Tag Archives: children

here i stand: the worst mama on the planet


life is way beyond stressful right now. there’s constant job hunting and general frustration over that, my dear husband has (understandably) added home searching into the mix, opportunities have come up that need to be weighed…heavily. i have a million ideas of what i could be doing, but i’m in such a frazzled state that i can think of two million reasons why they won’t work.

bills keep coming in as sure as the sun rises, ankle biter football has become more of a stress point in my life than i would’ve ever imagined. who knew? maybe i’ll post on that later. and of course the regular ol’ day-to-day stuff that keeps my mind spinning.


so last thursday i treated the day like any other school day. got dutch up and ironed his clothes, made his lunch. walked the dog. dropped dutch off at school. you know, the regular routine stuff. it was only when i picked him up that i noticed the big, flashing notice on that electronic sign that sits in front of the school building that said:


wait. i thought to myself. is today wednesday or thursday? surely i did NOT forget freakin’ picture day!

i mean, really? who does that?

me obviously.

not only did i forget to make sure that my child looked extra snazzy that day for his second grade picture, but daggone it, the picture order form was right there on my dining table. blank. no enclosed check or nothing.

things like this usually get dutch all upset and bothered. he’s usually all, “mooooom!! you forgot?! how did you forget??” i mean, it’s not often that i forget the important stuff, but when i do (like the time i left his lunch on the counter and sent him off to school without it and he ended up having a bag of popcorn for lunch. *sigh*) he’s pretty good at giving me all kinds of guilt trips. and i take it ’cause he’s right.

so i walked over to him on the playground all worried that he’d be disappointed and started apologizing immediately. do they even let kids take a picture if they’re not paying for them? will his picture even be in the yearbook that dutch so looks forward to getting every year? i wasn’t sure. but dutch said that he did at least take the picture. whew! it wasn’t like he had to sit in the classroom alone while all of his classmates lined up with their shiny picture-taking outfits, waving good-bye to him like he was the broke kid whose parents couldn’t at least afford the $20 picture packet.

thank goodness.

and it’s not like picture day is a one shot deal either. even if they don’t have a make-up day, they do have personality picture day closer to the end of the school year so all is not lost.

but still.

how did i let this slip by? dutch, surprisingly, didn’t make much of a fuss about it although i’m sure he will once the pictures come in and he doesn’t have any. and i’m sure this sounds like not such a big deal to a lot of folks, but i typically pride myself on being on top of these sorta things.

it’s not that we NEED another picture. in fact, dutch just had football pictures taken recently and i’m constantly snappin’ new pics of dutch. it’s just the principle of it all. like, how in the world could i have forgotten about picture day? my mother would’ve never.

i think parents often feel pangs of guilt over stuff they shoulda woulda coulda done and this was definitely one of those moments for me. i know if i wasn’t feeling so stressed all the daggone time i would’ve remembered. forgetting picture day was a huge reminder that i need to slow down a bit. pay closer attention to things that matter. shut out some of the clutter and buzz-y crap that’s swimming around in my mind.

do better.

the snake that keeps growing & growing

dutch and i were in rite aid when he picked up a toy snake and asked if he could have it. at first i told him no, but when i realized it was 50% off and only two bucks i went on ahead and told him okay.

when we got in the car dutch said that we needed to put the thing in water. huh?? why does a toy snake need water?

i probably should’ve paid more attention to the packaging when dutch tossed it up on the counter so i could pay for it. you know, the part of the packaging RIGHT THERE ON THE FRONT with the kid holding a gigantic snake up and the part that said when you put the snake in water for five days it grows to over four feet long!


silly mama.

toy snake that grows


coco rocha’s “letters to haiti” trailer

i saw this video on model coco rocha‘s site and i thought it was so beautiful that i had to post it here. the children’s little smiling faces just warmed my heart this morning.

about the vid: in february coco rocha, behati prinsloo and a small team of friends traveled to port-au-prince, haiti. they brought with them letters from hundreds of people around the world, in effort to not only lift spirits but to make the world a smaller place.

‘Letters to Haiti’ trailer from Coco Rocha on Vimeo.

child’s play designs by sharlene

niki: give me three words that describe you.
sharlene: i am creative, flamboyant, and i have always been an individual.

niki: how long have you been painting?
sharlene: it started when i bought my first house in 1995. first i  experimented with blending unusual color schemes and trying out different faux wall techniques. then when i gave birth to my daughter in july 1999, i was inspired to create a special room created just for her, a unique gift that would come straight from my heart. a gift she would wake up to everyday and be reminded of the labor of love  i poured into it. i painted a jungle theme mural, made lion shaped valances and designed the room with jungle theme accessories. i was hooked after that. it was such a natural and fulfilling expression of who i am as a person.

niki: what made you choose murals as an artistic expression?
sharlene: painting is such a peaceful and relaxing feeling, developing the perfect image to match a child’s personality satisfies the creative side in me. the most rewarding experience i take away from it is the pure joy i see in a child when they see the final result. the happiness on their faces is so pure and innocent. it’s the kind of joy many of us lose as adults. the simplest things in life can be the most rewarding. i am reminded of that every time i see the light in their eyes when they see the finished project.

niki: where do you draw inspiration for your work?
sharlene: my inspiration comes from children and my own childhood memories . when you think of kids in general what comes to my mind are bright colors, happiness, fun, simplicity, and innocence. i try to bring all of these qualities into every mural i create and every room i design.

niki: what has been your favorite project so far?
sharlene: i really enjoyed creating designs for my children at different stages of their development. they are my most challenging clients. if they don’t like something they have no problems telling me!

niki: what creative power do you wish you had?
sharlene: i wish i had the creative power to make everyone feel comfortable in expressing the creative power within themselves, even if it means not following the crowd. imagine how much more interesting the world would be if everyone dropped the mask and revealed their true, authentic selves.

niki: what music gets your creative juices flowing?
sharlene: it is so funny you are asking me this question. i am a diehard music fan. there’s not a day that goes by when i’m not listening to music, looking up underground artists or trying to expose people to a sound other than the same tired grooves you hear on the radio. i listen to a little of everything really…neo-soul, rap, alternative. my favorite artist is prince. lately i have been listening heavily to bilal, van hunt, nikka costa, eric roberson and the great erykah badu… need i say more?

sharlene lewter-flood and child’s play designs serve the dc metro area (dc, md & va)

for more info call: 240.463.8622

sick again? well, not quite

kindergarten is making my child sick. literally. he first got sick just a couple months after starting school.

he had a nasty little bug otherwise known as strep. so we got some antibiotics (and tons of popsicles) and knocked that sucka clean out.

only to have it come right back after two months.

my child has never been this sick…ever. i feel like i need to send him to school in one of those all white germ free suits with a mask and four cans of lysol. i mean, really, school = cess pool of icky germs. and the kids just pass it back and forth and forth and back like a game of hot potato.

so anyway yesterday around 3pm i get yet another call while at work from the clinic at dutch’s school. yeah, they don’t call it the nurse’s office anymore. it’s now called the “clinic.” dutch had a temperature of 101. come get him now, they said. good thing his dad had taken off early for an appointment so he was able to get him right away.

sidenote: my child must’ve really been out of it because he thought that the nurse said it would take me a while to get there to pick him up because i was coming from africa. yeah, africa. is this what a fever does to a little child’s brain?

but back to my lil’ story. when the husband got there he was told there was a nasty bug going around (no kidding) and that in order for dutch to return to school he would have to be feverless for 24 hours. “he won’t be coming to school tomorrow,” said the nurse to the husband.

so now i’m here with a feverless child who is trying his best to keep himself occupied while i work from home. he decided to check out the balance of his piggy bank account and surmised that he has enough money for us to go somewhere. “let’s go!! we can go anywhere!!”

anywhere? not quite kid.

and the only pain he now feels is in his foot. from jumping around playing wii.

the mean mommy

i’m sure we’ve all had moments when we’ve thought our moms are just plain ol’ mean. and silly me to think that i had somehow dodged the dreadful “mean” title. after all, for the last 5 years i’ve been the good mommy, but lately, not so much.

last night i was cooking and dutch wanted to help. he helped pour the orange marmalade and then he poured some water in a pot, but then i ran out of things for him to pour! when i told him i’d take it from there he got upset and told me i was mean.

dutch: you’re such a mean mommy! you think you’re a beautiful girl, but you’re really just a mean girl!

funny how he somehow equated mean with not so beautiful. i hope he remembers that when he starts dating.


dutch visits the library once a week at school and he usually picks the same types of books. either they’re about the military or football or pirates. he recently brought home a book about the marines and after we finished reading it I asked a few questions about the book.

mama: so where do the marines live, dutch?

dutch: at a place that has schools, and stores, and big buildings.

mama: okay, but what is it called? (mind you, the answer is a military base.)

dutch: georgetown?

santa? child please…

we don’t do santa. never have. dutch is 5 and we’ve always told him that Christmas is about the birth of Jesus. yes, we celebrate by decorating a Christmas tree and yes, we exchange gifts, but we’ve always told him that we buy his gifts.

but now he’s convinced otherwise. it seems one of his classmates has convinced him that there is indeed a santa claus. that santa will visit and leave toys, blah, blah, blah…

“he’s going to come down our chimney!”

i said, “ummmm, no, actually, he’s not. in fact, dutch, look at our fireplace, does it look like a man could fit in there?”

he looked at me and thought for a second and said, “santa could.”

my husband even jumped in and said, “buddy, we buy your gifts. there’s no such thing as santa.”

dutch still decided to believe his 5-year-old classmate over us. he said, “dad, there IS a santa…”

then my husband said, “look, i’m 32…”

that’s when i cut in and said, “uhhhhh, honey, actually, you’re not.”

my husband stood there and thought about it and dutch said, “yeah, dad, you’re 33.”

so i guess if dad doesn’t even know how old he is, he really must not know about santa.