Meaningful Mommy

Making Moments Meaningful site

What’s in a list?

A Q¬†& A List About Lists…

What’s in a list?
Words…I guess, lots of words.
Words about what?
Anything really…in a line.
Vertically, usually.
To group things, I think, an organizing system.
Like what?
Groceries, Directions, Goals,
Oh…they’re helpful then?
I don’t know, Usually they just create more lists.
You could call them that. Lists of lists.
Do you like them?
Yes, I really do.
They get you thinking then?
Yes, yes, I suppose they do. Although I use them mostly to procrastinate…
Ah…I see. Like this one?

Yes, exactly.



Explaining the airplane safety card…to my three year old

One of the requirements of parenting is answering questions. A LOT of questions. Some questions are funny and some questions we wish we didn’t have to answer, but we do. Here is how a Q&A session went¬†on an airplane flight from SEATTLE to PARIS with my three-year old daughter.

My three-year old got a hold of the airplane “Safety card” from the seat pocket in front of her. It didn’t help that the flight attendant pointed it out but I guess that is their job. I’d like to say this card held her attention for about an hour. That would even seem long…but no! It held her attention from Seattle to Paris with about a two-hour nap break mid-flight. That’s over EIGHT HOURS!!! The question and answer session went something like this. .

Trigger warning: If you are afraid of flying or the like this post will not be helpful…

Q&A about the airplane safety card. With a three-year old. The questions in bold are my little sweets and the answers are mine. The italics are the comments I was really thinking but couldn’t say for obvious reasons.

Is this a plane? Yes. What’s the grey stuff? Smoke. Why is there smoke? Something got too hot. Is that fire? Yep. In the plane? Yep. Why? Well, sometimes when things get too hot there are flames.

Shoot, now I’ve done it. I should have said that was mist or fog or anything but smoke….

Is the plane landing in the water? Yep. Will we land in the water? I really¬†don’t think so. But then there is a slide, see? Yes, I see it. What is the lady doing? Sliding down the slide. But it has the red no circle, why? Well, that means no sitting at the top, you have to jump down the slide a little. Why can’t I just slide? We hope we don’t have to slide. Why? Well that means the airplane had to land somewhere else instead of the airport.

It is not a fun slide!! It is a death slide, if you aren’t dead already. You never want to slide down a plane slide!! It is not a good thing. AT ALL!! No sliding!

But there is a boat, can I go in the boat? No sweetie, we won’t be going in that boat. Like Grampys boat? No. Not really. Why is the man hanging off the side of the boat? Maybe there are other people in it. Like kids? Maybe kids. Then why can’t I go in the boat? Because I told you that we hope we don’t have to. Why? Because that means there is an emergency. What’s an emergency? When something doesn’t go right.

At this point our plane neighbors are snickering and I’m thinking….It is not a sky and sea adventure. That is a rescue boat to get in if the plane crashes. That is not a fun No boat, no slide. Nada!! Oh dear god, please let’s never have to go in the rubber raft boat after sliding down a plane slide. I guess though that would mean we didn’t burn up with the plane or die on impact. Maybe it would be a good thing to make it actually to the boat. But then there is hypothermia, starvation, dehydration, sharks…god, we’d just die there. That man hanging off the side may not have legs, because they were ripped off in the crash…that’s why he isn’t in the boat. Can’t get in. No raft, no slide, no water at all should be associated with any airplane flight!!

Is this a picture of pointy shoes? Yes. With the red no circle? Yep. So you can’t wear pointy shoes on the slide? Nope.

Just don’t wear heels when you fly ever. Not a practical footwear. Running to catch almost missed flight…if you have to for a job later in life, pack slippers type flats for the plane. You will not be wearing your heels when you’re crawling through the smoke about to jump out¬†of a burning plane. Your fashionable shoes won’t matter! Jimmy Choos save no-one.

Why is the lady crawling on the floor? Because of the smoke. Why is there smoke? Because something got too hot. You told me not to crawl on the floor, right? Yes, I did because it’s dirty. Is she getting dirty? Yes, probably but if there is smoke it’s ok. Remember the air is less smoky by the ground. But I still do not want you crawling around on the ground. But what if there is smoke? Then it’s ok.

Oh my god!! We already talked about the smoke already. We hope there is NEVER EVER SMOKE!! And stay off the gross carpet of the plane. Please!!

Is that how you open the door? Yes. Can I open the door? No! Kids don’t open the door.

Reminder to self to never sit by the doors on a plane with my daughter, EVER!

Is that a picture of a phone?¬† Yes. With the red no circle? Yes. So no phones allowed? Yep. Is that why you won’t let me play a game on your phone? No, that’s because you can’t use the phone on the airplane.

Is that a suitcase? Yes. With the red no circle? Yes. I can’t bring my backpack down the slide? Nope, not if we land in the water. And we don’t want to slide!! Are we going to land in the water? I hope not. But then we could maybe use the slide? We don’t want to ever use an airplane slide. But what if I really like to slide? When we land we’ll go to the park.

Enough about the slide!! It is not like jump planet or any of the inflatables you love! It is horrible and we do not want to slide. No more safety talking. It won’t probably matter if the plane is on fire or in the water. We won’t even know because we are unconscious or worse! I don’t want to talk about this anymore.

Put the card away. Ok Mommy.  For the love of God!!

(5 minutes later the card is back out and the Q & A started again). She must have it memorized…ugh I dread when she’s older and I have to revise my less is more answer system ūüėČ

I do believe the benefits of seeing the world out-weigh any chance of an airplane emergency ūüôā

airline safety card


* thanks wordpress¬† kill your darlings¬†editing challenge for¬†getting me to think more about airplane safety¬†than I thought I ever could ūüėČ

A ‘One Lovely Blog Award’ !!!



Blogging is something I am new to but completely in love with! I had no idea of the blogosphere (as it is called) and the¬†wonder of talent within it. One of these talents is Sueju Takeshi the awesome writer behind Takeshi’s Flight!! He has just¬† nominated me for the One Lovely Blog Award, which I humbly accept ūüôā Go check out his blog for creative writing, fiction, non-fiction, poetry…really he beautifully writes it all.


Thank you very much!!



The rules for accepting this award are simple.

1. Thank the person who has nominated you. Provide a link to his/her blog.

2. List the rules and display the award image.

3. Include 7 facts about yourself.

4. Nominate 15 other bloggers and let them know that they have been nominated.  This is a way to introduce others to bloggers that you love.

5. Display the award logo and follow the blogger who nominated you.


Ok, fact time, here are 7 about me.

1. I love rescuing senior pets from animal shelters. I am a huge advocate for giving a home to pets in need. We recently adopted Lacy a 8 1/2 year old Saint Bernard weighing in a 145 pounds. She is a beautiful addition to our family.

2. I have never sung Karaoke! Never-Ever!! It is terrifying. I would rather jump out of an airplane, with a parachute of course!!

3. I once worked on an organic farm. Harvesting veggies, washing them, packing CSA boxes and even selling the produce from a roadside stand. I loved it. Being that close to the earth and your food is a wonderful connection to make. We just started our first organic garden here at our house.

4. I have an online soap business¬†Tea Tree Soap Co. where I sell the soap I make, cut, and wrap by hand. It is a labor of love (and loathing at times) but it’s really nice to not have bought soap for over 7 years!!

5.¬†I have always loved writing, ever since being chosen to attend a ‘young authors conference’ when I was 7 years old. Jasper Tompkins was the featured author. I now read his books to my daughters. I have decided to give some time to my writing.

6. Being a mom is a lot harder than I thought. It is also more rewarding, lovely and humbling too.

7. I love cooking shows but make the simplest dinners possible.

And now for my nominations for the One Lovely Blog Award!!!

1. Sass & Balderdash

2. The Dazed Mommy

3. Elizabeth Hein-Scribbling in the Storage Room

4. Teachezwell Blog

5. Mom of 1 and 10

6. The Old Fellow Goes Running

7. Weekend Sprout’s Mini Garden

8. Getting Fit After 30

9. Cee’s Photography

10. adjusting your focus

11. Behind the Willows

12. iamthemilk

13. Splended Sass

14. Daily life With Pets

15. The Ambitious Drifter

You are all lovely bloggers who deserve this award. I hope this brings more readers your way and a sense of appreciation for all the work you put into your blogs! *There is no time limit to passing this award on to others.

Keep posting!!  ~Megan




My Birthday Tanka Runneth Over

My thirty-ninth  year,



Today September second.



Content and filled with



Joy, love, family and friends.



My birthday tanka is full!



*This weeks WordPress weekly writing challenge was to write a tanka (related to the haiku, probably cousins) which traditionally contains five lines instead of haiku‚Äôs three, and 31 syllables instead of 17. The¬†structure is that of a haiku followed by two additional lines of seven syllables each: 5-7-5-7-7. It just happened to be my birthday ūüôā


Hello Kitty is not a cat…(sarcastic humor)

Hello Kitty is not a cat.¬†I hear it’s a¬†huge shock to cat lovers. Tweet worthy wide-spread panic. I know!¬† #hellokitty A shocker. Hello Kitty, a toy Designed by Yuko Yamaguchi of Sanrio. A multi billion dollar¬†a year franchise. They don’t care what you think she is, as long as you buy her.

At least as of late there is no mistake that Hello Kitty is still a she. Give it time. She could turn out to¬†be gender neutral. I haven’t seen any genitalia on the Hello Kitty dolls we have. Thank God! Could you imagine…a pussy’s private parts … I¬† know, that was a close call. Along with missing female Hello Kitty is also missing a mouth. My daughters wonder how she eats. I don’t care. I give them washable markers and let them have at it. Hello Kitty has had all sorts of mouths, teeth, tongues, whatever, hearts, stars…When you have a blank canvas where your (girl or kitty) mouth should be, the sky is the limit.¬†It is nice because she can be all the emotions they feel, which I found out is the exact reason she is missing that feature.¬†If you were looking for an actual fact.

So, here’s what being¬† parent has taught me. Just a little friendly advice for all those in Kitty shock…These toys are all make-believe. Yes, Hello Kitty is a toy.¬† Hello Kitty is not real but she can be real in your imagination. That’s the great part about our brains. The imagination part. Yes, I’m sure¬†that part¬†has a real name and the imagination part is a function, but I don’t have time to look all that up. Anyway, as a mom I do know you can pretend that Hello Kitty is a girl, or a cat, or the personification of a cat. It doesn’t matter. Pretend whatever you want to. It could be a¬†dinosaur pretending to be a cat. That’s the fun with toys. You can do that. The fact of whether Hello Kitty is truly a cat is a moot point. Doesn’t matter. Just like beauty is in the eye of the beholder so is kitty-ness, or cattiness…depending on who or what you are beholding.

Let it go. Panic about something you can’t control. Hello Kitty can be whatever you want. So,¬†cat lovers in despair, it’s ok. If need be you can always turn your affection to The Cheshire Cat or Garfield, both undeniably cats…or are they?

hello kitty

Here is a link to a real article abut the Hello Kitty interview which started it all,





My first magazine article submission…

Ugh! I just submitted an article to a magazine hoping to be considered for publication.¬†The “Ugh” is¬†because I just re-read it again for the 3 thousandth time and noticed an error. Two others had read it multiple times as well and the error wasn’t noticed. But it’s there. A shift from the¬†plural to the singular. From a their to a her. It’s in the first paragraph. If I were an editor I wouldn’t read the next 1,000 words. I am bummed out. Nothing like¬†a strike out first time at bat.

I guess that’s the thing. You take a chance, you finally decide that your writing is ready to send.¬†You can only adjust and cut and move and paste so many times before the time is there to throw your hands into the air¬†then¬†slowly reach down and hit the¬†submit button. Breathe in and out. I guess I should be proud that I actually hit submit. I know that there will be more times I attempt¬†to have any writing published.¬†¬†It is¬†¬†a journey that I am prepared to take, to learn from mistakes and missteps and even mis-submissions.

Blogging is my practice to do what I would like to do for real. I think most bloggers share that dream. I know there will be many rejections where my pitch or my style or tone is not what is being looked for, but I’m hoping at some point it will be the right fit. Cinderella’s glass slipper in the writing world so to speak. I will wait for the messenger to come to my email inbox with the official invitation and I will be over-joyed. Just like being invited to the ball. The invitation to write will be that sweet. To see it in print will be the icing on the cake.

I have patience. I have 8-10 weeks left to wait to hear from the magazine I submitted my article to. I have that long to also find other magazine and topics¬†that interest me and work on some pitches and write-ups. This is a forever process. At least I noticed the mistake myself. It will be easier to swallow if I hear a ‘no’ for this one. Until then I will keep writing and I will keep proof-reading. Obviously I need to re-read my writing 3,001 times and have more than two others read it as well. What are mistakes but opportunities to learn.

Any takers for the job? ūüôā


A Liebster Award!!

One of my favorite blogs which got me started blogging had won a Liebster Award. I wasn’t sure what the award was, but I wanted one anyway. So much for the old adage “don’t covet what your fellow blogger has”…Well, maybe that isn’t really a thing….but anyway I was just nominated for my own Liebster Award!! Seriously! Me ūüôā

Thank you The Not So Secret Life of an Average Mom for the nomination!! Seriously, from one average mom to another you are Awesome, so is your blog!!

If I had to give an acceptance speech it would be a bust! All I can think of¬†are my friends who called¬†me Megster…and how that rhymes with Liebster (at least¬†when I say it) I know…ouch!

Now I know what the Liebster Award is. It is an award¬†for new bloggers with less than 200 followers (I have as of this moment 130). It is a way to hopefully get your blog out there to share all it has to offer. Ok, I’m sounding a little full of myself, but I DID just receive an award mind you so let me revel just a little…

Here are the Official Rules for accepting the Liebster Award:

 1. Answer the questions given and then come up with 10 new ones to ask your nominations.
2. Nominate 8 other blogs, let them know you have nominated them and put a link to their blog in your post.
3. No Tag backs.
4. Nominations must have under 200 followers.
5. You must tell all the blogs that you nominate that you have nominated them.



Ok, here we go. The Q&A session…be ready to learn more than you may want to about the¬†one behind Meaningful Mommy!!

  1. How long have you been blogging? I started my blog this year in mid April.
  2. How do you spend your time away from kids? Mom’s night out are a must have. We moms¬†get together for pedicures, dinner, shopping, running and the aimless wandering of Target ūüėČ
  3. What’s your favorite dinner recipe? Anything that takes 30 minutes or less to construct.
  4. How do you make time to blog? I try to wake up early to blog but I’m too tired…because I stay up too late writing¬†after my sweets are in bed.
  5. What appeals to you most about writing? I started writing to clear my head and have something I felt was just about me. I mean it’s about my kids mostly, but something I did for me, because like most moms we mostly do for our children.
  6. How long does it take for your kids to mess up your clean house? My house hardly ever seemed clean because their toys were everywhere and they were right behind me taking things out. I recently converted our office into a playroom and now the toys live there. My house now feels so much cleaner!
  7. Other than being a parent, what else would you like to blog about? I blog about our current experiences with our first garden, travel, mental and physical health, parenting education and WordPress writing challenges. Obviously I just like writing.
  8. How many hours do you actually sleep a night? From 11:30 -1am when my oldest crawls into our bed…Then from about 1:30am until 4am when my littlest requires me to come lay in her bed. Then until 6am when my 145 pound St. Bernard thinks she needs to be fed. So what is that…1.5 +2.5+2=6 hours!! Ouch!
  9. Best thing about being a mom / dad? Not bedtime! Oh, the best thing….that¬†for me is when they crawl up into your lap and just snug in. Like it’s the most safe, comfortable, happy place in the whole world.
  10. What’s unique about your blog? I don’t know if it’s unique, but I do try to be honest and¬†help others¬†feel like they too are doing the right things for themselves and their children, while offering helpful parenting tips for the days when you’ve just about tried it ALL!

Whew! I had to really think about some of those. ūüôā

Ok!! On to the fun part!! Here are my nominations for the Liebster Award!

To my fellow new bloggers, now Liebster Award nominated bloggers,

ūüôā Congratulations!! ūüôā

I found most of you on the WordPress Weekly Challenge posts where there are so many wonderful writers. Your blogs are beautiful, inspiring and note-worthy in many different ways and I enjoy them very much! I hope you will accept my nomination.

Here are your 10 questions for us to get to know you better:

1. What inspired your blog name?

2. Do you have any hopes to write & publish a book?

3. What do you love about writing?

4. If you were stranded on an island with only one book what would it be?

5. What is your favorite blog to read?

6. Have you been awarded any awards before?

7. What is your biggest challenge when writing?

8.  What is your favorite T.V. show?

9. If you could interview anyone (deceased or living) who would it be?

10. What is one of your  favorite quotes?

There is no time limit for accepting the Liebster Award! You have time to answer the questions and find your 8 nominations of other bloggers with under 200 followers. (See rules)

I hope you all accept and keep up your writing and your blogs!! ūüôā







Walking the Rails….

I was uncertain, but I kept going. It was pulling me along, the draw of walking that rail. Arms out to the side, head held high, eyes looking into the distance. It was a personal contest of balancing skill, but also  a mindless wandering where the scenery changed with every bend in the track.

With each step it pulled me further and further along.¬†There would be no turning back.¬† At least until my foot slipped braking my meditative journey.¬†¬†Bringing me back to reality…..but until then I was going to follow the track wherever it lead. It had me.

It was exciting, the feeling of the unknown. Would there be a new town or another beautiful field. It was peaceful walking along, not having to think of the right direction. The old track was the path and to stay on the rail was the goal.



Partners in crime to fighting crime?!

Todays writing prompt was to write about a best friend, a trusty side-kick, or your partner in crime. My husband is all of these and more. We have been married for almost 9 years but have known each other for almost 19. We met when we were 20 and had many moments of being partners in crime that I am not going to share with you (this time). But as of late any crime for us is in the sense of crime fighting. Mainly exercised when putting our daughters to bed at night. Don’t laugh, this is crime fighting at it’s finest because our two sweet cherubs are masters of deception and trickery. True mastermind criminals.

From bath time, to brushing teeth, to jammies, stories and into bed where sleep won’t take over for another 20 minutes (at least) is a masterfully constructed and executed plan of attack and counter attack. My husband and I, we are often the bad cop good cop fighting these two sweet faced master minds. These two beings (for being under four feet tall) can wear you down! Like almost to tears, hands over your ears, feeling like your brain may explode, worn down. Torturous question and answer sessions that go on and on and on. Routines of last drinks of water, having to go potty to scratchy jammies, to being too hot or too cold are frustrating beyond belief. Excuse after excuse and reminder after reminder and then the lovey-dove talk about how they adore us. It almost gets you to read the one more story, sing one more song, you know the special song you made up just for meeeee…

But my husband and I are a force to be reckoned with. We have all the answers and we rattle them off with lightning like precision. And what we don’t know (because the questions are nonsensical gibberish designed to stall sleep) we make up the answers. We know where they got their creative extensive imaginations from. Us! They can’t beat the masters. We can get a water bottle refilled, a potty break, and new unscratchy jammies changed out in less than 30 seconds flat. We can corral like cowboys of the wild west and we are immune to tears. We sing the special song like trained songbirds, we kiss the little noses and we call it a wrap. We turn off the light and lay in wait. Quiet measured breathing like a metronome lulling them to sleep. We hope. We pray. We promise to all forces of heaven and nature that we will not lose it. We breathe deep. We air high-five each other (and flip the occasional bird) toward the bedroom video camera. We know the other one is holding the monitor at close watch waiting to see when the eyelids close and to make sure the one in the trenches is holding up. Like a true partner would.

We created these beings together, we remind each other they are only half of each of us. Only half. We are the wholes of ourselves and we are manageable. We can handle them. Well, together we can handle them. We had no idea the skills we would need for this parenting gig. So to my trusty side-kick, my partner in ex-crime, now crime fighting bad-ass, my bestie of all besties. I salute you. We fuckin’ got this! Oh, by the way it’s your turn in the trenches… I’ll stand watch! I got your back.


A Manifesto: The Need For Emotional Intelligence

I know with the news of Robin Williams suicide running rampant over the internet and¬†in the news that mental illness has taken a front seat and it’s about time. It’s unfortunate he is gone, he was a talent and a man who will be greatly missed. But his death has gotten people talking. For now anyway. My hope is that people will keep talking, long after the news has died down. People die from suicide everyday everywhere. Famous people, average people, old and young, rich and poor. Mental illness just like cancer has no specific requirements as to whose life it attacks. Just like cancer genetics can play a part. So can diet, life style and just bad luck of the draw. Mental health should start at an early age and be available and deemed as important as going for a yearly physical check-up or to the dentist every 6 months. Why is our brain, the control center of our body, put on the back burner only to be looked at when things go wildly awry?!

Feelings are real. We all have them and we need them, so why are we not supposed to show them or share them or sometimes even feel them? This weeks WordPress Weekly Writing Challenge is to create a Manifesto.

Here is my Emotional Intelligence Manifesto

1. Acknowledge that everyone has feelings and they are normal.
2. There are a wide range of emotions we feel and one is no less important than another.
3. All feelings have names. Anger, Sadness, Frustration, Jealousy, Pride, Anxiety, Fear, Happiness, Excitement, Confusion, Love, Pain, Resentment, Loneliness, Isolation, Hope, Guilt, Peace…(to name a few) Use them!
4. Use “I statements” and share your emotions. If you are angry say “I am angry because…” If you are sad say “I am sad because….” Talk about what you are feeling!
5. Feel comfortable talking about emotions.
6. Build a toolbox full of strategies to cope with the wide range of emotions you will undoubtedly feel at some point in your life.
7. Do not be afraid to ask for help.
8. Have a list of people or professionals who you can call to talk to if you need to. A good friend, family member, your doctor, counselor…
9. Seeking mental health help is normal. (See my post The Stigma of Mental Illness)
11. Children, adolescents and adults need to be taught about their emotions and learn skills to deal with those.
12. Emotions we feel should not be hidden, stuffed down, or let become something that control us.
13. No-one should tell you not to feel the way you do. Own your feelings.
14. Let people own their feelings.
15. Listen when people talk to you. Don’t try to fix their feelings. Let them feel them.

Your Emotional Intelligence is more important than your I.Q. It’s never to early to start building up your Emotional Intelligence …It’s also never too late!! Embrace and learn about feelings. With education and coping strategies in place they won’t seem as scary or powerful. whether they are yours or someone else’s.

For more on teaching children about feelings see my posts Kids and Feelings and Children and Depression


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