The Silent Victims of Our Loud Book Club – Revisited

The Silent Victims of Our Loud Book Club – Revisited

This week marks the nine year anniversary of our book club. I was about to do a post about the unprecedented drama we’re currently experiencing around our book choice for next month, (which is going on it’s 3rd day and 3rd tie-breaker challenge – more about that at the end of the post) – But then I remembered that the REAL drama was during our book choice back in 2014 which inspired the post that follows. The original lives on my old “The Dusty Parachute” blog, but I’m sharing it here because I keep getting warnings that the Dusty Parachute blog is “unstable” and “susceptible to breaking down” at any moment (same, blog, same).

Read more

Mask Making Instructions for People With Noses

Mask Making Instructions for People With Noses

After a month of making masks for first responders, friends and neighbors, I have tried pretty much every pattern and technique on the internet and have come up with my own pattern that addresses the issue that most of the other patterns didn’t: I have a nose.

Perhaps there is a medical benefit to squashing your nose so hard that moist-talkers’ (thanks, Justin Trudeau) spittle can’t sneak into your nostrils. But as we move from simply using masks to pop into the store for a couple minutes to wearing them for extended periods to protect our communities, comfort is a virtue.

Read more

Nose Frida Sucks…and That’s a Good Thing!

Nose Frida Sucks…and That’s a Good Thing!

This post is originally from my old Dusty Parachute site but I’ve brought it over here in honor of my support for Frida Mom’s banned Oscars ad and pretty much all things Frida. Don’t know what ‘too graphic’ ad I’m referring to? You can check it out over here.


As the mothers of newborns we do some pretty strange things to keep our babies healthy & comfortable:

Would you use your teeth to trim your baby’s fingernails? Anything for my baby!

Would you squirt your breast milk into your baby’s eye at the first sign of conjunctivitis? You’d be crazy not to!

Would you suck snot out of your baby’s nose with a plastic hose? Of cour…..Wait a minute…..you want me to do what?

My name is Susanne, and I sucked my baby’s snot…..and you should too!

Just in case you don’t know what I’m talking about – This is a Nose Frida – The Snot Sucker, and the name says it all.

Read more

The 10 People You’ll Find at the School Book Fair

The 10 People You’ll Find at the School Book Fair

It’s Book Fair time again!

Even kids who haven’t willingly opened a book the entire school year completely lose their minds over Book Fair.

And who can blame them? Especially when the decorating committee transforms their simple library into some magical land, like a medieval castle, or an undersea experience, complete with a bubble machine at the entrance.

Even if you’ve missed the Book Fair reminder notes in your kid’s folder or all the giant red banners around campus, it’s hard to miss the kids wandering around after school dressed as human billboards ringing bells and spreading the news about the Book Fair.

My daughter’s in the 5th grade now (and one of the human billboards,) so I’ve been to my share of Book Fairs. Heck, I’ve even been known to volunteer to work the Book Fair a time or two and I’ve got to admit, I still get caught up in the festivities.

Although the faces change from year to year, the general School Book Fair population remains the same. Here are the Top 10 types of people you’re likely to meet during elementary school Book Fair Week.

Read more

I’m Done Being Embarrassed of My Anxiety Disorder

I’m Done Being Embarrassed of My Anxiety Disorder

Hi. I’m Susanne. And I’m done being embarrassed that I take an antidepressant for an anxiety disorder.

I mean, seriously, I have so many other things that I should be embarrassed about, like that time in the fourth grade when I didn’t have an act for the talent show so I just walked back and forth on the stage, doing random, jerky, Rockettes-style kicks to the J. Geil’s Band song, “Centerfold.”

That was embarrassing.

But taking charge of your health is just smart. We tell our kids all the time that they should be proud of being smart.

Therefore, I should be PROUD to be taking an antidepressant.

Read more

13 Steps to Playing the HEB Buddy Buck Machine

13 Steps to Playing the HEB Buddy Buck Machine

For those of you who don’t live in Texas, let me take a moment to explain HEB & the HEB Buddy Buck machine.

HEB is THE grocery store in Texas. Pro-tip: It’s pronounced by saying the actual letters, H–E–B. It is not pronounced Heb, like Jeb, and most importantly, it’s not pronounced Hebe, like the ethnic slur. H, E & B are the initials of founder, Howard Edward Butt. (Cue giggling children.)

Read more

How To Become an Everyday Activist – Tips From 5 Women Driving Change in Their Communities

How To Become an Everyday Activist – Tips From 5 Women Driving Change in Their Communities

I was honored to lead a panel at this year’s Mom 2.0 Summit. My topic was “Activism as an Influencer – How To Be The Driver of Change in Your Community,” so I assembled five of the smartest, fiercest women I know who are driving change in our community and beyond.

Because there were so many amazing sessions to choose from at the same time as ours, (not to mention a literal room full of puppies!) we have put together some highlights for those who missed it, (and for those of you who made it but were too full of Dove lounge champagne to remember all the details.)

Read more

Use Your Straight Privilege to Support LGBTQ Rights

Use Your Straight Privilege to Support LGBTQ Rights

Yesterday was a craptastic day in democracy.

I spent the day rushing across town to the capitol (twice) and spent five hours hurry-up-and-waiting to try to testify in support of HB 517. HB 517 is a bill by Celia Israel, intended to stop unprofessional conduct by healthcare providers who inflict conversion “therapy” (torture) on kids.

10:30am: “I’m fired up to give my testimony!” 1:00pm: “I’m cold, hungry & confused. Am I in the right room?” 8:30pm: “Are you $%@#$ serious? I missed giving testimony by 10 minutes?!”

In the end, I showed up both ten hours too early and ten minutes too late, as the bill which was scheduled for 10:30am was actually heard at 7:45pm, while I was across town casting votes at the AISD School Health Advisory Council meeting. I rushed back to the capitol as soon as the meeting was over, but instead of providing public testimony, I ended up slinking up to the reporter as she was recording testimony comments for the next bill and handing her my stack of printed comments to (hopefully) be submitted to the committee.

Read more

The Search Is OVER! The Best Sugar Cookie Recipe Ever!

The Search Is OVER! The Best Sugar Cookie Recipe Ever!

Original post at my old Dusty Parachute page.

I have exciting news for you all – After 42 years on this planet, I have finally achieved my goal in life!

I know what you’re saying to yourself.  “Wow, I wish I could achieve my goal in life, maybe I should work harder!”  Maybe you should.  Because then you could be like me, 42 years old without a single care in the world, living the rest of my life free and easy because I’m no longer burdened by my life-long goal of finding the perfect sugar cookie recipe.

Read more

8 Trump Temper Tantrum Survival Strategies for the 116th Congress

8 Trump Temper Tantrum Survival Strategies for the 116th Congress

Any parent who has been in a toy aisle with a hangry toddler who’s tired from staying up too late the previous night hate-tweeting and binge-watching Fox News can empathize with the 116th Congress having to deal with our President’s border wall fixation.

Just like a three-year-old kicking and screaming on the floor because you won’t buy them the extravagant, over-priced toy that they bragged to all the kids in class that they were going to get, our toddler of a president is ready to prove to the world that nobody is better at throwing tantrums than he is.

Read more

The How (Not) To of Childcare Instructions

The How (Not) To of Childcare Instructions

I was digging through an old bookcase today when this old, folded-up note fell out.  I unfolded it to discover the six-page list of ‘guidelines and explanations’ (my own obnoxious choice of words) that I had written years ago for my mother and father-in-law when they came to care for our daughter while I took a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Italy with my mom.

This was eight years ago.  My daughter had just turned one, plus we had moved into a new house the week prior.  There were boxes everywhere, not to mention the general craziness of living with a one year old.  Even with all that, my in-laws were kind enough to volunteer to fly from Arizona to Seattle to watch her for ten days, while my husband was at work, so that my mom and I could go on a food and wine tour across Italy.

I am still grateful that they gave us this gift of their time and in hindsight, am even more grateful that they didn’t either bolt for the door or laugh in my face when they saw what follows.
Read more

“When I Was Your Age!” Halloween Edition

“When I Was Your Age!” Halloween Edition

Gather around, children, while I tell you a little story about Halloweens back when I was your age, waaaayyyy back in the 1970s.

Ah, those were the days! Children wore costumes their mothers made from scratch, and store-bought costumes were much less slutty, (and much more flammable.) This period also marked the final years when it was acceptable, nay, encouraged, to raise awareness to the plight of the homeless by dressing your child up as a Hobo for the night.

Which brings me to Exhibit A, featuring my brother, the Hobo and me as Raggedy Anne. My mom made the hat and the apron and of course there’s the cute little red dress underneath. Look how sweet we are posing out in front of our house in Idaho.

Happy 70's Halloween - TheDustyParachute.com
Read more

Beware of Unsolicited Pumpkin Texts

Beware of Unsolicited Pumpkin Texts

There’s a good chance my in-laws think I’m crazy.

I miss 85% of their correspondence because I only check emails once a month.

It takes me approximately four months to cash the kids’ birthday checks they send.

There’s the time I left them SIX PAGES of crazy baby-care instructions while they were babysitting our (then) one year old daughter.

And then there’s the Pumpkin-Text-Fiasco of 2013.

Read more

Can You Find My Favorite Anniversary Present?

Can You Find My Favorite Anniversary Present?

Originally published on my Dusty Parachute blog July 5, 2015.

My husband and I aren’t big on giving gifts. We already have a lot of stuff and we’re both really bad about buying things when we want them so not only is there nothing that either one of us really needs, there’s not even usually something that we want that the other could buy.

For a while we tried to make gift buying more interesting by creating gift-giving themes like, “Spend $10 at a Walgreen’s” or “Spend $10 on something that could be featured on Antique Roadshow someday.”
Read more

The Birds & the Bees & Hard Candies – Why Sex Ed Is Important

The Birds & the Bees & Hard Candies – Why Sex Ed Is Important

I originally performed this piece live as part of the Listen to Your Mother Austin 2016 Show. I’m sharing it here again as just one example of why I believe that science-based, comprehensive sex-ed is important for all children.

 

When I was 8 years old, I became a walking after school special when I showed a neighbor boy my underpants in exchange for a fun-size pack of Life Savers.

I should have known he was bad news when he suggested we take his riding mower out for a joyride around the back pasture (not a euphemism).  Our ride ended with the lawnmower stuck in an irrigation ditch and me in his grandpa’s basement trading a peek at my underwear in exchange for his hard candies (also not a euphemism.)
Read more

My REVISED Amazon Squishy Product Review

My REVISED Amazon Squishy Product Review

If you haven’t read the original Squishy Penis Post, you can find it here.

Dear Amazon –

It is with a heavy heart that I must remove one star , or eggplant ?, from my previous review of my Mochi Squishies Squishy Toys Squeeze Random Animals Stress Toy Kawaii Squishies by Shovan, 30 Pieces.

Once it was confirmed by several hundred people that one of the MSSTSRASTKSbS30Ps I ordered was definitely not an Animal, and was, in fact, a Penis, it started to generate some tension in our household.

Read more

My Amazon Squishy Product Review

My Amazon Squishy Product Review

My Amazon Review for “Mochi Squishies Squishy Toys Squeeze Random Animals Stress Toy Kawaii Squishies by Shovan, 30 Pieces”

Dear Amazon –

I recently purchased your MSSTSRASTKSbS30P (aka Mochi Squishy Animal Stress Toys) for my son’s 2nd Grade “End of School” Treasure Box

As always, I relied purely on all of your completely legitimate product reviews to make my final purchase decision. Sure, I was a little suspicious that all of the reviews were 5 stars, in broken English, and submitted within the past month, but I was sold by Sunny’s critique about being “worried that the smell would be too heavy” but discovering that her “worry were superfluous” after receiving them.

If they pass Sunny’s sniff test, then that’s good enough for me!
Read more

A Sneak Peek at My First Novel

A Sneak Peek at My First Novel

I am setting forth on a new adventure and working on putting together a book proposal. I have been honored to be part of several humor and parenting anthologies but writing an entire book is a whole new ballgame.

When putting together my proposal for prospective agents, I will be highlighting several examples of my work, one of which will be this previously unpublished treasure that my mom discovered while cleaning out her garage. Don’t be surprised if you someday see this 1980 classic, “The Dogs that Never Stoped Loveing,” on the NYT Bestseller list, (or back in the bottom of a box in my attic.)
Read more

America Needs a Little NEMO in our Sex Ed

America Needs a Little NEMO in our Sex Ed

When I was in grade school, I spent a year of my life distressed over the possibility that I could be pregnant, all because a boy saw my underpants and a friend of mine told me that that’s how babies were made.

My psychosomatic pregnancy scare has influenced the approach I take when teaching my own kids about sex. Since preschool, my kids have known that boys have penises, not “wee-wees,” and that girls have vaginas, not “front-butts.” They also learned that babies are made when penises enter vaginas, not when 10-year-old boys sneak a peek at your underwear.
Read more

10 Signs You’re Experiencing Mom 2.0 Summit Reentry Syndrome

10 Signs You’re Experiencing Mom 2.0 Summit Reentry Syndrome

You knew it couldn’t last forever, but still didn’t realize that the end would come this quickly and be so painful.

Mom 2.0 Summit 2018 is over.

Reentry to the real world can be hard, but you’re not alone. In fact, all 800 of us are drifting through our lives today wondering why these vaguely-familiar little humans keep asking us for things like “cereal” and all we can say is, “TWO DAYS AGO I WAS EATING MY BODY WEIGHT IN CHEESE BLINTZES AND NO ONE WAS ASKING ME FOR THINGS!”
Read more

5 Reasons I’m Having School Photo Rage

5 Reasons I’m Having School Photo Rage

Even on a good day, there are quite a few reasons to be annoyed by school photo day.

  • You have to remember that it’s school photo day.
  • You have to fight with your kid about why for ONE DAY you would like them to consider wearing a shirt that doesn’t have a picture on the front of it.
  • You have to have them practice a smile that doesn’t look like they’re plotting the photographer’s death and/or hitting the peak of an acid trip.

But the absolute worst part of photo day is dealing with the purchase procedure of said photos.

  1. Choose from backgrounds. This year’s selections included, “Barbara Walters 1984 Interview,” “Between Two Ferns,” “A River Runs Through It,” “That Scene From Gravity When Sandra Bullock Floats Away,” or “Underage Camp Counselor.”
  2. Select from packages A-Q, ranging in price from a minimum of $20 to a maximum of infinity dollars, because of all the mind-boggling add-ons like puzzles of your face, and note pads of your face, and pillows of your face so you can put your face on your face.
  3. Use the convenient “pay online feature” so your kid can keep saying, “there’s no money with the order form…they won’t let me get my picture taken if you don’t pay….I don’t think that code counts, I think they only take real money….”
  4. Pay with a check, if you can find your checkbook, because, do they even make checks anymore?
  5. Forget to put the order form in your kid’s backpack.
  6. Deliver order form to school office and add to a 3″ pile of other forgotten order forms.
  7. Read more

Dear Moms: It’s Okay To Skip The Class Field Trip

Dear Moms: It’s Okay To Skip The Class Field Trip

Today I am filled with mom-guilt. Since there are more types of mom-guilt than there are Eskimo words for snow, I should probably be more specific.

Today’s guilt (or at least this hour’s guilt) is Guilt Type #26: When you have to tell your child that you won’t be chaperoning their class field trip today even though you never missed any of his big sister’s field trips. Even worse, the aggrieved child reminds you about how you used to drop him off at a daycare for the express purpose of being able to attend his big sister’s field trips (Guilt Type #37.) To top it off, you may have kind of, a little bit, fibbed (or at least exaggerated) about the excuses for missing the filed trip (Guilt Type #26.B)
Read more

The 10 Stages of Grief of Being Reported to the HOA Yard Police

The 10 Stages of Grief of Being Reported to the HOA Yard Police

I was recently subjected to the lowest of the low in Suburbia-shaming: I was reported to the neighborhood HOA Yard Police.

In case you ever find yourself in the deep pit of despair associated with being yard-shamed by one of your friendly neighbors, who is waving, “howdy neighbor!” at you one moment, only to duck into their car and shoot off a report to the HOA about you the next, here’s my experience to help guide you through your stages of grief.


Read more

How to Clean A Garage in Under Two Months

How to Clean A Garage in Under Two Months

For those not familiar with my Dusting Off My Parachute Facebook Group, each day we have a themed micro-resolution and Friday is F-It Friday, where the F can stand for Fix, as in, I’m going to fix that hole in the wall that has been bugging me for the past seven years.  The F can also stand for the more traditional F-word, and that’s when we just say F-It and give ourselves permission to permanently delete something off of our to-do list without actually doing it, because, well….F-it.
Read more

While You’re Being a Squeaky Wheel, Don’t Forget To Keep Rolling

While You’re Being a Squeaky Wheel, Don’t Forget To Keep Rolling

 

As a little “Thank You Thursday” inspiration, I want to introduce the concept of a “Grateful Wheel.”

You’re probably more familiar with the concept of the “Squeaky Wheel.” You know, that’s when we try to affect change by being very vocal and squeaky about our opinions and complaints.

Unfortunately, when we’re being squeaky, it’s often when we’re fighting *against* something instead of fighting *for* something.

The thing about being in Squeaky Wheel mode is that we often confuse noise with movement. We end up squeaking in place to make ourselves feel like we’re doing something, but we’re just filling the space with our noise and negativity and causing others to squeak even louder to try to be heard.
Read more

Before You Get Angry at the WHAT, ask WHY?

Before You Get Angry at the WHAT, ask WHY?

People are angry these days, and justifiably so.

The government is a mess, kids are getting shot in schools and the world just feels like a scary and dangerous place.

Unfortunately, the justifiable anger from some of these big-world-issues seems to be spreading into our small, every day personal interactions.

  • Cursing the guy who cuts you off in traffic and speeds off.
  • Starting a fight with the person who is being a “Sancti-Mommy” online.
  • Snapping at your kid because they forgot something important at school.

I’m not above it.  We’ve ALL done it before.  Heck, I have probably done it today.
Read more

If I Can Run a Half Marathon, Anyone Can. No, Seriously – I’m a Mess.

If I Can Run a Half Marathon, Anyone Can.  No, Seriously – I’m a Mess.
Today’s F-It Friday is brought to you by the Austin Half Marathon whose motto should be: “The Austin Half Marathon: the race that’s impossible to train the appropriate 12 weeks for because the prior 12 weeks include Thanksgiving, Christmas, and every negative weather condition known to man.” (That wouldn’t really fit on a bumper sticker though.)

Read more

Thank A Teacher

Thank A Teacher

I love teachers.

Sure, everyone “loves” teachers, but I LOVE teachers. I am in awe of their patience and grace under the pressure of handling the demands of 15x more kids than I’ve ever had to deal with, FOR SEVEN HOURS A DAY!  EVERY DAY!

My favorite example: I was once visiting my daughter’s fourth grade classroom to take class photos for the yearbook. The class that her teacher team-taught was gathering, very enthusiastically, in the hall for a class trip to the Nutcracker. She came out to greet me, while nonchalantly holding a trashcan that a student had just puked in and simultaneously arranging escorts to take said student to the office and getting students filed off onto the bus.

To me, even just as a spectator, this experience was so traumatic that I’m still writing about four years later.

To her, it was Thursday.
Read more

Kids > Guns

Kids > Guns

Sorry, everyone – there won’t be anything funny posted here today. In fact, there will probably be a lot of completely unfunny things posted here.

You see, I just finally watched one of the many videos from the latest school massacre.

I have to admit, I was too cowardly to watch them yesterday. I was also too cowardly to watch them today, but one autoplayed in my Twitter feed and I saw it.

I didn’t want to see it, because I did not want to feel it.

I was afraid that if I saw it, and felt it, that would make it real.

Like a Schrödinger cat. I didn’t want to “open the box” and make 17 people die.

But I did see it.
Read more

Let’s “Take Two” to Talk About Taking a Number Two

Let’s “Take Two” to Talk About Taking a Number Two

Today, in an exercise in efficiency, (and laziness,) I am combining Take Two Tuesday and Wish ‘n Well Wednesday into one handy post.

In my defense, there’s actually a good explanation for combining the two: My wish for your wellness is that you “take-two“….as in a #2

Yep, as in:

Take 2 For a #2

The inspiration for writing a post about going #2 appropriately came to me in the waiting room of my Proctologist, right about the same time I posted this on Facebook.

SusanneKerns.com

 
Read more

Monday ME-Search – Sharing Our Stories

Monday ME-Search – Sharing Our Stories
 
I received two pieces of news this week, from near and far, about friends who lost loved ones very unexpectedly.
 
It has been weighing on me, and I thought about using it to guide today’s Monday MEsearch, but didn’t want to be too much of a downer. Then I remembered the post I did last year around this time as I was traveling to attend the funeral of a dear woman – my husband’s aunt, who I love so much I also claim her as my own. I don’t always believe in *signs* but it seemed like a pretty good hint that this is something worth taking a few moments for this week.

Read more

Say No So Someone Else Can Say Yes

Say No So Someone Else Can Say Yes

Women are notorious for saying yes to things that they have neither the time nor energy for, (or even any interest in.)

  • Taking the volunteer position at school when your plate is already full.
  • Accepting an invitation to an event when you want a night off at home.
  • Taking a promotion at work instead of pursuing another field you’re interested in.

There are hundreds of articles out there trying to convince us to start saying NO to help with our sanity and stress levels, yet we continue to say YES because we’re more worried about letting someone else down than our own well-being.

After all, it’s hard to convince a people-pleaser to look out for their health and happiness when nine times out of ten, they will base their choice on what they think will make someone else happy.

Perhaps we’re thinking of this the wrong way.

What if when you say no, you are making someone else happy?

By saying no, you are giving someone else the opportunity to say yes.

Read more

Thank-Full Thursday – Thank You Notes

Thank-Full Thursday – Thank You Notes

Happy Thank-full Thursday – I’m thankful you’re here!

The most simple interpretation of Thank-Full Thursday is to say “Thank You.” Last week, we practiced saying proper thank yous to people during day to day interactions, (instead of just mumbling thanks while staring at our shoes), but this week we’re stepping it up a notch: there’s postage involved.

How much would you love it if you went to the mailbox today and there was a card in there from someone who you haven’t seen in months (or who you saw yesterday) that just said a simple “Thank You.”

  • Thank you for picking up my kid from school that time.
  • Thank you for telling me I had something in my teeth.
  • Thank you for always bringing your amazing cheese dip to parties.
  • Read more

Is It Your Thyroid? Thyroid Awareness Month.

Is It Your Thyroid? Thyroid Awareness Month.

January is thyroid awareness month. Despite the fact that I’ve been taking daily thyroid supplements for almost thirty years, I was not aware of awareness month.  Even worse, like 60% of people who suffer from thyroid issues, I spent years not even being aware that I had an untreated thyroid condition.

So, this Thyroid Awareness Month, I encourage you to be aware of thyroid symptoms all year-long, because although thyroid conditions are common (12% of the US population will develop one,) the health implications of having being hyperthyroid (overactive) or hypothyroid (under active) can impact every part of your body and every part of your life.
Read more

Take 2 Tuesday – 2 Minute Stretch for Your 10 Pound Head

Take 2 Tuesday – 2 Minute Stretch for Your 10 Pound Head

Before you jump into “Taking 2,” take 1 second and notice how you’re standing or sitting.

My guess is that you’re not sitting in a perfectly aligned, yoga like position and instead your head is jutting forward over a phone or keyboard, putting 10 pounds (YES 10 POUNDS) of pressure on your poor neck. We shouldn’t be surprised when our backs and necks hurt, we should be surprised when they don’t!

SusanneKerns.com

Now that I’ve posture-shamed you, it’s time to get into our “Take 2.”

Here’s a great little video demonstrating a series of stretches you can easily do at your desk in TWO MINUTES (and if you have 6 more minutes to spare, the guys go into a bunch of reasons you should be stretching after the exercises.)

If you don’t have 6 more minutes to spare, here’s a quick list of reasons it’s worth “Taking 2” to stretch today (and every day.)

  • Reduces muscle tension
  • Increases circulation
  • Increases energy levels due to all that great circulation
  • A great mid-day pick me up
  • Improves flexibility
  • Improves your posture

You only have one you – take care of it.

For more daily micro-resolutions, visit my Dusting Off My Parachute Facebook Group.

 

MEsearch Monday – It’s all about ME!

MEsearch Monday – It’s all about ME!

What is MEsearch?

It’s taking the time to explore and investigate, (aka research,) about “ME”! (Not, ME-me – that would be weird, I mean YOU-me.)

The point is to take at least 1-2 hours a week to do something BY YOURSELF in an effort to learn more about yourself = MEsearch!

Think of at as a date with yourself. Have fun planning it & anticipating it.

Rules: (I’m type A, sorry, there are rules.)

  • It has to be BY YOURSELF (not like alone in a forest, ‘yourself’ – you can go to a restaurant or something, but you can’t go WITH anyone else.)
  • Don’t use it to check something off your to-do list. This isn’t about being practical, it’s about making special time for yourself.
  • Choose something that is outside the norm or your comfort zone.
  • Don’t think you have to spend a lot of money. There are tons of free options.

Use Mondays to brainstorm and research our MEsearch date for the week.

Ideas to get you started:

  • Take a walk through a park you’ve never visited before
  • Have lunch at a restaurant that serves a type of food you’ve never tried before.
  • Try something you’ve had a million times a different way. Always have eggs scrambled? Try one poached this week!
  • Go to one of those ‘drink wine while you paint’ classes.
  • Attend a book reading at a local library
  • Attend a craft event at a local community center.
  • Play miniature golf.
  • Go bowling.
  • Try a trapeze class.
  • Try a hot yoga class.
  • Try a zip line.
  • Go to a film with subtitles.

What are some things you’ve been wanting to try but have been hesitant to do? Get it on your calendar and leave your ideas here in case anyone else needs ideas.

Get more daily micro-resolutions over at my Dusting Off My Parachute Group.

F-It Friday: Transform Your Life in 5 Minutes By Saying F-It

F-It Friday: Transform Your Life in 5 Minutes By Saying F-It

For those who are new to the Dusting Off My Parachute Facebook Group, F-It Friday can have a wide range of goals.

Some are of the more foul-mouthed, F-It variety, like when you finally decide that you are NEVER going to get around to super gluing the broken Christmas ornament that has been on your kitchen counter for three years. On F-It Friday, your mission is to say, “F-It”, toss it in the trash and make peace with the universe now that you don’t have to have a little porcelain tree staring at you as a reminder of every failure in your life every time you go to the kitchen to steal from your kids’ snack cabinet.

There is also an F-It with an F as in Fix It. This is when you finally do the one stupid little thing that you KNOW will only take about 30 seconds to do, and nags you every time you see it, but for some reason you have let snowball into this mentally monumental task. (Aka – the tiny unpainted part of the wall from where the baby gate mount was removed that took me 4 years and 2 minutes to fix (4 years of glaring at it, 2 minutes to actually take a Melissa & Doug paintbrush and dip it in the can of paint in the garage and dab it on the 2″ spot on the wall.)

Today, my F-It Friday felt SOOOOO GOOOOOD! Every morning, I make a bowl of oatmeal because Oprah told me to once, and because my cholesterol is the level of an 85 year old man. Every morning I dig through my measuring cup cabinet and spend 10x as long as necessary sorting through all of the cups to find my 1/2 cup. Sure, it only really wastes about 10 seconds of my life, but it wastes about 50% of my patience for the day.

The other day, while doing my favorite thing in the world, (wandering aimlessly through the Costco office supply aisle,) I came across a jumbo pack of these 3M hook-y things that usually cost more than I’m willing to splurge on a measuring cup hanging project, for a total bargain.

In under 5 minutes, I not only transformed my measuring cup cabinet, but I have transformed my daily breakfast ritual. Ahhhhhhh.

What little task can you say F-It to today?

 

Get more daily micro-resolutions at my Dusting Off My Parachute Facebook Group.

Thank You for Saying Thank You!

Thank You for Saying Thank You!

How many times a day do we remind our kids to say thank you to other parents, camp leaders, etc?

Now, how many times a day do YOU properly say thank you to people? Not a quick, “thanks” as you’re walking off, looking in the other direction, but a look-in-their-eyes, “thank you” that makes the other person feel like they are truly appreciated.

One of my best friends is amazing at this. She should come take your kids to the zoo for the day, clean your house and make you dinner and somehow thank YOU in a way that made you feel like you really did her a huge favor letting her do all those things for you. She makes saying “Thank you” an art form.

So today, say “Thank you” (and “you’re welcome” for that matter) like you really mean it whenever the opportunity presents itself.

At the grocery check out: “Thank you for not putting the ground beef on top of the strawberries, I really appreciate it!”

To your kids: “Thank you for remembering to not take your pants and underwear off at the same time so they’re wearing each other in the laundry.”

Saying Thank You makes other people feel valued and makes you realize how many kind and helpful people there are in our lives every day.

Win-Win.

Thank you for helping make the world a more thankful place today.

 

Get more daily Micro-Resolutions over at my “Dusting Off My Parachute” Facebook Group.

 

Micro-Resolution of the Day: Questionably-Sick Kid Guilt

Micro-Resolution of the Day: Questionably-Sick Kid Guilt

This is an excerpt from my Dusting Off My Parachute Facebook Group – Learn more here.

This Wish ‘n Well Wednesday is brought to you by bed.

Bed: the place my son is since the headache he went to bed with last night was still there this morning.

I think my biggest luxury in life is that I have a schedule that permits me the flexibility to stay home with a sick, or even just potentially sick kid, when needed. It is not lost on me that probably the majority of moms don’t have the option to take the day off from work to tend to a sick kid or pay for childcare to have them stay home when they have sick-ish symptoms that may or may not be the real deal.

So, although my WELL reminder today is to take that time to rest, and let your kids rest, when their bodies need it, my WISH for you is that for those days when you’re not sure if your kid has a tummyache or a TUMMYACHE, don’t be tough on yourself when you get it wrong. (Coming from the woman who had her daughter ice a broken foot she thought was just sprained for two days.)

And I wouldn’t mind a few “wishes” that his headache is the flu in disguise.

 

Join my Facebook Group, Dusting Off My Parachute for daily prompts for totally doable mini-resolutions.

The Time I Argued About Sex Ed With a Stranger at a School Meeting Until My Face Looked Like This.

The Time I Argued About Sex Ed With a Stranger at a School Meeting Until My Face Looked Like This.

A few months ago, I started hanging out at the SHAC.

What’s a SHAC, you ask?

It’s a lot like the B-52’s “Love Shack,” except it’s in Austin instead of Atlanta, and it takes place in an Austin Independent School District conference room instead of in “a little old place where we can get together.”

Like “The Love Shack,” I would like to put up a sign that says, “Stay away, fools, ‘cause love rules at the Love Shack,” because a few meetings ago, I had an encounter with someone who is quite foolish.

In fact, she, and her anti-LGBTQ+ group, are the reason I now will be attending the SHAC (School Health Advisory Council) meetings on a monthly basis.  (That, and because the SHAC feeds me dinner.)

She’s also the reason I had to post this to Facebook after I returned home from last month’s meeting.
Read more

Why I Do NOT Have An Emergency Kit

Why I Do NOT Have An Emergency Kit

Soooooooo, I went to open my “Emergency Kit” to update any expired food, etc and instead was greeted by a poof of black moldy dust that appeared to be a result of a can of black beans getting in fight with a Gymboree sundress.

Because I am the worriest worrier who has ever worried, I called poison control to make sure I wasn’t going to be patient zero for some new airborne plague, which resulted in a visit from an ambulance and a fire truck full of nice men who kept offering to “check my vitals.”

I tried to bribe them with fresh banana bread to forget this ever happened, but surprisingly, they didn’t want to accept fresh baked goods from the crazy mold lady wearing 10 year old maternity yoga pants and no bra. (Yes, I did have a shirt on too.)

When they make a movie about my life, here is how this scene will look.

susannekerns.com

Try These 3 Things When Your Kids Get Stage Fright

Try These 3 Things When Your Kids Get Stage Fright

I would be the last person to volunteer to go up on stage and dance or sing in front of a room full of people (or iPhone screens which presumably have people holding them up,) so I’ve had some challenges convincing my kids to get excited about things like recitals and school plays.

“You’ll be great!”

“There’s nothing to be afraid of!”

“No one has ever literally died of embarrassment (that I know of) so PLEASE JUST PUT ON YOUR DAMN BALLET SHOES!!”

If parenting has taught me nothing else, it’s that it’s impossible to be rational with irrational little humans, especially when their fear is actually pretty rational and natural, (and your primary driver for making them perform is the fact that you just shelled out $50 for that recital costume, so it will be worn on stage even if you have to go up there and move your child’s limbs like a little, angry marionette.)
Read more

Welcome to My New Home!

SusanneKerns.com

 

Hello! Welcome to my new SusanneKerns.com home!  I’m so glad you’re here!

If this is your first time visiting, you’re probably all, “What new home? You never even invited me to your old home!” and then I’ll be all, “I must have typed your email address wrong on Evite!”  But, you’re more welcome to go snoop through my medicine cabinets and rifle through my drawers back at The Dusty Parachute any time you like.  I’ve listed some of my ‘readers’ favorites’ here, because that’s the kind of considerate hostess that I am.

So, why the big change?  It goes waaaayyyy back to the Mom 2.0 Summit I was at last weekend. Remember, the one where I bombarded y’all on Instagram with pictures of everyone looking super cute and citrusy in Florida?
Read more