Mamasylum - Because we all feel like being institutionalized at some point.

Keeping it Real

September 26, 2014

The Common Core Cantina

     Honestly, I’m not completely for or against Common Core. There. I said it. I’m trying to give it a chance because helping with math homework would have been hard for me regardless – old way/new way, meh.

Old Math

Old Math

I wouldn’t have remembered the way I learned oh-so-many years ago, so reviewing before homework time would’ve happened anyway. From my daughter’s perspective, I tell her she’s never had fifth grade math, so it might have been challenging for her anyway. Who knows.

     

     Having said all that, it’s sooooooooo hard! And not just the math. I was exhausted trying to stay calm, as she broke down; trying not to yell, “I don’t get it either!” when she looked to me to explain it a different way that she’d understand; trying not to vacuum, cook dinner, scrub toilets – anything, but try to figure out and explain how to round a decimal and put it on a vertical line! But finally, it clicked. I got it! I mean, she got it! I can’t explain it ever again, so don’t ask, but it’s done. She had the proudest look on her face afterwards, as I did. I didn’t yell. I stuck with her, and the tears were fewer tonight -hers and mine.

 

     The process also gave me a brainstorm – The Common Core Cantina.

Math and Margaritas

Math and Margaritas

Tuck in the little ones, kiss your husband goodbye, then head over to this after hours (which nowadays is 8:30ish) establishment. It’ll be a group of Mamas unwinding, escaping, untwisting our brains. You can have a cocktail, or a nap. Watch a stupid TV show, or read a book. If it was a particularly grueling homework session, feel free to enter the bounce room – complete with padded walls. Just remember that closing time is 11:00 because it’s a school night. Plus you’ll probably have to do the dishes when you get home.

Shannon OkaharaShannon is the stay-at-home Mama of one. But don’t ask her what she does all day. Between volunteering in the PTA, coaching volleyball, gardening, carpooling, writing (cheap therapy), publishing a book, and the business of everyday life, she has one foot in and the other out of the Mamasylum. She loves visitors, so get a day pass and visit her at www.mamasylum.com or www.facebook.com/mamasylum. You can also email her at shannon@mamasylum.com.

Keeping it Real

March 16, 2014

Naked and Afraid

     As I’m in bed, naturally reading a highbrow literary masterpiece (or Facebook), my husband comes to bed and turns on the TV. Being the honorable Christian woman I am, I never, not once, sneak a peak, or downright watch some of the questionable shows he turns on. That would be wrong, right? Who would watch a show such as Naked and Afraid (that may or may not be seen on the Discovery Channel). Survival shows are one thing, but seriously, do they have to get naked?

     I mean, had I watched that show, I may have been afraid to clear the slope in our backyard of wayward ground cover.

New addition to the Barbie Dreamhouse

New addition to the Barbie Dreamhouse

Finding holes with mummified bones of gophers, random skeletons of other critters, or nesting type materials, may have made me a bit skittish. I would have thought, “Well, at least I’m not naked,” as I put on my closed-toed shoes and changed from capris sweatpants to an old pair of Mom Jeans.

     And had I watched that show, I would have reminded myself that our local fire department is only a block away and certainly they have an anti-venom for rattlesnake bites – more than I could say for those naked survivalists. I presume, as, of course, I wouldn’t watch a show like that, right?

     I wouldn’t have been able to console myself into thinking that if I got bit by a rattlesnake, at least it wouldn’t be as deadly as the fer-de-lance that, I must have overheard, bit the foot of the show’s producer and he almost died.

      So as I was saying, it’s a good thing I keep my nose in a book based on an imaginary land with imaginary characters or I might just go forth into the backyard with reckless abandon, taking unnecessary risks that could turn me into the Frightened Gardener – though not the Naked and Afraid Gardener. That’ll be the spin-off show. Check your local listings.  

Shannon is the stay-at-home Mama of one. But don’t ask her what she does all day. Between volunteering in the PTA, coaching volleyball, gardening, carpooling, writing (cheap therapy), publishing a book, and the business of everyday life, she has one foot in and the other out of the Mamasylum. She loves visitors, so get a day pass and visit her at www.mamasylum.com or www.facebook.com/mamasylum. You can also email her at shannon@mamasylum.com.

Keeping it Real

February 22, 2014

My Date with Daniel Craig

     I don’t mean to namedrop, but once a year I have a date with Daniel Craig – you know, the best James Bond. Ever! Before you call TMZ, or E! or even my husband, we have an arrangement. You see, my kidlet’s school has a Father and

Not a bad looking car, either.

Not a bad looking car, either.

Daughter dance once a year. Rather than volunteer at it (see, Honey, I can say “no”), I graciously decline so that they can have their time together. She gets dressed up, he gets dressed up, and off they go.

     I use that time to live vicariously through a Bond Girl. Not the Bond Girls who curl, though they are just as fabulous! Rather, the girls who are adored by James Bond and he risks everything to rescue. Now, here’s where the fantasy ends. They usually die, he forgets about them in the next installment, and moves on – scarred, but smarter.

     I suppose some would say I should be watching a film that exhibits awe-inspiring women who are empowered and independent; who don’t need a man to fulfill their dreams; who can take on the wrongs in society and make the offenders accountable for their actions; who sacrifice themselves for others.

     I could do that, but it basically comes down to this: Daniel Craig is hot! And we all have guilty pleasures, right?! Now I gotta go. Can’t keep Daniel waiting.

     Feel free to let me know if I’m alone out here with my guilty pleasures. But if you don’t think Daniel Craig is the best James Bond, well, we can agree to disagree. 

Shannon is the stay-at-home Mama of one. But don’t ask her what she does all day. Between volunteering in the PTA, coaching volleyball, gardening, carpooling, writing (cheap therapy), publishing a book, and the business of everyday life, she has one foot in and the other out of the Mamasylum. She loves visitors, so get a day pass and visit her at www.mamasylum.com or www.facebook.com/mamasylum. You can also email her at shannon@mamasylum.com.

Keeping it Real

January 23, 2014

Do as I Say, So I’ll Do as I Say

     It’s been brought to my attention the past week through various messengers (as God likes to do) that I need to be more sensitive. People act annoying at times; are downright rude at times; are bossy and snippy, at times. And I’m not just talking about kids. I’m talking actual grownups who I feel should know better. I tell my kidlet that the kids at school who tease her

Hmmmm...I should try that sometime.

Hmmmm…I should try that sometime.

might not have a good role model at home (like she does, lol!!!) or doesn’t get attention at home, etc. When I ask how she handles it, she just says she ignores them. What?!!! No witty comeback? No stink eye? Have I not taught you anything?!

     Then I realize she did exactly what I’ve told her to do. Ignore them and usually they go away. Once again, I need to heed my own advice. When someone (who is sitting on a chair doing nothing) tells me to control a kid in the church nursery as he is being distracting, I need to realize that maybe she’s going through some rough times. In fact, I found out later that she is practically raising her grandson as her son-in-law died and her daughter has mentally checked out. So glad I didn’t spew my snarky comeback out loud when I thought she was being too bossy and lazy.

     Or when someone acts like they’d rather be somewhere else, they probably do. Like at their friend’s bedside as they go through chemo, as I also learned recently.

     Honestly, being sympathetic is a fine line for me. Sometimes I think, “suck it up and be

Got baggage?

Got baggage?

nice.” After all, I know one courageous woman who had brain surgery (coolest scar ever!) who I haven’t seen without a smile on her face before or after.

     But what I’m learning is that we all deal with bumps, canyons, mountains in our lives differently. We all have baggage – some of us carry it proudly with the tags still on it to show where we’ve been. Some of us try to disguise it with a pretty Prada label. Some of us let it drag behind us as it’s on its last wheel bumping into others as we walk down the plane aisle of life.

     Either way, the next time you see me being annoyed with someone who isn’t being nice enough, please remind me to check their bag, and maybe even help them carry it.

Shannon is the stay-at-home Mama of one. But don’t ask her what she does all day. Between volunteering in the PTA, coaching volleyball, gardening, carpooling, writing (cheap therapy), publishing a book, and the business of everyday life, she has one foot in and the other out of the Mamasylum. She loves visitors, so get a day pass and visit her at www.mamasylum.com or www.facebook.com/mamasylum. You can also email her at shannon@mamasylum.com.