolate factory on the assembly line, stuffing chocolates in her mouth, hat and dress to hide the fact that she couldn’t keep up? Another iconic moment from the I Love Lucy Show was the scene in the vineyard when she was stomping grapes. We can’t forget “Lucy Goes to the Hospital,” the first big baby delivering scene on TV that was later imitated on shows like Murphy Brown, Mad About You and Bones.

Jessie, like Lucy, makes us laugh as she tries to make it in the big city. Well meaning, she plans a birthday party for a little girl with military themed games from her childhood, making the children think that they were being punished. At the end of the party, she is caught trying to talk our First Lady Michelle Obama into hanging her head shot in the White House to get an acting job.

As funny as the party was, I know my son will never forgot her trying to help Luke by pulling a thread on his suit, causing his pants to fall down at the end of the runway in the middle of a fashion show. He keeps playing that scene over and over laughing harder each time.

Finally, our favorite nanny, Jessie, tries to fix Zuri’s relationship with her teacher by using her teacher’s pet tricks of gifts and compliments. To her surprise, she ends up in the naughty corner. Showing a Lucy like resolve, she volunteers to play Quidditch with Mrs. Falkenberg. In true Lucy fashion of physical comedy, she is knocked down as she tries to pretend like she knows how to play Quidditch, reminding me of the chocolate factory scene.

Watching Jessie, I am struck with the thought that every generation seems to need their Lucy to make them laugh. Our problems don’t seem quite so big when Lucy was always in a jam. For all the laughs in the past with our original Lucy, we will always love Lucy. And, for my son and his friends, Debby Ryan has become their Lucy. Now, we also love Debby Ryan for carrying on this tradition.

How can I make a difference?

Waiting at the Dojang during my son’s Taekwondo class, I overheard the Master say “I have been contacted by the local schools about children in need in our community. They want to know if we have any scholarships to help them.” It was at this moment that I found how I could make a difference.

With limited money, we started a scholarship fund for children in need to participate in martial arts. Our first little boy’s father was in prison and it was effecting his home life. Sponsoring him, we had the joy of watching his transformation.

In order to continue sponsoring more students, we reached out to members of the martial arts community and began fund raising with them. And, we raised the money for another scholarship. This new boy was the son of a single mom working very hard to keep a roof over his head. As a latchkey child, he was alone most afternoons and being bullied by boys in his neighborhood. Instead of hiding from the neighborhood bullies in the afternoon, he now attends classes at the Dojang. All I needed to see was the confident smile on his face and light in his eyes to know that this scholarship fund was making a difference.

Recently, I was approached by a Taekwondo school from another state that wants me to help them set up a scholarship fund. In addition to assisting other communities start scholarship funds, we are running more fund raising events in July, September and October. With the support of our community, we will fund the scholarships for three more children. By answering the call, I found out that we all have the potential to make a difference. All I needed to do to make a difference was to stand up and say yes, and because I did others in our community are standing up with me.

Who are you standing up for in your community? Share your stories in this blog and inspire and encourage others to stand with you. Stand tall. Be proud. Sing out loud! No action is too small. Don’t be afraid. Change the world!

Mission Impossible

We walked into the doctor’s office, thinking that it was just a bad sprain to his wrist. Stunned by his findings, we sat there listening to the doctor say “Your mission should you choose to accept it is to get an active 8 year old boy to sit still for 2 weeks until his next appointment. If you are successful in your mission, the cast may be removed at that time. If not, this mission could extend for an additional 2-4 weeks. Your mission parameters also include: cannot get the arm wet, no activities that will make him sweat and cannot allow him to use his right arm. And, no, you can’t use drugs or rope.”

Our first analysis of the situation made us realize how dangerous this mission would be. First, our daycare option of swim camp would have to be cancelled for at least the next two weeks. Also, there were two birthday parties where the overall theme was either NERF guns or some form of battle. A brief threat analysis determined that these events would make him sweat and fall injuring his arm further. But, the worst realization came when we reviewed the requirement that he not use his right arm. Suddenly, we were gripped with fear. No Xbox! No, Nintendo 3DS! How are we going to survive this mission? Every strategy that we had deployed in the past was now gone. We needed a new battle plan, if we were going to have a chance of success.

Returning home, we met in the War Room (kitchen) to discuss these new developments. Shaking our heads, we asked; “How are we going to make it through the next 24 hrs.?” Our strategy was simple and straightforward. It included: his favorite foods, Jessie on the Disney Channel, Legos, reading his Minecraft book and a visit to a friend (we picked his most calming friend). After mapping our mission plan, we gathered provisions and went to bed.

Operation distraction commenced at Zulu 0630, when I woke to, “I’m hungry! Feed me!” Preparing French toast (his favorite breakfast), I calculated 45 minutes of diversion. He ate so quickly, breakfast only lasted 20 minutes. Off and running, already looking for something to do, he started trying to climb the back of the couch with one hand. “Stop! Do you want to break your other arm?” I yelled to get his attention.

Our next morale booster was watching Jessie on the Disney Channel. As much as he laughed, he declared “I’m bored!” after 2 hours of watching. Translation: he could no longer sit still and watch Cameron Boyce dance. “Don’t even think about it,” I warned. “Aw Mom!” he shouted. “I’ve been sitting too long. I won’t use my right arm, when I spin on my back,” he lied.

At Zulu 0900, I brought out his Legos to occupy him for another two hours. Within 15 minutes, he said, “I can’t do this with one arm.” Frustration was starting to get a foothold in our day as he said, “Bring me something else to do!” Quickly, I went to the next item in the plan. I reached for his Minecraft book. By Zulu 1015, I had run out of activities to keep him still. I needed to find something else that would entertain him until lunch.

Setting up a target range for ballistic trajectory, he started bombing and knocking over the targets. I frequently patrolled to make sure that he was not using his broken arm. Each time, I successfully avoided getting in the line of fire. When it seemed that he would be okay, I turned my focus on his lunch. Hearing a crash, I came running in “What happened to that lamp? Why is there a soccer ball next to it?” As I looked around to find him for an explanation, he was gone. His ninja training allowed him to escape undetected. But, at least searching for him kept him entertained for 15 minutes.

After eating lunch, it was time for Battle of the Bored. We marched down the street to a friend’s house. Because this was the quietest of his friends, I thought that my son would be entertained without a chance of harming his arm. Excited to be out of the house and seeing his friend, he ran double time up the steps, tripping and falling on his broken arm. “Man down! Abort mission!” I said bringing him home for damage control.

Desperate to get him to sit still, I set up YouTube videos for him to watch. While he was very entertained by the Gummy Bear Song and Titanoboa, he could not stay still for long. Soon he was dancing around and shaking his butt like the Gummy Bear.

At the end of my rope, I called in reinforcements. “I am taking heavy fire. I need back up here,” I pleaded with my husband. “He has already fallen once and he won’t keep still!”

Because failure was not an option, I launched a nuclear strike. “How about Pokémon (Japanese water torture as my husband and I call it)?” I asked. “If you sit still, I will play Pokémon cards with you.” He stopped in his tracks and smiled. When reinforcements finally arrived, he had killed all of my Pokémon characters 3 times over, and I was babbling “Are you sure that it has only been 1 day? It seems like a week.”

The Affordable Bubble Wrap Act of 2016

With the rising healthcare costs due to childhood accidents and obesity, as well as teen pregnancy and STD’s, we need to be creative in solving our problems. Our organization known as Mothers Obsessed with Broken Bones (MOBB) has spent years researching solutions. Today, we believe that we have found the answer to these problems.
Our solution is called the Affordable Bubble Wrap Act of 2016. This bill before congress will make bubble wrap suits available to all children under the age of 18. For children who are accident prone and at risk their benefits may be extended until the age of 26.

By wrapping all of our children in bubble wrap, we will decrease the emergency room visits by 50% at a savings of $100 billion to the parents and taxpayers. Along with eliminating needless injuries and broken bones, our bubble wrap suits have the added benefit of causing children to sweat and lose weight. In our studies, we found a decrease in the incidents of childhood obesity by 40%. While playing their favorite video games, they will be sweating their butts off.

Accepting the fact that we can’t stop teenagers from having sex, we made a modification in the suits for teenage girls. With a built in condom, they will always have safe sex. Our test group showed a 75% reduction in teen pregnancies and STD’s. I know what you are thinking. What will happen to all of our teenage pregnancy reality shows? As hard as it is to think of our world without these shows, we believe that this is a sacrifice that we must make for the greater good.

If you are not sold yet, we have additional advantages for the American people. First, the bubble wrap suits will be American made. We will hire the unemployed factory workers to make the bubble wrap suits and strengthen the US economy.

Another advantage of the suit is called “The Peace Keeper.” For a nominal fee, this option specially alters the head section to create a gag in the mouth of your teenager. It is perfect for all those times when you need to save them from their inability to remain silent.

Future additions to the Affordable Bubble Wrap Act of 2016 may include suits for the elderly. Studies have shown that we can reduce Medicare by bubble wrapping senior citizens. Eliminating broken hips alone saves the tax payers $7 billion annually.

Given all of these advantages, we can no longer continue going through each day hoping the daily routine brings them home safe and sound. We must now call our congressmen and demand that they bubble wrap our children. We need to get out the picket signs and show them how much this Affordable Bubble Wrap Act of 2016 means to us! We are calling all mothers to our “Million Mom March” to Washington, DC.

This message has been sponsored by Mothers Obsessed with Broken Bones (MOBB).

Happy Father’s Day Daddy!

While this site celebrates the mothers and Mother’s Day every day, I would be remise if I did not recognize the fathers on this weekend. Moreover, I want to especially recognize my husband, the father of my son.

Like most fathers, my husband enjoyed all the sex necessary to make a baby. What made him extra special was his support during the infertility treatment. In fact for a trauma present, he bought me my first Prada handbag (which I had wanted for many years). Hearing our son’s heartbeat for the first time during the ultrasound made it all worthwhile.

Trying to keep a straight face, he sat in the birthing classes with me. We couldn’t resist laughing when the breastfeeding coach referred to breast milk as fast food. “Do you want fries with that shake?” I mumbled, which almost got us kicked out of the class.

To be prepared, we practiced breathing for months before the delivery. We even practiced what he should say. “My friend said her husband said that’s gotta hurt when the baby came out. Don’t ever say that!”

And, when that day came, all of our preparation went out the window. “Give me drugs,” I screamed when the hard labor started.” I finished with “Screw the breathing. You try breathing with these contractions.” It was a long and draining day. At 10 hours and counting, the nurses urged him to take a break. He leaned over to say “I’m really tired. Is it okay if I take a break?” To his credit, he stopped leaving when I shot him a look and said “You need a break!” When he stayed, I never felt so loved.

Returning home with our boy, we took shifts to make sure that we each got sleep. Rushing home from work each day, he would feed my son and hold him in the evening while I slept. Waking up one evening, I came into the TV room to find him smiling with my son asleep on his chest.

When it came to teaching our son nothing was beneath his dad. One day I walked into the living room to find my husband on the floor with our son, “see how you get up on your hands and knees to crawl. Come on you can do it,” he encouraged my son to crawl. In my secret stash of pictures, I have a picture of my son’s tiny butt next to his dad’s as they were crawling together. I would show you but I have been strictly forbidden to publish it.

Don’t get me started on the challenges that he has embraced with our son’s allergies. Although much of what our son eats is foreign to Dad, he drives miles out of his way to buy vegan cheese, ice cream and bake goods. Since his favorite activity as a child was to go for ice cream, he has started eating Vegan ice cream with his son as a one of their bonding experiences. “That’s the kind of love I have you,” he said.

Another bonding time for them has been roller coasters. Because he couldn’t wait to start riding roller coasters with our son, he started when our son was 18 months on the little caterpillar at Edaville Railroad. Graduating to the Polar Coaster at Storyland and Rudy’s Rapid Transit Coaster at Santa’s Village, they have been working their way through roller coasters. Last year they rode the Aerosmith coaster at Disney, which led to all of our concerns with the dreaded 80’s gene.

When our son was old enough, they started taking Taekwondo together and practicing at home. At the first testing when my son looked like a deer in the headlights, my husband sat next to him with his arm around him. Now that they are in weapons class, I have to be careful when I am walking through the house. “Sorry mom,” I have heard on more than one occasion.

When I was tucking my son into bed one night, he asked me “why did you wait so long to have me? I was waiting in heaven for soooo long.” My answer to him was “I waited until I found the perfect daddy for you.” I continued, “I only want the best for you. I love you,” I finished and kissed him on the head. Smiling he nestled into his blankets and said, “Thanks mom.”

I want to be a toddler!

As usual, my day began with making breakfast and lunch for my son. After 2 cups of coffee and getting him on the bus, I took a minute to look at my To Do List for the day. How on earth will I get all of this done? I am tired of being a grown up with all of this responsibility. I need a break. Of all the people I know it is the toddlers who are most happy, joyous and free. They seem not to have a care in the world. I want to be a toddler!

Starting my day with “ungry wanna eat now!” I made sure to leave a pretty picture on the kitchen table in applesauce, after playing with my cheerios and hiding them throughout the kitchen. Finally, screaming, “Down, Down,” and banging on the table. I signaled the end of breakfast.

Crawling around the yard, I spent hours exploring. I looked at every blade of grass, weed and insect. “Buggies,” I squealed, picking them up and letting them crawl on my arm. “Hee, Hee that tickles, I continued. Next, “<Spit> yucky! I no like bugs!”

Banging on the door saying, “Barney time, Barney time,” I ran in to dance and sing. “I love you, you love me,we’re a happy family. With a great big hug and a kiss from me to you, won’t you say you love me too?” Breaking for a moment, I skipped to the potty. “M&M pease, I peepee in potty,” I said reaching out my hand.

When Barney was over, I made a quick stop for macaroni and cheese. Drawing Barney on the wall with the macaroni and cheese, I said “petty Barney.” Pleased with my masterpiece, I decided to redecorate the house. Taking everything out of the cabinets, I arranged the pots, pans, jars and cans around the house.

Tired from all of my dancing, singing food painting and decorating, I grabbed my binky and laid down for a nap. Waking and stretching, it was time for my snack, milk and cookies, yum! Refueled, I was ready to make supper in my kitchen. With a 30 minute meal to revile Rachael Ray, I proudly handed my plastic plate containing plastic steak, potato and broccoli.

For the perfect ending to my day as a toddler, I raced to the tub leaving a trial of my clothes on the way. “Bubbles,” I squealed jumping in the tub and blowing them all over the bathroom. When I had dispatched the bubbles, I tested what happens when you move back and forth in the tub. “Wee,” I howled as I rode the waves splashing water all over the bathroom. With the little water I had left in the tub, I made sure to give my ducks swim. “Quack, Quack,” I squawked to make them feel at home. Finishing with a soft fluffy towel and my Hello Kitty pajamas, I curled up in my bed. Soon I was purring like a kitten.

How great was my day as a toddler? I spent hours exploring every inch of my yard in wonder. Dancing and singing with Barney, I was in heaven. Making a mess with my food, I ran onto the next game and someone else cleaned up. Getting paid to use the toilet seems like a parental shake down to me, but quite fun for me the toddler. Finally, a tubby to relax from all of the decorating and cooking supper. What a life!

 

You love your laptop more than me!

“You love your laptop more than me,” my son blurted out. Looking up from my laptop, I protested, “What are you talking about?” Reaching for my laptop cover to close it, he pleaded “put it down and pay attention to me.” Quickly saving my work, I closed my laptop and put it down. “You have my attention,” I said smiling at him.

“You use to play with me all the time, but lately you’re always on the laptop,” he continued. “Mommy, mommy play with me. I want you to spend time with me.”

Because I was concerned that he was so upset, I wanted to figure out how to fix this problem. I ran through my day in my head; get up, make breakfast for my son, make his lunch, get him ready for school, get him on the bus, work all day, get him after school, provide snacks for him and his friends, make him supper, make him eat his vegetables, fight with him over homework, get him to do his homework, make him wash up, put him to bed, do a load of clothes that he needs for the morning, clean the kitchen, finish work for my job and fall into bed.

After listing my day in my head, I realized he was right we don’t play much anymore. “First it is important for me that you understand that I love you more than anything in the world,” I started. “Yes, even more than my laptop.” He looked at me skeptically. “We have more to do today with your homework and play dates. We don’t have as much time to play. But, we will find time to play. Let me think for a minute.”

On a mission to find ways to play, I started thinking back to how I played with my brothers at this age. Memories of my Malibu Barbie and Ken driving in their convertible in my backyard flashed in my mind. It was a beautiful day and the wind was in their hair. Suddenly, dirt bombs were flying through the air at them, I screamed, “nooooooo!” Grabbing their picnic blanket, I leaped to cover them. Throwing any toys that I could find in the direction of the dirty bombs, I defended my friends.

Over the hill came G.I. Joe and his comrades lead by my brothers. “Die you COBRA scum!” my brother shouted, sending another a barrage of dirt bombs. There were too many bombs. I couldn’t stop them all. Barbie and Ken were gone. After defeating Barbie and Ken, my brothers turned their attention to the COBRA Command Center (Malibu beach house). Taking an axe from the basement, they began chopping my dream house. “We defeated COBRA!” my brother yelled. “Yeah! They’re all dead.”

“Mommy, what are you thinking about?” my son asked touching my shoulder. Snapping back to today, I said, “Umh, Why don’t we play catch. Get your ball!” Within a few minutes, he was smiling and laughing again. Mission accomplished.