I still act like a child.

We reset our priorities. We made a plan. We made less selfish choices.
It was amazing. Things were good. Kids were happy. We were happy.
Then there was that one day, that one day when I was tired, tired of not getting my way.
It was just a moment. A frustrated moment. I had done all my chores, made all the plans, fixed all the meals. I had paid the pills and fed the chickens. I had listened to stories and read stories, and broke up fights. I had entertained unexpected company because…well… the kids were excited to play with their cousins. I fielded phone calls and messages, fixed problems, boosted spirits, and comforted the broken-hearted. I played referee between an emotional teenager and … the rest of the world.
It was 9:30pm, and I finally had a chance to sit in my recliner and do something I WANTED TO DO. I’ve been working on knitting the same scarf since last fall. It was supposed to be a Christmas gift. Then a January birthday gift. Now, I’m sure my friend is just hoping she’ll get it one day. The stitch isn’t hard, but it requires paying attention.
Thirteen stitches in a child crawls up beside me.
“I haven’t had any Mommy/Bubby time in forever!”
I put the knitting down, hug him, and remind him that we had cuddle time earlier and that now it was bedtime. I tuck him back in, and say prayers again, and sing the song again.
As I walk across the kitchen, headed for my chair, the other teenager flings her foot into my face to show me that her toenail is hurting again….”it has been hurting me for DAYS Mom!”
You couldn’t have told me that DAYS ago, kid?
I was on stitch 13, right?
Okay, let’s go find the clippers and hooky filey thingy and some antibiotic ointment and the band-aids.
10 minutes later, I’m headed back for my chair.
My Mr. turns off the tv and says it’s time for bed.
Um… no. It is not. I stomp over like a child about to have a tantrum and with all the force of The Hulk I press the ON button on the tv remote as if force would make it turn on faster. I throw the remote on the couch and plop down in my seat.
“What’s wrong with you?” he dared to ask.
Oh boy. My rant began. Everyone heard it. My childish, angry rant, went from “Why is it I never get to do anything I want” to “I’m sorry, I love being wife and mommy, I just wanted a few minutes to do something I wanted to do.”
Somewhere in there, I yanked my knitting off the table without paying attention, probably flinging it around for visual effect, and dropped two stitches.
Was it the last two I did, or the two I was about to do?
My Mr. eased onto the couch beside me. Found my favorite show on Amazon Prime and pushed play.
“Okay honey, we can knit.”
Check out the new “Basically Clean Club“!

I am trying to read.

Tablet in hand, snug in my blanket, I click open my Kindle app and start reading a new chapter. From somewhere to my left, I hear random chatter.
“So I was watching this video….”
“Then I remembered….”
“Hey Mom, what was my first….?”
Hey, kiddo. I am   trying to read.
My brain scrambles to figure out what the last question was so I can respond accordingly, hoping that if I answer she will let me go back to reading. 
The random chatter and even more random questions keep coming in rapid fire succession. 
This moment. This one right here. This is when I have an internal argument with myself over parenting. It’s a real thing, and anyone with kids knows it’s true. It goes like this:
Why for the love of all that is good and holy can she not see that I am reading and just shut up??! Dude, you shouldn’t say that about your kid. These days are short, soon she won’t want to talk to you. Your book will be there later.  You should stop reading and listen to her. Ya know, quality time. Well, I can’t take care of her if I don’t take care of me and me wants to read this book! Don’t good parents teach their kids about personal time, and make sure they know they aren’t the center of everything? Yes, but you took a shower today AND peed all by yourself so you already had your “me time” lady. No, no no no, peeing alone is not “me time”, I’m going to politely tell her, since she isn’t picking up on the clues of book in hand and ignoring her, that I am reading and we can talk later.
So that’s what I did. She apologized, with the saddest, most disappointed tone in her voice. I went back to reading.
The chatter started again. It’s like a compulsion. Then I heard her say, “I wish I had a friend that liked to talk.”
You’re breaking my heart kid.
I put down the tablet. I turned to her, and said okay let’s talk.
More crickets…
For ten minutes she was completely silent.
Until I picked up my book.
-Just Lisa

Five Minutes Over Coffee: writing prompts

5 Minutes Over Coffee: 3rd Grade

All my drafts require deep thought and more than five minutes.
All I had this morning was five minutes.
So, I asked a writer friend of mine for a journal prompt. She quickly replied “3rd grade”.
So here goes…
The third grade was the year I earned my first trip to the principal’s office.
No, I was not the one in trouble.
I should probably explain that in the 3rd grade, we didn’t have individual desks. They were big tables, for two, pushed together so four kids sat facing each other. Looking back, they were set up in a wonky kind of fashion. I know this is a writing prompt, but I had to write it out really quick. X’s are other kids, D and P and Me are the kids being discussed today.
Well, stickers were the thing back then. If you aren’t old enough to remember how very, very important stickers and stickers books were, then you’ll just have to trust me. Stickers, and how many you had in your very important, very cool sticker book, was a thing. It was one thing to have plain stickers, but to have scratch-n-sniffs, or holographic…. now, that was cool. But few things out ranked a super cool Puffy Sticker. Oh yea, puffy stickers were traded like crack in my elementary school.
Now, this kid Paul (P on the diagram), had recently become the owner of a SHEET of puffy stickers. He was willing to share, or trade. Sounds awesome, right?
When you pair it with his knowledge that I had a crush on David (D, the boy sitting next to me), it becomes less awesome. See, Paul wasn’t willing to trade with me for a sticker. He wanted me to do something. Something vile. Something no third grader should ever be asked to do.
He told me that if I wanted a sticker, I had to…..touch….David’s…..elbow.
I wanted to die! I mean, I couldn’t just touch his elbow!!
The teacher saw me getting upset, and tearing up.  She asked me what was wrong, but I didn’t want to tell her. I mean, I didn’t want to get Paul in trouble. I didn’t want David to know what Paul had asked me to do. I didn’t want David to think I didn’t want to touch his elbow. I didn’t want David to think I did want to touch his elbow.
She invited me into the hallway, where I spilled my guts. We all ended up in the principal’s office and we all ended up with a nice long lecture on how we shouldn’t try to coerce other people into touching other people’s anythings, ever.
Not even elbows.
I never did get that puffy sticker.
-Just Lisa
P.S. If you’d like to participate in Five Minutes Over Coffee, just snag that graphic and leave me a link in the comments. I’ll share it on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #5minCoffee

5 Easy steps to ensuring you do NOT get a nap

5. Do your chores early in the morning to ensure you have the extra time to take a nap.

4.  Prepare cups of juice and snacks, lay it out nicely on the counter, so they have no reason to disturb you.

3. Turn off ringer on the phone.

2. Give children full run of the Wii, the PS3, Nintendo DS’s and a houseful of toys.

and the number one way to make sure you DON’T get a nap….


1. Tell someone you’re going to take a nap!


**just as Bubbagirl dozed off and I had reached that point of no return my doorbell rang. My neighbor, with whom I rarely ever speak, had graciously walked down here with her almost 2 yr old son and her 2 week old baby to bring my girls an invitation to a birthday party…. of all days, she picked today**