Friday, November 20, 2015

Chuck E. Cheese's Next Marketing Campaign

Chuck E. Cheese's is the perfect kids birthday party spot.  It is Vegas for little ones.  Our family has celebrated numerous birthdays at Chuck E. Cheeses' from coast to coast. Why is it that I leave that place so exhausted?

We went to a Chuck E. Cheese's birthday party yesterday.  When we left I was spent.  I wouldn't have been more tired if I had taken an entire bottle of Ambien.  What is it about that place?  I didn't host the party.  I didn't ride any rides.  I didn't play any games.  And I most certainly didn't go climbing through the play structure.  I didn't do anything other than protect the precious ticket pile.  You know the tickets.  It takes 437 tokens to win 33 tickets.  Then, if you are lucky, the girl at the counter will round you up to 35 tickets, so you can get the plastic top that will be broken/lost/thrown away before the day is done.

I do take my ticket protecting job seriously or risk the wrath of young children amped up on sugar.  We proudly came home with both a plastic snake and plastic frog - it was just what I was looking for to complete our house decorations.

I got home and so badly wanted a nap, but I had to go to another loud, wild, kid-centric  event up at the school.  By the time I crawled into bed last night, I don't think I was even speaking in sentences.  I was mumbling nonsense to which Scott replied, "why don't we chat tomorrow."  I shook my head, turned out the light, and slept like a baby.

They say insomnia is a $32 Billion (with a B) market in America.  It turns out all it takes is 30 minutes in a Chuck E. Cheese's to guarantee a great night's sleep. Maybe that should be their next marketing campaign.

Beyond exhausting visits to the Cheese's, we are gearing up for the holidays.  It is definitely and unbelievably that time of year again

.  My house needs cleaning and my grocery getter needs to get going, because company is arriving this weekend. Forget the party cake and pizza, it is Turkey time.

That is life in MomZania.

Friday, October 30, 2015


It is Halloweeny.  You know how Christmas is too big for one day, so we added the entire month of December. That now applies to Halloween.  Halloween has gotten much too big to fit into a simple evening of candy collecting with a 5-minute costume and pillow case.  It is a month long affair - it is Halloweeny.

Tomorrow is the big day, the culmination, the 31st.  Today, it the end of the run up.  The kids are costumed at school completing an entire week of dressing up.  No, I don't think it is a coincidence that National Red Ribbon Week is the last week of October.  The have arrived to learn in pajamas, as twins, with crazy hair, donning super hero capes, and more.

Today, Jaley was off as a Candy Fairy, complete with a lollipop wand.  Mick is styling as his favorite candy, of course, an M&M.  Sarah, demonstrating her tweendom, opted for pumpkin attire stating she didn't want to chance ruining her real costume before tomorrow.  There is an all day party in kindergarten and a school wide parade.  Don't think the middle schoolers are left out, there was a Wednesday night Pumpkin Palooza and lunch time festivities today.  Plus, my very social 11-year old is going to two (yes, two) Halloween parties and has made plans to trick-or-treat in multiple locations.

That is just the kids.  We grown up have fully embraced the Halloweeny.  The neighborhood is completely aglow in orange and purple.  Ghosts and goblins add an eerie vibe to nearly every home.  We made sure to spookify our house with a few spiders and bats.  My candy stash is at full capacity and the neighbors asked us down for a little Witches Brew tomorrow night.

Why has Halloween grown to be Halloweeny?  I think it is because everyone can enjoy it.  Who doesn't like free candy!  Unlike other holidays, there is no pressure to host a big meal or buy a million gifts.  Just slap on something orange and have fun.  We say it is for the kids, but we all love Halloween and it today it sounds good to it a Halloweeny a month long affair.

That is life in MomZania.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Snow Plow, Tiger, Helicopter, or Free Range

The throws of school in full swing.  There are endless streams of homework, friends, activities, volunteering, and so much more.  It feels as though I'm spending 26 hours a day on parenting.  With all the managing of the kids' schedules, I have gotten to wondering exactly what type of parent I am.

Am I a Snow Plow Parent?  Simply going out in front of the kids pushing every obstacle out of their way, then laying salt and sand ensuring safe passage.

Am I a Tiger Mom?  Finding all the perfect activities and scholastic opportunities to ensure their success in the classroom, college, and career.

Am I the Helicopter Mommy?  Flying overhead making sure the every assignment is completed, every appointment is kept, and every bully banished to harassing others.

Am I the Free Range Friend?  Pushing the kids to fly on their own, make mistakes, and determine their own path.

Maybe I am none of them? Or all of them? Or Tiger on Tuesday and Free Range on Fridays?  Or Snow Plow with Sarah and Helicopter Mommy with Mick?
I really don't know which I am.

I do know for certain parenting is hard work.  If you had asked me when I was 25 what made parenting hard, I would have said the diapers and the spit-up.  In actuality those were the easier parts, messy, but straightforward.  Dirty diaper? Change it.  Spit-up?  Clean it.

The hardest part of parenting is figuring out just how to parent.  Do you let your baby cry it out at 2am?  Let your toddler watch TV?  Let your elementary work out their fight with their BFF alone?  Your middle schooler bomb an assignment because he procrastinated? Your high schooler date and drive?  So many questions and so few clear answers.

You can scour the internet, but you will find an infinite different opinions.  The same is true for asking friends and family.  The truth is there usually isn't an easy yes/no answer.  The answer to real world parenting is it depends.  It depends on the child, the parent, the situation, the day, the place, and the phase of the moon.

What type of parent am I?  I still don't know and probably never will.  I will just answer each tricky question of parenthood as it pops up and hope for the best.  

That is life in MomZania.