Shock the monkey, I can’t change what’s coming

monkey-barsEditor’s note: This post is part of our Pulling the Plug series!

My focus this Lenten season has been to let go of my worries. Yep, I’m giving up the anxiety, saying adios to the plaguing doubt. And it is actually going pretty well. But the cold, hard truth of the matter is that sometimes, it is just really difficult to accept that you cannot change what is coming.

When Little Son was about a year old, I started to notice that he was freakishly strong. Getting him into a car seat became a power play. If I hesitated for one instant, he would spring up and onto the door frame. He would hang there against the glass, smiling and so pleased with himself.

By the time he was 3, I decided to put those muscles to work for me. He started carrying the groceries inside, easily managing a gallon of milk with one arm. And boy, was I grateful! It was so hot that summer, and I had to carry She-Who-Refused-to-Walk everywhere. I was pooped.

That was also the year he discovered the monkey bars on the school playground. He could get on and hold himself up but hadn’t yet mastered swinging his body. So for three years, I have held his legs, supporting his body as he works his arms, moving him back and forth, back and forth across the bars.

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Setting screen limits – for myself!

I totally stole this photo from an awesome tumblr site, Parents on Phones. Funny! Check it out here!

I totally stole this photo from an awesome tumblr site, Parents on Phones. Funny! Check it out here!

Editor’s note: This post is part of our Pulling the Plug series!

We monitor our son’s screen time carefully because my husband and I are big believers that too much time in front of a TV, or on the laptop or tablet, is like fast food for the brain. It dulls creativity. It promotes zombie-like inactivity.

For him, at least.

Me?  Ummmm.

While I try to tune out on the weekends if work isn’t demanding my attention, I am consistently attached at the hip to technology from 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day during the week. Mostly, it comes from being an overachieving control freak about my job. And about my need to interact in real time with my blog readers and followers on social media. (I’m a fiction writer in my spare time, and if a reader takes the time out of her busy schedule to connect with me, I feel obligated to respond quickly.)

But I’m embarrassed to admit that sometimes my attachment to my iPhone and my laptop Continue reading

Cuz breaking up is hard to do … .

Editor’s note: This post is part of our Pulling the Plug series!

I do not “like” water. It’s not very fun. But Diet Coke – yum!  Diet Dr. Pepper – come to mama!  I even like Diet Mountain Dew, which now that I look back on it, is pretty foul.  But I used to happily Do the Dew!  I drank diet soda like it was water.  And sometimes it was all I drank. For the whole day.  Terribly healthy, I know. Somehow I used to justify it by the fact that I don’t drink coffee so soda was my sole source of caffeine. Whatever it takes to get you through the day, right?

dietcokeI don’t want to go so far as to say I have an addictive personality but I am sort of an “all or nothing” kind of girl.  I don’t want one Oreo, I want 10.  One margarita?  No thanks, how about three?  That’s how I was with my diet soda – and man oh man, was I all in!!!  When we drove by a McDonald’s, my oldest asked, “Mommy, are you going to get a Diet Coke?”  I knew this was a fairly large problem. Continue reading