My Son Is a Cereal Killer: Family Movie Night with Big G

This post is sponsored by General Mills (pay per click campaign) but my love of their cereal and family fun is all my own!

Family movie night at our house is always interesting because we have comfy, reclining couches to seat 5…but a family of 6.  When the movie is about to start, it’s like musical chairs meets WWE to see who gets the sofa spots.

This week, however, Jimmy is out of town vacationing with a friend so there was no pushin’ for the cushions.  (By the way, that made me incredibly sad.  Yes, sad.  Because I realize after he leaves for college in a few weeks, activities with all six of us will be few and far between!!!  I think I may need to get a life size cardboard cut-out to set up in the house when he leaves so I won’t be bawling all the time.  But I digress…)

Specially marked boxes of Big G cereal have a code for a free movie download (2 codes needed for every free download).  I like free!  I got Lucky Charms, Honey Nut Cheerios and Golden Grahams.  So I can’t make decisions.  Or count to 2.  One of those.

As a special movie time treat, we made 3 kinds of cereal bars.  Because one two is never enough . The Lucky Charms recipe is below.  You can find this recipe all over the internet, but mine is a bit, ummm, different. Following the instructions verrrry precisely is crucial.

Lucky  charms bars

"My Son Is a Cereal Killer" Marshmallow Treats
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert, snack or even breakfast!
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: Single serving, no??
 
Lucky Charms are magically delicious but I'm revealing the magician's tricks for the cereal bars
Ingredients
  • 4 cups Lucky Charms (most recipes call for 6 but we like extra gooey)
  • 10 ounce bag Marshmallows
  • 4 tablespoons butter
Instructions
  1. Put cereal in zip lock bag.
  2. Give your son a rolling pin. You may substitute daughter if no son available.
  3. Tell him not to hit his sibling with it. Repeat.
  4. Repeat again.
  5. Give son permission to be a cereal killer.
  6. Beat cereal with a rolling pin until you crush its soul. Or until it is crushed.
  7. Put one marshmallow on a microwave safe plate and cook until it explodes.
  8. Laugh.
  9. Clean microwave (optional).
  10. Put remaining marshmallows and 3 tablespoons of butter (not all 4) in a microwave safe bowl and cook until melted.
  11. Dump crushed cereal into marshmallow mush.
  12. Take remaining tablespoon of butter and rub it all over your hands. Trust me, you'll thank me when you don't have marshmallows stuck all over you, plus your hands will be smooth like butte...oh, never mind.
  13. Pretend the marshmallow/cereal mixture is play-do and squish it with your hands until it is well mixed.
  14. Get out a pretty serving dish.
  15. Laugh.
  16. Put the pretty serving dish back in the cabinet.
  17. Eat directly from mixing bowl with your greasy hands.

(Just substitute the same amount of Cheerios or Golden Grahams for the other varieties.  Oh, and add some chocolate chips for the Golden Grahams.  General Mills calls them Indoor S’mores.  I call them Give Me S’more O Dat.)

If you’ve had a bad day you can modify the recipe to do the cereal beat-down yourself, because smashing things is very therapeutic.  I let Greg be the cereal killer for this batch though.  Coincidentally, Greg’s nickname is Big G.

Cereal Killer

Big G cereal boxes
Make sure to look for the MOVIE banner to get the code for the free download.

You may notice the Lucky Charms aren’t smashed.  I thought the photo would look better, but I think they taste much better crushed because the marshmallow can envelope every little morsel of cereal!  I also think it tastes better the day after it is made (it gets less crunchy, more chewy) but a batch very rarely makes it to the next day.

The instructions for the movie download are easy to follow.  What wasn’t easy was selecting a movie – everyone wanted a different one.  Looks like I will be buying more cereal for more movie nights!  We agreed on Marmaduke for the first choice, with a promise to watch Mr. Popper’s Penguins and We Bought a Zoo (<—my pick) in the near future.

Have you seen any movies on the Big G Awesome Movie list?

Are You Kidding Me?

“Are you kidding me???” was my first thought when I found out I made it to the top of the waiting list for the Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop this year.  And once I was there, it was a fun weekend of kidding around with some of the funniest kidders around.  A conference tradition is a stand up comedy show on the last night.  Stacey Gustafson was the first person I met who was one of the few attendees brave enough to sign up to be in the show. I remember thinking that I’d never be able to stand up in front of hundreds of people, read something I wrote and wait (and pray) for laughter – especially with an audience full of humorists!

Just showing up for the conference was about all the courage I could muster.  Since last fall, Lyme brain had not only taken away cognitive function, it had also taken away my self esteem.  Truth be told, I almost cancelled the trip.  I was terrified to go and look like a forgetful, mumbling, bumbling idiot – at the queen of humor’s name-sake workshop no less.  But alas, I couldn’t finagle a refund so off to Dayton I went.

There were many ups and downs during the trip (see some photos at the end of the post), but I will tell you the biggest highlight here (I will save the funny lowlights for another post.).  The conference sessions were led by some really heavy hitters in the writing world.  At first, I found myself slinking further and further down into my seat during the sessions, thinking I belonged at the conference less than I – as a lefty – belonged in that right-handed college lecture hall desk, writing in a right-handed spiral notebook.  My smudged notes and my inky covered pinky were very symbolic of how I felt in a room full of confident accomplished and talented writers.

But then a strange thing happened.  The more writers I met, the more I realized that even those who had written multiple books or had a syndicated column or had gazillions of monthly online views all had something in common:  they had doubts about their ability at some time or another.  And then another strange thing happened.  As the hours went on, I started to feel like I did belong at the workshop honoring the late great Erma.  EBWW14 Dan Zevin

By the end of the second day, I found myself sitting in the front row of a session led by Dan Zevin, the 2013 winner of the Thurber Prize for American humor and the 2014 National Society of Newspaper Columnists “Humor, over 50,000 Circulation” winner.  (Incidentally, my blogging friend Darcy of So Then Stories won the “Blog and Multimedia Columns” category!! She’s one funny lady – you should check her out.)  Dan’s session was a hands on workshop (or pens on?) where he gave us writing prompts, a short time to respond, and the opportunity to read our writing result to the room.  I sat in awe of story after story being read.  How did they come up with that brilliance in a couple of minutes??  And how did they have the courage to read it to a room full of people??

It was time for the last writing prompt of the class.  “A character on a train sits down and takes his shoes off and massages his feet.” I scribbled furiously for the 2 minutes (which seems like 2 seconds when you are being timed!) and came  up with…

I was riding on the train to Toepeka and I was in a real jam because of the guy who sat next to me.  I tried to shoe him away but he sat a foot away from me the entire ride.  I knew he was a total heel when he started massaging his bare feet.  I wanted to haul off and sock him.  What an arch hole!

Then the strangest thing of all happened.  When asked who’d like to read their story out loud, my hand went up in the air.  What the heck??  I DON’T READ OUT LOUD.  What are you doing hand??  Get down from there.  Before I knew what was happening, Dan pointed at me…and I started reading.  It’s no stand up show, but was a big step for me.  I’m not the hand raiser.  Not the public speaker.  Not the put myself out there and risk crickets type.  But I did it.  Erma’s conference gave me that.  And then Dan gave me something more:  a compliment.

After I finished reading, I looked up – shaking and red-faced I’m sure – and Dan said  five simple words “That was funny!  Really funny!”  As I exited the classroom, I thanked him for the fantastic session and he again complimented my story.  The Erma Bombeck website describes their writer’s workshop as “very supportive to both new and established writers looking for the kind of inspiration Erma received from University of Dayton professor Brother Tom Price: ‘You can write!’” 

I’m sure Dan Zevin has no idea that his words felt like my “you can write” moment.  Several months later, my foggy Lyme brain is still preventing me from writing often (it’s embarrassing how long this admittedly ordinary post took me to write) but when I get discouraged and want to just quit, I pull out my smudged spiral notebook and remind myself that I was funny. Really funny.

Will I be signing up for the stand up show alongside Stacey at the next Erma conference?  Probably not.  But I will at least feel like I deserve to be in the audience.  Gustafson_Cover_FRONT_72dpi

Stacey is putting herself out there in a brave way again, with the cover reveal for her new book, Are You Kidding Me? My Life With an Extremely Loud Family, Bathroom Calamities, and Crazy Relatives.  I can’t wait to read this book when it is released this fall because I have an extremely loud family, more than my share of bathroom calamities and…well…some relatives read my blog so I will just leave it at that. ;)

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My trip in photos.  Well, a few photos.  (A few photos that are formatting weird, but you get the idea…)

My "I may throw up before I get there" selfie.

My “I may throw up before I get there” airport selfie.

 

 

EBWW14 hotel

 

 

 

After seeing my hotel room, it was VERY tempting to just hide the whole time.  Comfy bed, flat screen and…silence!

Luckily I soon found some of my blogging buddies: Hairpin Turns Ahead, Notes From the Shallow End, The Shitastrophy, Science of Parenthood, and Elle Roy Was Here so didn’t retreat to my hotel room retreat.  It was like a reunion with classmates I had never met.

EBWW14 HVgroup1

 

 

 

 

 

EBWW14 cake

Cake was served at EVERY lunch and dinner.  And the best part?  Everyone ate it! There was no “oh, I couldn’t possibly eat that fattening dessert.”  Every bite was gobbled up on every plate at every meal.  At EBWW, you really can have your cake and eat it too.

EBWW14 selfie2

 

 

 

My end-of-first-day selfie: more tired, more puffy but also more happy that I went.

 

 

 

 

EBWW14 HVgroup2Day 2 photo with more blogging buds: Her Royal Thighness, So Then Stories and Menopausal Mother!

 

EBWW14 Phil DonahuePhil Donahue was the first keynote speaker.  I had no idea he and Erma grew up together and were life-long friends.

 

 

The workshop was a magical experience.  Erma truly does live on at this conference.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy Monkee-ing Around at the Carry On Warrior Book Signing.

***Please pardon my site’s appearance as I’m going through a redesign and migration to a self-hosted site.  To get notification of new posts, please subscribe via email in the upper left corner!***

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I will leave you with a little teaser for Stacey’s book: Hop into your minivan and get ready to cruise through the crazies of Suburbia! Humorist Stacey Gustafson makes an entertaining tour guide in Are You Kidding Me?, a brash, voyeuristic peek inside the topsy-turvy world of suburban motherhood, midlife madness, and all points in between. If you’ve ever called SWAT on a neighbor, faked a heart attack in church, or pulled your hair out while questioning the sanity of your family, Stacey’s tongue-in-cheek brand of humor will resonate with you. Enjoy the ride and don’t forget to fasten your seat belt.*

*I received no compensation for helping Stacey promote her book.

 

 

Life’s a Gas and Then You Poo

As the only female in a house full of boys, I had to accept long ago that our house would be overflowing with potty talk (literally* and figuratively).  When Jimmy was a baby, I teased a friend for having her sons refer to farts as “bongos.”  By the time Jimmy was old enough to find humor in bodily functions, I quickly understood her logic.  We too adapted the “bongo” technique.  Cottonelle Clean Care and Flushable Wipes disclosure

It was much more discrete to walk through a store with yells of…

“I just bongo’d.”

“I bongo’d free (3) times!”

“My bongo sounds like thunder.”

Rather than…

“I farted. I farted.  I faaaaaaaart-ed.”

“I cut the three cheese pizza.”

“Did you hear that thunder from down under??”

Speaking of shopping, I once found a shirt with a picture of monkeys on the front and BONGO BROTHERS in a large font.  Best.  Find.  Ever.  And no one knew why I chuckled every time I looked at it.  But I digress…

By the time Greg came along, I was eternally grateful to my friend for the “bongo” tip.  It saved many an embarrassing moment.  Especially when in the midst of a crowd and hearing the bellow of, “Mommy!  Did you bongo???”  I could just laugh and pretend to play drums.  (And NO, I did NOT bongo.  Girls do not bongo.)

Boys may think farts are funny, but poop?  Now that is a source of pride.  They have no qualms spouting off details about their grunt sculpture.  I always know who finished his serving of corn the night before, who dropped something the size of a forearm and who needs to refer to it as #3.

Once while driving home, one who shall remain nameless (although I’m not sure why since, you know, poo pride) had to poop.  Urgently.  He finally yelled, “Hurry!  I’m playing whack-a-mole back here!”  I will never look at that carnival game the same again.

My least favorite is the reference of “dropping the kids off at the pool.” That brings back horrid memories of once finding floating evidence that someone had dropped their kid off at the pool while I was IN THE POOL (No, not my kid.  I mean not my kid’s kid.  I mean not my kid’s poop.  Whatever.). 

I said I’d never write about poop and now I have.  More than once.  But it’s all Cottonelle’s fault this time!  They asked me to review do a review as part of their #letstalkbums campaign (if you landed here because you Googled “let stalk bums,” you may leave now. Right now.)

I am sure I was selected because, well, four sons automatically makes one a potty expert.  I am, after all, the one who improved the common “If you sprinkle when you tinkle” jingle by adding a second verse.

“If you splat when you shat, after you flush please use the brush.”

I bought my Cottonelle® Flushable Cleansing Cloths with Clean Care toilet paper at CVS with this handy dandy coupon.  I must admit I was a bit skeptical at first about the Cleansing Cloths – because “adult baby wipes” came to mind – but, honestly, it makes sense.  You wouldn’t wash your hands with a dry paper towel, right?

I’ve always been a bit of a TP snob.  I hate the public restroom rolls.  Not enough to bring my own roll in my purse, but Cottonelle Clean Care makes that thought more tempting.  It is even made with 100% virgin fibers.  Because you don’t want any recycled fibers on your bum! (If you Googled anything to do with public restrooms or tempting virgins to get here, you can also leave.  And shame on you.)If you splat when you shat

Go ahead, click here to get your own coupon* (plus over $350 in other coupon savings!) and head to CVS so you can talk bums too.  Just don’t stalk bums please.

*I get paid per click.

*Read about when our house literally overflowed in the post “Can’t Make This Sh*t Up!”

If at first you don’t succeed, flush, flush again.

CVS Cottonelle coupon

Our Guilt Trip To DC

Last year we accidentally started a tradition of “last day of spring break Guilt Trips.”  This is how it began (THIS year’s guilt trip will be in a future post.)…

Over spring break, we did nothing all week.  And I mean noth. ing.  Unless you count sleeping and playing video games.  Well, just sleeping for me.  I saw all the fun trip photos everyone else in the world seemed to be posting on Facebook and came to a terrifying realization.  When the kids returned to school and were asked what they did during spring break, they’d have nothing fun to tell.  Noth. ing.  And I’d look like the slacker Mom.

With one day of break left, I declared it National-go-somewhere-fun-so-I-look-like-a-good-Mom day.  We live very close to DC so could go anytime we want.  But I chose one of the biggest tourist days of the year to go.  Brilliant.

We spent 2 hours getting there (including pit stops on the way for the bank, gas station and breakfast, of course) since the rest of the country was also on the way there.

We planned to go to the Spy Museum, since we’d never been.  We usually go to the free museums, but I knew I’d get extra “good Mom points” for spending money.  Unfortunately, lots of other Moms must have been going for those points because the line was out the door, down the block, around the corner, and down another block.  I had already spent the morning on the road, I wasn’t going to spend the afternoon waiting in line just to ease my conscious. Not when we could literally come any other day of the year.

Plan B, free museums.

One problem.  Zero parking spaces.  Parking garages full.  We drove and drove.  And drove.  At one point Eric asked “Didn’t we pass that same building 20 minutes ago?”  He was right.  We did.  We finally found a space near our house (kidding, but it seemed that far away).

We started walking down the busy sidewalks and after watching many people dodge us, I realized we were taking up the entire sidewalk.  Not only weren’t we walking single-file, we were walking hexadic-file.  (Yeah, I made up a new use for that word.)

There they go, just a walkin' down the street.   Getting in the way of everyone they meet.
There they go, just a walkin’ down the street.
Getting in the way of everyone they meet.

As we strolled toward the National Mall, Eric very excitedly yelled “A PIGEON!!  A PIGEON!!  I’VE NEVER SEEN A PIGEON BEFORE!”

We really don’t get out much.

They were equally thrilled over the DC castle.  What?  You didn’t know DC has a castle?  Some may call it the old Post Office but it is Chez Parcel Palace.  Like I said, we don’t get out much.

Post Office Castle

Plan B included a request to go to the Pencil Building (National Monument).  Unfortunately it was roped off for earthquake repair and this was as close as we could get.

Washington Monument Construction

Moving on to Plan C, we headed to the Lincoln Memorial.  We had to take a break on the steps.  After all, we had had a busy day of…nothing.  Oh wait, we had the pigeon sighting.

Steps

We discovered my cell phone camera had magical cloning powers.  Must have been the pigeons.

Jimmy clone

The Vietnam Memorial was the serious part of our day.  Seeing the names of every fallen soldier etched into the wall was an indescribable experience.  There was complete and utter silence, even though there were hundreds of people walking through with us.

Vietnam Memorial

As we exited the memorial, the somber moment ended abruptly.  I will attempt to recreate the scene.

Close your eyes.

Imagine hearing music that is getting louder and louder.  It is blaring.  You realize the blaring music is coming from a boom box.  A boom box in a flowered basket.  A flowered basket attached to a (very) small bike.  A (very) small bike driven by a (very) large middle aged man.  A (very) large middle aged man riding with no handle bars because he’s waving his arms in the air to the beat of the blaring music.

And the song that is blaring?  “Don’t cha wish your girlfriend was hot like me?” 

Bike rider Don't Ya Wish Your GirlfriendWas Hot Like Me

After that excitement, I was ready to call it a day but the boys wanted the FULL Nation’s Capital experience, which meant souvenir shopping.  They went from street vendor to street vendor like kids in a candy shop. “A GIANT dime for only a dollar???” “Moooom!  They have an AMERICAN FLAG tie!!” (Remember, we don’t get out much.)  The result: tacky tourists extraordinaire.

Tacky Tourists

The most expensive item (the tie) was $5.  We made out like bandits compared to what the spy museum would have cost and had four ecstatic guys.

Jimmy even got to put his FBI beanie to use.  Greg, you aren’t bribing an officer with that giant dime are you???

FBI

We ended the day with the holy grail for boys: Phillips all-you-can-eat buffet.

Remember the tidbit of information about the restaurant.  It is crucial to the chain of events for THIS year’s Guilt Trip to Bawlmer (Baltimore).

Quote of the day (after observing many joggers): “It must be a pain to run in DC with all the crowds and roads.  It’s run, stop, wait, run, run, stop, run, stop.  Hey Mom, YOU should jog in DC because you stop all the time too.” ~Jimmy

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***The information below is sponsored. I was compensated for sharing these tips on purchasing a bike (hey, now maybe we can go on a fancier Guilt Trip next spring break!) but all opinions, stories and shenanigans are my own.***   

Cycle of Life: Buying Kids’ Bikes Online

Buying kids bikes online has many benefits, but it can sometimes be overwhelming, especially if you are looking for your child’s first bike. Size is an important factor when bike shopping (something boom box man obviously didn’t consider).  A good rule of thumb is your child should be able to touch the ground with the tips of their toes while sitting. One of the best bargains in buying a bike online is to simply buy it used. Because kids outgrow their bikes, parents often post these bikes for sale on the Internet. Another option is to go to a local store and test out bikes there. Once you’ve figured out which bike works best, go online and order it. Not only can you be more confident in your purchase, you’ll save money through ordering it online. The final thing to do before you purchase is to make sure you’re in shape!  Once your child learns how to ride the bike, they may not want to stop and you might have to dash after them!

No Mother’s Perfect: What Does The Kid Say?? (Plus Funniest Tweets and a Giveaway)

HOST MOAM blog tour & giveaway buttonThere is a new Mother of All Meltdowns site! No Mother Is Perfect is a community for the perfectly imperfect mother! A place where you can let your guard down and talk about the meltdowns, struggles, and less rosy aspects of being a mom…  I am participating in the blog tour by interviewing the authors of Mother of All Meltdowns (MOAM) to help celebrate!  Please enjoy these hilarious examples of “Toddler Speak,” plus they share their favorite tweets with us.  Make sure you keep reading to the end for a fabulous (and I mean fabulous!) giveaway!

Thanks to Anew for sending me their Riesling wine to enjoy while I wrote this post.  I didn't receive any other compensation and all opinions are my own.
Thanks to Anew for sending me their Riesling wine to enjoy while I wrote this post. I didn’t receive any other compensation and all opinions are my own.

When my kids would pronounce a word incorrectly, or say a completely different word, I always called it Toddler Speak.  I could name enough words to come up with an entirely new language, but my favorite is Jake’s word for Chick-Fil-A.  He used to call it “Chicken Leg” and I still do to this day, even though he is 15.  I asked the MOAM authors for THEIR favorites, and the answers are wackier than the lyrics for “What Does the Fox Say?”  (Maybe Fraka-kaka-kaka-kaka-kow is toddler fox speak?)

Tamara (Like) Camera Scarlet calls the crust of sandwiches – “the crotch.” I have no idea how this started but since we’re immature, we never corrected her. It’s just so cute! Anyway, she was at a friend’s house for a play date, and her friend’s mom does not speak English as a first language. She was VERY confused when she was making Scarlet a sandwich and Scarlet asked very innocently, “Will you cut my crotch off?” (This is probably why we should correct our kids, right?)

Kiss My List When my daughter was a toddler, she would ask for a fork and knife, but she hadn’t mastered the “r” sound. So my husband and I found it quite amusing to hear our two year old ask for a f—ckin’ knife. And while we’ve told her this story, we do not allow her to mispronounce that phrase anymore.

The Golden Spoons Once, when my middle daughter was learning to read and we were in a restaurant, she wanted to order Coke which I don’t usually et them do, but this time I gave in. She proudly and loudly mispronounced “Coke” and announced, “Yay! Mommy said I could have Cock!!”

Menopausal Mother The funniest thing my son said when he was little was he used to call hotels ” Ho and Tells”, which is something entirely different than a place to rest your head at night….or is it? HAHAHA!

Fining Ninee My son says a lot of words weirdly because he’s got a pretty severe speech and language disorder but I think the cutest one these days is his word for butt, which is “my bommommb.” He also says “my peenee” for penis, which is pretty awesome.

Science of Parenthood When my son was about 2, he went on a milk strike. And then one frigid winter day, I made him some hot chocolate. He loved it. So I wondered if he liked it hot, maybe he’d drink it cold. So I mixed some Nestle Quick in some milk and told him it was “cold” hot chocolate. He downed every drop. End of milk strike. We call it cold hot chocolate today, and our son is 8.

The Mom Café Funniest thing: My daughter STILL calls her sneezes “Bless yous”. She is almost 11, and I’m seriously not sure she even realizes they are called sneezes. Every time she sneezed when she was little, I would say “Bless YOU!”- it stuck.

No Holding Back It may not be the funniest thing ever, but I think it’s hilarious that my daughter thought Mac n cheese was called “Monkey cheese.” To this day, we still call it that! And, when I was pregnant with my twins, my four year old son came up to me, put his hands right on my boobs and said “Mommy are these the babies heads?” I still laugh about that.

Pink When The funniest thing “lately” (I say lately because she always comes up with crazy stuff) is that when the kids are playing Minecraft on the iPad, Addy doesn’t want to be left out. She screams and screams to the top of her voice that she also wants “EYE CRAPT” It took me a while to realize she was talking about the game and not using slang for soiling her clothing.

Tao of Poop My daughter calls The Statue of Liberty “The Statue of Lovely.”

Writer Mom Blog My daughter called the computer “puter” and we thought it was adorable until she went to Kindergarten and wondered why other kids weren’t calling it that! My son called the Playstation the “Gas Station.” The first time he called it that it took quite awhile to figure out what he wanted.

Baking in a Tornado When my son was little he called water “addle.” I felt like such a failure as a mom because it took me forever to figure out what he was saying. But the day he asked for “addle-moon” I felt like a mom success as I grabbed the dish of watermelon and passed it to him. We don’t use the term but every now and then I’ll ask him if he wants an “addle bottle”. He just looks at me and rolls his eyes.
Another Jennifer Blog My younger son, who is 5, has had some great mispronunciations that have stuck. We routinely say “lusually” instead of usually, ‘hobsital” instead of hospital and “up-tie-side-down” instead of upside down. My older son, who is 8, mistakenly called Domino’s Pizza “Checkers” one time. That has stuck as well!

Crayon Marks and Tiger Stripes My son calls cuddling “cuggle.” It’s more sweet than it is funny. We “cuggle” a lot! He is quite the cuggler.

The Liebers My youngest used to call strawberries “Strawbeebees.” Actually, since I mentioned it out loud he’s started calling them that again! My daughter used to say cu-buzz instead of because. She also said laa-loo instead of I love you. She still uses that one when she’s being cutesy.

My Skewed View My son called yesterday “lasterday”, the first time he said it I thought maybe it was a one shot deal but it stuck. We still say lasterday instead of yesterday 5 years later.

Tidbits from the Queen of Chaos My daughter used to call spaghetti, skabetti and My 4yo called the computer the ‘puter. We still sometimes call them those as a joke.
Helicopter Mom and Just Plane Dad My daughter always used to say “lasterday” for yesterday and “smallberry” for strawberry. So cute.
Janie’s Confessions of a Mommyaholic  My three year old started to tell me that in this past winter’s polar vortex weather she needed her “babing suit” aka as her bathing suit to wear. She was trying to be cute and funny making me laugh about wanting to wear a bathing suit in the freezing cold, but the way she said it was even more adorable mispronouncing it. Totally can’t help but smile thinking about it and definitely can’t help but want to say it that way, too.
A Dish of Daily Life We’ve always let the kids pick their birthday dinners. Growing up in New England, lobster has always been one of those special occasion meals for our kids. When my youngest son was little, he always picked lobster, but for some reason he called it “the pink meat.” One year his dinner request was for “the pink meat” and cantaloupe. Quite the combination!

Urban Moo Cow My son is bilingual in English and Italian. When we lived in Brooklyn, there was a point in time when he would seemingly curse on the elevator all the time. In Italian, “fare la cacca” means “to poop” and “bimbo” means boy baby. This is basically how it would go:

H: Fuck-a-cah?          Me: Fai la cacca? (Are you pooping?)

H: Fuck a cookie!      Me: FAI LA CACCA? [enunciating]

H: Fuck a! Fuck a cah!! Bimbo fuck a cookie!

I definitely got some weird looks. Even just “bimbo” would prompt sidelong glances.

English was no better, frankly. At one point he became obsessed with the nursery rhyme Hickory Dickory Dock from an Elmo book my mom gave him for Christmas. (Thanks, Mom. Always knew you’d get your revenge.)

H: More crack?        Me: You want to hear about the clock?

H: Yeah, crack!       [5,673 readings of Hickory Dickory Dock]

H: Mamma! More more crack!      Me: No more clock, lovie.

H: (Screaming) MORE CRACK. MAMMA CRACK!

Four Hens and a Rooster The one that sticks out in my mind that we DO still use is “The Big Show” for Toys R Us. I have NO idea why my (now) 15 year old started it calling it that when she was 2 or 3, except maybe the lights, toys, etc but the Rooster and I still will say “hey – I have to go the Big Show and pick up a gift.

Home on Deranged The funniest thing to hear our almost 2 year old say wrong is her own last name. It’s supposed to be Swedoski (sweh-dah-ski), but, at her lovely young age, it comes out as “Pidossi” (Peh-dah-see). It’s really hilarious on video. And I told my husband I’m thinking of changing my name.

Lemon Drop Pie My daughters have always had excellent language skills, so much so that when my oldest was only four she taught the baby not to say “wawee” but to clearly say “water.” They take after my husband; when I was little, my mom was a member of a woman’s church group called “Ladies’ Aid.” I asked her, “Are we going to Lemon’s Aid?”

***FAVORITE TWEETS AND QUOTES***

Menopausal Mother: “Dawned on me I left all my bras and underwear in my dresser drawer at the Marriott….well that was certainly a fun call to make to the hotel…”

Pink When: From @ComedyTruth “If you can’t handle me at my Amanda Bynes, you don’t deserve me at Beyoncé”

A Dish of Daily Life: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.” ~ Henry Ford

Janine’s Confessions: I would rather get a colonoscopy rather than go shoe shopping with my husband and kids again!!

The Mom Café: From @KateWhineHall My son just yelled “MOM!” seven times while I was taking a shower. Haha, like I was going to answer that.

Baking In a Tornado: I don’t know if this is my favorite, but this happened when I first started using Twitter and didn’t know what I was doing. I had about 50 followers (no idea how) including one (only one, not both) of my sons. I somehow thought I was only tweeting to him when I tweeted “call your mom”. Next thing I know I’m getting about 25 tweets from strangers saying things like “done”, “ok”, “I will” and “just did”. I think a lot of moms were happy to receive unexpected phone calls that day. Of course this mom never heard from her kid.

No Holding Back: This is one of my favorite tweets ever… it was in the midst of a really funny twitter convo with some of my fave peeps. We were having a moms night in on twitter. @TamaraCamPhoto @JanineHuldie @RaisingReagan @katbiggie haha! My kids don’t fart a lot. It’s a cruel joke because farting always makes me laugh.

Kiss My List:  “Boy: Look Mom! You can see my heart beating through my chest. Jeez, eat a donut, kid. @kissmylist” I sent this tweet almost a year ago, and the boy has grown taller but no less transparent.

Tamara (Like) Camera: I don’t know my favorite tweet but I did that thing where you find your first tweet ever. This was mine: “Will someone inform Bob Weir that we’re dating? I don’t think he knows yet.” What a thing to say! Although I do love Bob Weir.

Four Hens and a Rooster: One of the big highlights was when Ashley Judd and I got into a twitter conversation a couple of years ago after that “puffy face” thing. I thanked her for having the cajones to tell the press to shove it and it went from there.

Home On Deranged: “Had a sleeve of peanut butter sandwich cookies for dinner. Don’t get mad. The 2 year old got a Lunchable. #highfive @HolyHorrible”

Lemon Drop Pie: “A mother’s love: giving most of my churro to my 8 year old daughter, who then doesn’t go to sleep until well after 9:30. #finallymetime”

Crayon Marks and Tiger Stripes: “I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. ~Picasso”

My Skewed View: “The boy is re-enacting the Civil War. Taped a butter knife to the end of his rifle and is running around the house (galloping on his horse). @jenkehl”

Tidbits from the Queen of Chaos: By author Elin Hilderbrand @elinhilderbrand “I guess that’s why your twitter name is @queenofchaosmom. I tried to get that twitter name but it was taken.”

Helicopter Mom and Just Plane Dad: by @MarieForleo “The future is always beginning now ~Mark Strand”

Another Jennifer Blog: by @fiercedivablog “@anotherjenb here’s to blogging even when the world falls apart around us.” Jennifer has also been called the queen of bacon on Twitter and has been retweeted by @Cheese. How many people can say they’ve been retweeted by Cheese?

 

***GIVEAWAY AND REVIEW***

To celebrate the launch of the new community, there is a fabulous No Mother is Perfect, But Every Mother is Unique Mother’s Day Giveaway brought to you by The Mother of All Meltdowns…Pick up your copy today through Mother’s Day for only $0.99 on Amazon!  Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 11th 2014! And we want moms everywhere to accept the meltdowns, stop chasing perfection, and embrace their uniquity. You won’t find this word listed in Webster’s, but you will find it within every mother on the planet. Enter between April 1, 2014 to May 11, 2014 to win one of three fabulous prize packages including a three night stay for two at a destination spa!

Sponsored by The Oaks at Ojai, Cariloha, Wicker Central, Metropolis Coffee Company, Wind & Fire Jewelry, Chuao Chocolatier, Global Rose, & Anew Riesling 

Well that post was long enough that I could have enjoyed a COUPLE of glasses of wine!  The 2012 Anew Riesling has a nice fruity taste – slightly peachy – and not too sweet! Anew suggests pairing this wine with Asian dishes, smoked salmon, lobster salad, pasta with light sauces and blue cheese.  Also according to Anew, 2012 was an ideal season for growing Riesling—warm through the summer and then cooling down through fall, allowing the grapes to ripen slowly and evenly. As a result the wines have a lovely purity of fruit combined with a nice balance of acidity.

No Mother's Perfect Giveaway

 

My Roller Coaster Life – A Letter To My Kids (For Momastery’s Messy, Beautiful Warriors Project)

Momastery Messy Beautiful Warriors ProjectThis essay and I are part of The Messy, Beautiful Warriors Project.  You can read all the project entries here. You may remember that I met Glennon, author of Momastery and the New York Times Bestselling Memoir Carry On Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life.  If you don’t recall why she and a bunch of her Monkee followers think I’m bananas (Get it?  Bunch-Monkee-Bananas!), you can read about that here.

Dear kids,

You know I’m sick, but we don’t really talk about it.  I never want to worry you by telling you all the problems Lyme Disease and Lupus have caused me.  But by NOT telling you, I’m probably worrying you more.  So.  Let’s talk.

I’m sure it’s confusing for you.  Adults don’t even understand the ups and downs, so I don’t expect you to.  But I can try to explain a bit in terms you will relate to.

Ups and downs is the perfect way to describe it.  Like being on a roller coaster.  A never ending roller coaster.  Yeah, I know you are thinking “how cool would THAT be?!?”  But wait.  There’s more.  When you get on the ride and the harness clicks in, it is too tight.  Way too tight. It hurts.  Really bad.  You wave frantically and yell at the operator but he just smiles an evil smile and pushes the GO button.

As the ride takes off, you try desperately to stop its grip on you.  You squirm, you pull, you hit it.  But nothing helps.

As you start to head up the first hill, the harness gradually loosens and by the time you reach the crest, it is finally comfortable.  You think you can now relax and enjoy the ride.  You get that moment where you are perched at the top of the hill.  It is exhilarating and exciting.  Time seems to stand still.

Then you start to plummet down the hill.  You feel the harness begin to tighten again.  It squeezes every inch of your body until you want to scream.  It takes your breath away.  Your head feels like it is spinning.

Just when you think you can’t handle any more, you begin another ascent.  The harness begins to loosen again.  Relief.  Ahhhhh.  But this time you can’t enjoy it as much.  What goes up must come down.  And you now know that the coming down is excruciatingly painful.

This time when you reach the summit, you try to just focus on the joy of that moment.  But you can’t because the dread of the descent weighs heavily on your mind.

Each plunge breaks your spirit more and more but after enough hills and valleys you finally learn to get the most out of that time when the harness isn’t squeezing.  You enjoy that part of the ride and look forward to the peak.  Even though you know the ride can’t end at the top of a hill.

Then – just when you think you have a handle on the ups and downs – out of nowhere you get slammed with a loop-de-loop (or maybe I should call it a lupus-de-lup) which brings a whole new set of problems.

And just as the ride should be coming to an end, the operator smiles his evil grin again and it all starts over.

Add a blindfold so you can’t see the twists and turns coming and that, my dears, is Mommy’s life.

Not being able to get off of this ride makes me sad.  Sad about all of the things I have missed out on with you guys.  Like the many nights I missed tucking you in because I fell asleep on the couch before your bedtime.  Or the days you had to wear mismatched socks because I hadn’t done laundry.  (But 2 different socks seems to be all the rage now.  You’re welcome fashion world.) 

But before I make YOU sad, let me add that there is actually some GOOD that has come out of me being ill.

I don’t have enough energy to be a helicopter Mom so since I don’t hover, you have taken off and soared.  You are growing up to be incredibly mature, independent young men!

You all know how to do your own laundry.  You don’t.  But you know how.

You all know how to use the oven, toaster, microwave and blender.  Greg, you have been able to fix your own lunch since you were 3.  Eric, you can take an almost rotten banana and turn it into an awesome loaf of bread.  Jake, you are now our pancake specialist (and you even got me published in a book.  Not for your culinary skills perhaps, but you’ve made many people laugh about what happens If You Give A Kid A Bag Of Pancake Mix.).  Jimmy, you make to-die-for peanut butter brownies.  No, seriously.  Sometimes I’m afraid you’ll kill your brothers if they eat more than their share.

Although I’m sure it drives your teachers insane that I am too foggy brained half the time to make sure you get your homework completed, you are slowly learning to be responsible for getting it done on your own.  As long as you manage to get enough homework turned in to actually GRADUATE, you are going to be kick ass butt college students.  All those kids who depend on their parents to stand over their shoulder to study will be struggling not to flunk out, but not you guys.  You guys will be cranking out solid Cs.

You all have compassion.  You may fight like cats and dogs most of the time, but when I REALLY need you to co-exist peacefully so I can rest you always seem to have my back.  (Well, since our cats and dogs get along, I will say you fight like praying mantises – manti? – and stink bugs.  I won’t say which ones of you are the stink bugs.)

AND *I* have had to learn not to sweat the small stuff, which is a very good thing.  I need all my energy for the big stuff, like making sure I take a shower at least once a week.

I’ve realized that the world won’t stop spinning because I didn’t get the sheets changed on your bed this week (or last, or the week before, or…ummm…you get the picture).  Plus, I can tell you “good night, don’t let the bed bugs bite” with meaning.  Psssh, no.  Of course there aren’t really bugs in your bed.

(As far as I know.)

I’ve learned to appreciate the days I DO feel healthy.  Not many kids get to see their Moms get downright GIDDY over feeling like a “normal” person for a day/week/month/however long it lasts.  You have to deal with the lowest of the lows, but you also get to see pure joy at the highest of the highs.  The times you get to see a glimpse of how I want to be all the time.  The times on the roller coaster when my hands are up in the air and I’m shouting “bring it on world.”

Unfortunately, it’s been a while since you’ve seen my hands up in the air.  Lately I’ve been hanging on for dear life while the coaster has been barreling down. It’s been a rough month few months year for my health.  The squeezing of the harness is definitely taking a toll on my body.

But don’t despair.  There has to be another ascent soon.  There just has to.

Then I will be back to my uphill battle.  And, in this case, an uphill battle is a good thing.

Love,

Mom

momopolize button 125x125

The One Percent, Parenting Edition

There are many days I feel like parenting is 99% frustration.  But just when I feel like I’m drowning in griping, bickering and all out brawls, it happens.  That brief glimpse of cooperating, supporting and all out harmony.

It’s the parenting 1%.

Just like the richest 1% holds almost half of the world’s wealth, the parenting 1% holds almost half of parental bliss!

Speaking of 99%, that is also about the same the percentage of posts I write that are complaining, busting on or poking fun at my guys.  Because let’s face it – that’s funnier.  In atonement for throwing them under the bus over and over (and over), THIS is their 1%.

I – stealthily - snapped these photos through our front door glass.  And…ummmm…ignore the fact that Greg is barefoot and in shorts while wearing a winter coat.  It was 40 degrees that day so I don’t know WHY he thought it was a good idea to go outside like that.  I mean a winter coat??  Crazy kid.

Jake went outside to play basketball but saw Greg struggling to get a successful run on the Hot Wheels track he had built.

Jake helping Greg with hotwheels 1

Jake searched the bin of track pieces.  The solution required thinking outside of the box.  The Matchbox.

Jake helping Greg with hotwheels 2

                       By (Gregory) George, I think he’s got it.  (That would have been funnier if any of you knew that Greg’s middle name is George.)

Jake helping Greg with hotwheels 3

“Sometimes being a brother is better than being a superhero.” ~ Marc Brown

Jake helping Greg with hotwheels 5

Car in hand, it’s time to try, try again.

Jake helping Greg with hotwheels 6

Mission accomplished!  Even the smallest successes deserve the biggest high fives.  (Unfortunately the small cell camera wasn’t big enough to get the entire high five on film.)

Jake helping Greg with hotwheels 7

                  “First a brother, then a bother, now a friend.” ~ Unknown

And now we return to our regularly scheduled sarcasm.

“I smile because you’re my brother, I laugh because there’s nothing you can do about it!” ~ Unknown

Facebook has changed it’s policy for posts to Facebook pages, like my Momopolize page.  They are only showing posts to a small number of the page “fans” unless the page administrator (me) pays to boost the views, which this administrator (again, me) won’t be doing.  The best way to make sure you will see future blog posts is to subscribe by email (upper right corner).  Show me sisterly love!

You can also go to my Momopolize page, hover over the “liked” button and select get notifications.  Then you will see the little red number show up when I post on the page.  This will notify you of all status updates, not just blog posts.

The biggest compliment is seeing a blog post shared!  Won’t you share??

Why We Should Be Banned from Family Portraits

family portrait 2008
When I saw this 6 year old photo, I realized my teeth were much whiter then & that had to change! Smile Brilliant saved the day! I was compensated for the review below, but all opinions are completely my own.

Some families get annual family portraits professionally taken.  We don’t.  In fact, the last time we did was six years ago.  The time before that Jimmy was a baby.  And now I remember why.

I saw a Groupon offer for the portrait place at our local mall.  I should have remembered how our trips to the mall usually end up.  But in a moment of insanity, I bought the deal.

We aren’t a dress-up-all-cute-and-coordinated type family.  For photos, I’m happy if the clothes are (mostly) unwrinkled, (mostly) unstained and (mostly) clean (yeah, mostly).  Since I knew our next family portrait may be NEVER ever again in another 6 years, I pushed my luck and requested everyone to dress in similar colors.  Jimmy wasn’t home when I screamed down the hall politely said “Wear something with purple or black.”  He didn’t get the memo.  Grey/Black.  Close enough.

After much grumbling and complaining from me the kids, we arrived at the mall.  And even almost on time for our appointment!

I knew we were in trouble when I realized the photographer who was assigned for our shoot had ZERO sense of humor.  She didn’t crack a single smile the entire time.  The Groupon fine print should have included a warning, “Cheapskate Bargain seeking families will be assigned to the grumpiest photographer available.”

We did manage to get one print-worthy photo, which is near the end of this post.  But I know you don’t really care about that.  You are here for the outtakes!

This is what happens when the only photos your kids ever have to pose for are sports related.  Are you ready for some football?? Photo 1: Fail.

Family football small

My kids just weren’t getting the “instructions” she was giving on how/where to stand.  In their defense, she seemed to be trying to make it as confusing as possible.  She finally got tired of trying to get Eric to put his back toward Jake (he kept just turning his head) and just went ahead and snapped this photo.  I guess Greg got tired of waiting too.  Photo 2: Fail.

Greg monkey lips small

The next photo looks simple, right? It wasn’t.  BUT you can’t tell that Jimmy and Jake were trying to inflict pain on their brothers so…  Photo 3: Success.

Boys 1 with caption

Things went down hill quickly.  Photo 4: Fail (but perfectly depicts personalities).

Boys Goofy small size

I think by this point the photographer just wanted to shoot her “required minimum” poses and get the hell away from us. Photo 5: Fail.

Standing on Eric small

I guess the photo above gave the photographer a “bright idea.”  Why on earth she thought my kids would go for her next pose is beyond me.  But she tried.  She told Jake to lay down.  He did.  Then she told Jimmy to lay down.  And he did, next to Jake.  Then it happened.  She said, “No, lay on TOP of him.”  It was the first time all day the boys were silent.  We all realized what pose she was going for.  This…

Awkward Family Photos

The reaction was this… (They are blurry because I was shaking so hard from laughter!)  Photo 6A: Major Fail (so major that it didn’t actually happen.)

family portrait 2014 laughing 2 family portrait 2014 laughing 3

She had had ENOUGH of us and mumbled something before walking out.  Session over.

We picked our favorite pose (it was a really tough choice.  Not.) and left.  I think they locked the doors behind us.  Photo 6B: Success!

Family Photo 1 small

The best photo was good, but not fantastic so I decided to use my mad Microsoft Paint skills to combine the best shot of each person from all of the other outtakes and make it perfect.  Photo 7: NAILED IT!

Family Photo PERFECT

At least now we know what we’d look like as Bobble Heads.

Photo shoot: $16                 Memories: Classless

They have probably modified the Groupon fine print to say “Not valid for anyone affiliated with Momopolize.” 

___

RECOMMENDED PRODUCT: SMILE BRILLIANT TEETH WHITENING KIT 

It was perfect timing to try a teeth whitening kit before getting the long-overdue family portrait!  I received the Smile Brilliant package very quickly.  The kit came with material – which reminded me of silly putty - for the teeth impressions.  The instructions were very simple to follow and only took a few minutes.  My only complaint is that I wanted to play with the “silly putty” longer before it hardened in the mouth piece (Kidding!  I can buy ACTUAL silly putty if I want to play).  Once I received my custom trays, I got busy whitening!   The first time I put the trays in, I thought I would have a hard time keeping them in for the recommended whitening time without gagging, but I got used to it very quickly. I should add an important bit of information here. I’ve had spots on my teeth since I was a child from a reaction to Ampicillin, I think.  Some kind of ‘cillin anyway.  After the first time I used the whitening gel, the white spots were MUCH whiter than the rest of my teeth (i.e. more noticeable than before I used the gel).  I was slightly worried BUT the instructions said the gel is safe for teeth that were discolored by a reaction to medication so I kept at it.  After the second application, the rest of my teeth started to catch up to the white spots and started looking whiter over all!  You can see for yourself in the photos below the big difference after all the daily applications.  Both photos were taken at the same time of the day at the exact same location.  It is much harder to get a good photo of your teeth (and much, much more embarrassing to post them for the world to see) than you’d think it would be.  In full disclosure: the white spots are less noticeable in the photo than in real life, since I couldn’t get a perfectly clear “selfie.”  You can’t see them at all in the second photo.  They are much less noticeable, but still there. That is what I expected though because they’ve always been there!

Jim was so impressed with my results, he is using a kit on his teeth also!

Now for the fun part:  A GIVEAWAY!  One lucky reader will win a kit just like the one I used.  To enter, subscribe to Momopolize via email (in the upper right corner of this page).  If you are already a subscriber, just add a comment below.

teeth before
BEFORE
teeth after
AFTER
 
Contest winner will be chosen on 2/28/14.

Can’t Make This Sh!t up

You may (not) have noticed I’ve been absent from blogging the past few months (just humor me and gush about how much you’ve missed me…).  I thought I’d give you a tiny glimpse into some of the daily shit that keeps me from writing.  Literally.

Last week we got home from an evening that had already included a concussion (Jimmy)and an injured knee (Jake).  Right after Jimmy went downstairs to bed, he called me and exclaimed that he was walking through water.  Was the bump on his head was worse than we thought?  Alas, no.  He wasn’t hallucinating.  (If he was, I suppose he would have envisioned walking ON water.)

Our hot water heater had busted and flooded our basement.

basement poolThe bad luck fairy seems to have visited our family a lot this past year.  I’ve been trying reaaaalllly hard to avoid turning into a “glass half empty” type person, so attempted to look at the bright side: (1) It was clean water, (2) most items in the storage room were off the floor because Jim had built shelves, (3) no walls or furniture were damaged and (4) we had a giant carpeted kiddie pool.

After we looked up our (way too high) homeowner’s insurance deductible, we decided to try to salvage the carpet instead of submit a claim.  We (“we” meaning Jim) pulled up the carpet, threw away the padding, sucked up the water, repeatedly steam cleaned the carpet with anti-mildew cleaner.  Then we installed new padding and put the carpet back.  Two days ago.

Fast forward to today.  I was taking my daily nap when Jimmy burst into my room to tell me water was pouring all over the storage room.  I stumbled downstairs thinking something must be wrong with the new water heater.  However, what I found appeared to be water spewing out of the OLD water heater which was still sitting in the storage room.

Even in a half asleep stupor I knew that it couldn’t be possible for an empty, unattached tank to be spraying water. Could it?  No, it couldn’t.  Upon closer inspection, I figured out that the water was pouring down through the ceiling.  It was splattering off the top of the old water heater and raining all over the room.  And then it hit me…the room directly above the storage room?  The bathroom.shitty day

I ran upstairs and water was pouring out of the toilet.  The clogged toilet.  The clogged, shit-filled toilet.  The clogged, shit-filled toilet that requires a “handle jiggle” to stop filling with water.  The clogged, shit-filled, jiggle-required toilet that had obviously been “filling” during my entire nap.  (I won’t name the little shit who admitted to the…not so little shit that clogged it.)

So much for the glass half full attitude.  This time it was NOT clean water.  And everything that was “safely” on the storage shelves had been splatted with shatted water.  Ew. Ew. Ew.

Shit just got real.  Too real.  Glass half full half empty

I don’t need to worry about my glass being half full OR half empty.  I think my glass is broken.  That’s not seven years bad luck like a mirror, is it??

At least we didn’t make a claim for the first flood.  That would have been an awkward phone call. “Hi again Mr. Insurance Man.  Remember me?  You just replaced our carpet two days ago.  Can you enter a claim of ‘ditto?’”

_________

Funny side story…

I was worried about the carpet having a mildew smell so wanted to check it one more time after the final cleaning (from flood #1).  I was wearing pink PJ pants with turtles on them and a purple sweatshirt.  I put on shoes - black ones that were by the front door -  so I wouldn’t get my socks wet.

Jim (seeing me putting on shoes): Where are you going?

Me: Walmart.

Jim: Oh, ok.

I guess he thought I’d fit right in.

Facebook has changed it’s policy for posts to Facebook pages, like my Momopolize page.  They are only showing posts to a small number of the page “fans” unless the page administrator (me) pays to boost the views, which this administrator (again, me) won’t be doing.  The best way to make sure you will see future blog posts is to subscribe by email (upper right corner).  I usually don’t post more than once a week (and, you know, sometimes as little as once every 3 months) so I won’t be FLOODING your inbox with a bunch of emails.  Go subscribe now so you won’t miss any of my shitty posts! 

You can also go to my Momopolize page, hover over the “liked” button and select get notifications.  Then you will see the little red number show up when I post on the page.  This will notify you of all status updates, not just blog posts.

The biggest compliment is seeing a blog post shared!  Won’t YOU share??

The Mother Of All Meltdowns – Memories and Review

I was thrilled to be asked to be part of the blog book tour for “The Mother Of All The Mother Of All Meltdowns Book CoverMeltdowns” because:

  1. Over half of the contributors are my wonderfully talented blogger buddies!!  (The contributors are ALL talented.  I just haven’t had the pleasure of getting to know the other half.  Yet!)
  2. Who doesn’t love to hear that other Moms have full blown conniption fits too?!

This fantastic compilation of stories had me yelling at the book, “Yes!” “Me too!” “Exactly!” “Been there done that!” and “I’m glad I’m not alone!” Yes, I actually yelled at the book.

The best thing about the book for me was that so many stories brought back memories of similar incidents that have happened to me.  And I realized that I can now LAUGH at most of them, even though they seemed mortifying at the time.  (I say most because some will ALWAYS be cringe-worthy.  Toddler tantrums ain’t got nuthin’ on Mommy meltdowns.)

One particular memory that was dredged up happened when I read the story “From Goldilocks to Dreaded locks.”  It reminded me of a time Jimmy gave himself a haircut.  With boys, self-inflicted hair cuts aren’t a huge deal.  Just give them a short buzz cut and you are good to go, right?  But one particular “trim” was a little more traumatic for this Mom.  My husband still hasn’t lived down that this happened on his watch.

I was out for the day and came home to find Jim having a work meeting in our dining room, with Jimmy in the next room doing “crafts.”  Crafts with glue and scissors.  I went to say hello to Jimmy and thought he looked a bit tired but was soon distracted by that fact when I saw piles of hair on the table.  And a large almost bald spot on top of his head.  I remained calm (I didn’t have a choice since Jim was having a meeting) and took Jimmy up to his room for a time-out and lecture that cutting your own hair leads to a life of crime.  Or something like that.

Since he looked so tired, I wasn’t surprised that he fell asleep during his time-out.  However when he still looked tired after his punishment induced nap, I started to worry that he was sick.  Closer examination of the problem made ME feel sick though.  He looked tired because he had CUT OFF HIS EYE LASHES!  (I should add that Jimmy was the toddler who had to-die-for lashes.  So long that celebrities would pay thousands for fake replicas.  People would comment on them DAILY.  And now they were GONE.)  Fortunately Jim’s meeting was over because I completely flipped out.  I would like to say that my first concern was that he could have stabbed his eye with the scissors, but that was a distant second.  I was so upset that the lashes were gone.  THOSE lashes.  Those PERFECT lashes.

I screamed.  I cried.  I paced.  I Googled “do eyelashes grow back??”  (The answer “in seven YEARS” wasn’t very comforting.)  It was horrible.  I think my head may have actually spun around.

About 13 years later, Jimmy’s eyes are still his most talked about feature.  But the lashes?  I swear they never completely grew back.Wait Until You See What I Cut This Time

While that will never be a “pleasant” memory for me, I can at least chuckle at the absurdity of it now.  The book brought back many other ridiculously funny (or just ridiculous) meltdown memories such as getting locked out of the house by an angry child, cursing “the most magical place on earth,” the boss who insisted on knocking on my office door EVERY day when I was pumping, the moment of being told it was too late for an epidural…the list goes on.

I will have to tell those stories another time, but for now you MUST go read the stories in The Mother Of All Meltdowns.  The stories are short enough that you can read one while waiting in the carpool line and finish another before the kids find you hiding in the bathroom.  Or you can get sucked in like I did and read the entire book in one sitting.  I promise you will laugh (and even cry) and most importantly…feel NORMAL for coming unglued now and then.  The stories will make you feel like you are right there with “a bunch of hot mamas losing their cool!”

P.S. I received a complimentary copy of the book to review, but all opinions are 100% my own!

Don't ask me about my kids or I will Momopolize the conversation!