Category Archives: Guest Blogger

Guest Post: I Need a Vacation from Vacations (My Life As Lucille)

On the heels of my Vacation Fails post and during the last “official” days of summer, this is the perfect guest post for this week!  It is by my wonderful friend Lucy Ball, who is just as funny as her namesake.  I’m sure you will agree and by the end of this post will also be saying “I Love Lucy!”  And now I present Lucy…she’s got some ‘splainin’ to do! 

_____My Life as Lucille

Hello, friends and fans of Momopolize! My name is Lucy and I blog randomly over at My Life As Lucille.  I can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.  I write about whatever pops into my head plus all of the ridiculously crazy family drama that keeps me seeing my therapist on a weekly basis. Nice to meet you!

It is my great pleasure to be a guest writer here today. I LOVE Momopolize! I hope you enjoy the following description of our family vacations. It’s sort of appropriate, especially now that I’ve done it up right once again by rolling our van and camper this summer and completely totaling them both. Yah. It’s how I “roll.” Ahahaha! Hope you enjoy!

This post was originally published here.

I Need A Vacation From Vacations

I get around. Metaphorically speaking, of course. And I’m convinced that my family is cursed when it comes to vacations. My family was plagued by bad luck and misfortune.

For example, my sister and I were heading to South America when we accidentally locked our keys and passports in the car at the airport. Someone in the parking lot managed to fish the keys out of the door, which was slightly ajar. When we arrived in South America, we had a mix up with our bus reservations. We ended up on a completely random bus driving through the Andes in the middle of the night. With zero cell phone coverage. With no way for our family back in the U.S. to locate us. And only a slight handle on Espanol. We managed to survive in spite of ourselves.

There was the rental car in Panama City when I was in high school. Our car would randomly stall in the middle of the street for no reason. In order to restart it, my dad would have to pop the trunk and push a button inside next to the spare tire. This happened SEVERAL times on that trip.

And then there was the Royal Crown Family Restaurant in AZ. After hours of negotiating our rental car reservations and driving through the foothills at midnight, we finally found a restaurant to grab a bite. We hadn’t eaten since lunch and were all starving and cranky. Unfortunately, our waitress was more interested in sitting in a booth with a trucker and slurping on beer from the 12 pack of Schlitz he had on his table. We watched with ferocious anticipation as our plates sat under the warming lamp for no less than 45 minutes.

We ended up eating Red Hot Burritos from a Stop ‘N’ Go gas station down the road at 1:30 AM.

The next day, we visited Montezuma’s castle while in Flagstaff. After paying $75 to get in, the first sign inside said:



We have locked our keys in rental cars. More than once. We’ve boarded an airplane looking for our seats in Row E. There wasn’t a Row E since we were on the entirely wrong plane.

There was the DEEP SEA fishing trip when we all ended up sea sick, hanging over the side of the boat as it rocked and tipped spraying sea salt on our sun-parched faces. For 8 freaking hours.

While in Italy, I managed to get myself locked in a stairway in the hotel with no way out but the emergency/alarm exit.

Still, I wouldn’t trade any of them for the amazing experiences I’ve had. Probably.

After all, the BEST part of any vacation (mishaps and all) is when I pull up in the driveway, breathe a sigh of relief that we’re all in one piece, truly glad to be home.

Hope your summer vacation was far less exciting than mine was!


P.S. Lucy and I should NEVER, ever, ever go on vacation together.  Although it would make for one heck of a blog post.  😉

Guest Post by Tiny Steps Mommy PLUS Blogging Conference/Free Reader Appreciation Cocktail Party in October!

Nicole Dash is a writer, blogger and child care business owner who lives in Annandale, VA with her husband and four children. Nicole writes about family, life, parenting and caring for children on her heartfelt blog Tiny Steps Mommy. She also enjoys connecting with her growing community of friends on Facebook and Twitter.

Femworking Blogger & Small Business Conference

In addition to Nicole guest blogging for me today, I’m also very excited to announce that she is co-organizing the Femworking Blogger Conference at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, VA on October 26, 2013!

The conference includes educational seminars, meals, snacks, an incredible swag bag, stunning, professional free headshots, and amazing opportunities to network with bloggers. Jill Smokler from Scary Mommy is the keynote speaker (see the entire list of speakers here).  You also receive a signed copy of Jill’s newest book, “Motherhood Comes Naturally (and Other Vicious Lies)” as part of your registration. All of this PLUS tickets are discounted until September 5!  What are you waiting for??

And there’s more!  ALL of my readers are invited to a Reader Appreciation Cocktail Party at the spectacular Rooftop Chesapeake Lounge at the Hyatt from 7-10pm on October 26.  There will be plenty of cocktails (cash bar), hors d’oeuvres and a few surprises.  You don’t have to attend the conference to go to the cocktail party.  Entry to the party is FREE but you DO have to register here because space is limited.  Jill Smokler will also be attending.

And now Nicole’s wonderful post!

I don’t Want to Screw-Up My Daughter’s Self-Image

By Nicole Dash

“Mommy, will I look like you when I grow up?” my five-year-old daughter asks.

I pause internalizing the question. Does she want to look like me? Is she afraid she’ll look like me? Do I want her to look like me? Am I about to scar her for life with my answer? Did the professional photos I just had taken for my blog/writing impact her? Did I send her the wrong message?

“You will look like yourself baby. You may have some of my features, just like I have some features that look like Nana, but everyone is unique. Everyone is special,” I answer with my best I hope I don’t screw this up voice.

I get so nervous answering questions regarding looks, weight, or beauty with my daughter. I want her to feel beautiful whatever her age and regardless of her physical attributes. I want her to be her own person and not measure herself against the images she sees on television or in magazines. I want her to be confident in who she is and what she believes – not just how she looks or doesn’t look.

I also don’t want to emphasize looks over more important things like intelligence, compassion, humor, independence etc. But, I am keenly aware of the pressure placed on women to look a certain way or weigh a certain amount or fit into a certain size. I struggle every day not to compare myself to others or judge myself harshly. I am my own worst critic. This is not what I want for any of my children, but especially not for my daughters. They deserve better.

As I answer my daughter, I think about the blog post – I’ve Started Telling My Kids I’m Beautiful by Off Beat Mama. The writer says we need to make our children believe that we are beautiful no matter how we look, especially as we age and carry the scars of life. We need to say it out loud and have our children understand that even imperfections are beautiful.

But, as a friend of mine on Facebook said so eloquently in response to this post, “We have to learn to see ourselves the same way first [as beautiful]. But, saying it, whether we mean it or not (yet) will make a huge impact on our kids and ourselves.”

I completely agree. So, I decide to face this issue head-on. I mentally prepare my speech about how beauty comes in all forms and how we need to love ourselves no matter what. I think about pulling up my new professionally done photo and a photo I don’t like of myself (almost all of them) and show her how beautiful I am in both, even if they are vastly different. I swallow my fears and begin by asking my daughter, “Why do you ask? Do you want to look like me?”

I brace for her response, but she shrugs and says, “Nah, I want to look like myself. Can we read a story now?”

I sigh, pick up her book and start to read about the girl that turns pink after eating pink cupcakes for the millionth time. I am grateful not to have that conversation, yet feel robbed at the same time. Didn’t she know we were about to share a landmark moment in our relationship. Didn’t she realize how much I suffered in those few moments just trying not to screw her up for the rest of her life. Oh well, I suppose there is always next time. Or maybe, just maybe, I don’t need to say anything at all because she is only five and these issues are my issues not hers.


Visit Nicole to read more of her posts and thank her for all her hard work on the conference!

Guest Post: It’s Been a Hard Day’s Night, and I’ve Been Working Like A Dog

Today’s guest poster is Hilary from Feeling Beachie!  Hilary is a CFO by day, writer by night.  She wonders if she likes to find the humor in life or if it just finds her.  She dated a guy so commitment-phobic she was able to write a book, Dangled Carat,  about their relationship which will be published this September.  Hilary can also be found on the Feeling Beachie Facebook page, the Dangled Carat Facebook page, and on Twitter.
This post was originally published here.

My friend’s children came home from school and she told them that if they wanted a snack they needed to get one quickly as they soon had to leave for soccer practice.  Her son didn’t waste any time as he questioned if there was any chocolate milk left.  She told him that there was and he grabbed a glass and filled it to the rim.

Her older daughter announced, “Chocolate milk isn’t good for you.  It contains high fructose corn syrup.”

My friend agreed, but said, “True, but it is fine for a recovery drink after exercise, like Gatorade.”

Her son was paying no mind.  He was just enjoying his beverage.

“Then why are you drinking it now?” The girl questioned her brother.  “It is a recovery drink, and you didn’t play soccer yet.”

He took another gigantic swig of his drink, clearly relishing in the taste before answering.  “I am recovering.  I had a very rough day at school!”


Now go visit Hilary and wish her luck on her book release!  🙂

Guest Post: Update on Battle of the Archenemies: Sugar, 1, Mommy, -3476 (Home on Deranged)

Even though summer break has ended for some of you, my weekly(ish) summer guest posts are still going strong!  I still have a couple of weeks before the most wonderful time of the year the first day of school.  Plus I still have many fantastic posts that my blogging friends have graciously agreed to let me post for your viewing pleasure!

Today Melissa from Home on Deranged is being sweet enough to guest post for me.  She and I share a love/hate relationship with sugar. 

Melissa can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

This post was originally published here.

They say hindsight is 20/20. I figure a good pair of glasses is 20/20, but what do I know? I try to learn lessons from my past, but let’s face it, I continue to try and wear clothes that I know are a little too small, turn on the vacuum during Max and Ruby, dust (because 5 minutes later it’s back. Seriously, where does it all come from??), and most of all, I try to lead by example in the healthy living department.

Um, yeah. One long list of epic fails there.

First, I brought in somewhat healthy Cheerios for snacks, which eventually evolved into breakfast time food. Then, I kind of, sort of, maybe, possibly let the Honey Nut version slip into the routine. No biggie. But then, the Frosted Cheerios looked so good, we had to at least try them. Now, for some really weird reason that I suppose can only be explained by the presence of wild fairies in our kitchen, the pantry now has Cap’n Crunch with berries (that counts as a fruit, right?). This must have happened while I was vacuuming that one time.

Then, I said okay to pudding and Jello. But, I bought the sugar free kind of both, that way at least my kids and husband (and me, let’s just be honest here) wouldn’t be subjected to my sworn enemy – SUGAR. But I love her. No, I hate her. I really love her. After I delivered my firstborn, the first thing I ate was a brownie. The chocolatey good one with frosting made by the bakery with a kiosk in the hospital lobby. That means the hospital totally sanctioned what they were selling. Swear.

However, if you were to peek in the fridge now, you’d find full-on sugary Jello and Swiss Miss vanilla and chocolate swirl pudding cups. Yes, they really are as good as they sound. Excuse me while I wipe the drool off my chin.

One of the first sign language signs that Annie, our 2 year old, could show you was “cookie.” Oh yeah, that educational video totally paid off. If you give Leelou, the 1 year old, a drink of an Icee, she will drink so much, so fast, that her little forehead crinkles because you know she’s having a brain freeze moment.

And so this weekend, because why would I want to slow this rolling downhill freaking freight train I’ve got going, I introduced my family to s’mores. As a Girl Scout, this was always the best part of a camping trip weekend. Way better than snipe hunting, which I am particularly good at, thank you very much. I remember plenty of times around the campfire with our marshmallows, gobbling up possibly the weirdest concoction of a dessert invented by the evil SUGAR. (Oh, I love her so much.)

My husband has said several times – after seeing the various s’mores products now on the market – that he’d never had one (what the what???), and obviously our daughters had not yet been introduced to the graham cracker-marshmallow-chocolate goodness that they produce.

So Saturday night at the Walmart (oh yeah, we know how to party on the weekend!), there’s a huge endcap display with all the fixings you need to make s’mores. Thomas says, we should do that. I say, are you going to build a fire? He says, we have a gas stove. Duh. Of course we should use a live flame to roast marshmallows in our kitchen. Why wouldn’t you do that?

Fast forward to Sunday night (hey, trips to Walmart are long and involved). We’ve had a good day of play, took a swim in the pool, ate dinner with vegetables AND fruit (holy crap, why didn’t I take a picture?), and watched the last 15 minutes of Cinderella, the Disney version, natch. Time to introduce my little crew to s’mores. And here’s what we got:


I am totally waiting for my award for best mom from the Healthy Living Moms people.

Do you have a romance with SUGAR? She’s a saucy minx. Commiserate in the comments.  (And then head over to Home on Deranged for s’more great posts!)

Guesterday’s News: 20 Things I’ve Learned in 20 Years of Marriage (You’re My Favorite Today)

Michelle from “You’re My Favorite Today” is my guest blogger today.  Every Tuesday for the past few months Michelle has been MY favorite because she posts a roll-on-the-floor-laughing recap of one of the shows I watch without fail.  Well, watching it at all is a fail, but I do it anyway.  What?  Oh, you want to know what show.  Ummm…well…it’s…the Bachllrrt.  What?  You couldn’t understand what I said with my hand in front of my mouth?  Ok.  Ok.  I watch the Bachelorette.  And so does Michelle.  And she has made me look forward to new episodes during a painfully dull season because I know a hysterical recap is coming the next day.  The only thing that would make it better would be live streams of her recap WHILE I’m watching (Michelle, can you work on that for the next season??).  This week was the season finale, a.k.a. “final rose” ceremony.  So in honor of the scripted insincere completely genuine heartfelt proposal on the show, here is some marriage advice for the Bachelorette.  Something tells me she is really going to need it.


Michelle Newman is a wife, mama, power-napper, carb lover, emerging blogger, reluctant jogger, and believer that Target is possibly the most perfect place in the world. She writes about her dramatic daughters, her long-suffering husband, the absurdity of celebrity life and anything else she can find hidden humor in over at her blog, You’re my favorite today. Follow along on Facebook and Twitter (although she sucks at Twitter).

I’m a child of divorce, several times over.

Well, technically twice, but since my mother and step-father split up and got back together a time or two unofficially before making it official, I think I can safely call it ‘several’.

You might say I grew up without a very positive example of what a successful marriage or relationship looked like.

You might be right (unless you count the Huxtables or the Keatons, of course).

I met my husband the first week of my freshman year of college, and other than a platonic date here and there in high school (meaning two) had never before had a real boyfriend.

Frankly, the thought scared me to death.

So I came into the relationship cold; without any kind of a map that might help me navigate the path and progression it ultimately took.

That was in 1987.

26 years ago.

Yesterday was our 20th wedding anniversary, so you might say I figured it out and did okay.

You might, once again, be right.

Over the past 24 years (20 married and 5 dating but let’s call it 4 since it was at least a year before I decided he was a keeper) I’ve learned a few things. Some things that, looking back — and ahead — are vitally important not only for a successful marriage, but for sanity and survival as well.

Some things that you should know right out of the gate, and some things that it can take years to figure out.

Things that it takes two people to learn and to know and to live.

Because if one is a giant ass-hat, good luck.

20 Things I’ve Learned in 20 Years

1. Let the little things go. Seriously. Let. Them. Go.

2. The most important thing you can give each other, other than a kick-ass back rub, of course, is R-E-S-P-E-C-T. And that respect you show each other? It’s also the most important thing you can give your children.

3. It’s important to share and talk, but don’t forget to listen. Or act like you’re listening.

4. You don’t always have to shave.

5. Silence can be as comfortable as that robe you’ve also had for 20 years. A lot can be said by words unspoken.

6. Telepathy is real, and as the years go on will freak you out every time it happens, which is often.

7. There’s always a bigger picture. Find it.

8. Candlelight and wine doesn’t stand a romance chance in hell against a man who will clean the kitchen and handle the bedtime routines while you take a bath.

9. A Friday evening trip together — without kids — to Target or Home Depot can be as wonderful and relaxing as a night at a fancy restaurant.

10. Staying on the same team can make all the difference in winning the game.

11. If you don’t act like a maid, you won’t get treated like one.

12. Gray hair is surprisingly sexy. As is no hair.

13. Don’t be a bitch unless absolutely necessary.

14. It’s not about fixing each other’s problems; it’s about facing them together. 

15. Showering together isn’t nearly as much fun as you might think and can actually cause injury (or so I’ve heard).

16. The tough times, while at the time may seem unbearable, are the times that bind you even closer.

17. Finding humor in the mundane and laughing together every day is the very best foreplay.

18. I’m still always right, but I don’t always need to let that be known.

19. Keep liking each other. 

20. It’s not about how much you’ve created, but about what you’ve created.

Somehow, all those years ago, some lucky stars fell my way and I found a guy who not only makes me laugh every day, but who has never, in all these years, treated me with anything other than the utmost respect and made me feel safe and loved and supported. And who gives me a kick-ass back rub anytime I ask.

And that’s helped make navigation pretty damn easy, even without the map.


Now go check out those Bachelorette recaps.  You know you want to.

Guesterday’s News: Toddlers and Teens – 7 Surprising Ways They Are The Same (Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms)

I was fortunate enough to (virtually) meet Ellen and Erin a few months ago.  Love these ladies but I must give them a suggestion.  Change the blog name to Sisterhood of the Sensational Moms!  😉 You’ll see why I suggest that after reading this sensational post.

This post is perfect for anyone with teens in the house…or for anyone who wants a WARNING about what it’s like to have teens in the house.


Ellen Williams and Erin Dymowski are the two friends and writers who share the blog, The Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms. Their great friends inspired them to create this place of support, sensibility, and fun for moms online. They each have their own sensible husbands who, along with Ellen’s two kids and Erin’s five kids, provide plenty of rollicking blog fodder. They also share recipes, book reviews, and a healthy dose of humor and wit on their cozy corner of the internet. They enjoy shuttling their kids to sports, tinkering with their Nikons, and mining their daily lives for the funny.  Ellen and Erin can be found on Facebook and Twitter, as well as many other places (links at the bottom of the post.).
This post was originally published here.


Toddler and teen both begin with “T”, but that’s not where the similarities end…

Ellen: I don’t know about you but when I first started thinking about having children, I was really thinking about having babies.  Cute, cherubic, immobile babies. My vision didn’t really see past burp cloths, bibs, and binkies.

Erin: Oh, really now. Do tell. I have FIVE kids and they are knocking into the teen years like dominoes falling over a ledge. How did I really not see this coming? Where were all of my sensible friends with their little crystal balls to show me my future?

Ellen: I think I just explained that we didn’t know any better either, but you would have thought by number five you would have had some inkling.  If you really think about it . . .

Erin: And squint your eyes?

Ellen: The teen years are not so very different from the toddler years.

Toddlers and Teens 7 Surprising Ways They Are The Same

1. Olfactory Offense

Toddler – The aroma of dirty diapers and unflushed toilets wafts through the air like a radioactive cloud.

Teen – The stench of teen spirit – rank sneakers, bubbling B.O., and body spray—permeates every pore of your upholstery.

2. A Day Out Requires A Sherpa

Toddler – Going out requires packing a stroller, snack, juice box, spare sippy cup, change of clothes, diaper bag, lovey, coloring book, sunscreen, and a partridge in a pear tree. Oh yeah, and don’t forget the patience.

Teen – A day out means a SUV packed with homework dioramas, homeroom donations, gear for multiple sports, musical instruments, a bajillion water bottles and enough extra food to feed the Prussian army. And you might want to remember your patience – Level: Ghandi.

 3. Up All Night

Toddler – “Read me one more story.” “Can I have a glass of water?” “The tag on my pajamas is itching.” “There is a monster under my bed.” “I peed my bed.” “Can I sleep with you?”

Teen – “Can you drive me and my friends to this party and pick us up at midnight (so that you can’t have that glass of wine, can’t put on your PJs, can’t go to bed, and can’t stop your mind from swirling about all of the things that can go on at parties).

 4. On The Weekend, The Early Bird Gets . . . Exhausted

Toddler – In your room at the crack of dawn to snuggle, pee on you, demand breakfast, dribble water, and commandeer the remote for Dora. You move through your long morning like a zombie in jammies.

Teen – You’re in their room at the crack of dawn to pry their butts out of bed with a crow bar to drive halfway across the state for their 12 hour soccer tournament. Wearing jammies is a red card worthy citation. You move through your day like a zombie in yoga pants.

5. Mount Laundry

Toddler – A miniature wardrobe of outfits succumb to jelly spilling, finger painting, toilet dipping, mud splashing, and potty training each and every day. The hamper piles up.

Teen– Burns through a gazillion outfits per day due to gym class, club meetings, band concerts, sports practices, and fickleness. Leaves a trail of clothes starting from their closets, leading to their school lockers, circling back to your minivan, and ending on the bathroom floor.

6. Speaking Of Underwear

Toddler – Potty training means plenty of stain stick and many o’ pair sacrificed to the garbage can.

Teen – Keep that stain stick handy, but add bleach to the list . . . to flush your eyes out after the horrors you will see.

7. Safetyville

Toddler – Cover all the outlets! Pad all the sharp edges! Gate all the stairs!

Teen – Invent a way to bubble wrap the world.

– Ellen and Erin

Guesterday’s News: Is That a Baby in Your Pants?

Introducing “Guesterday’s News!”  Guest Post Week was so much fun, I’m going to continue to post guest bloggers once a week (…or so…I’m not good with “schedules”) through the end of the summer (and monthly-ish after that)!  Today’s blogger is hysterical Alyson of The Shitastrophy.  Just the name of her blog tells you all about her sense of humor.  I had to laugh when she responded to my search for guest bloggers that she had a hard time coming up with a “PG-13” post to submit.  😀  Don’t read this one with the kids around…you wouldn’t want them to ask WHY you are laughing so hard.  Explaining THIS bizarre story would make answering the standard “where do babies come from” question seem like a walk in the park.

The best part is that this show is on TLC.  The.  Learning.  Channel.  Well, I guess from this episode you DO learn that truth is sometimes stranger than fiction…


Originally from NJ, Alyson now lives in the Midwest but has kept her sarcastic cynical attitude.  She has to make a conscious effort not to curse in most conversations. She is the mother of 2 kids who provide constant fodder for her blog, The Shitastrophy.  Her husband lives in fear that everything he says or does will be highlighted in her next blog post, Facebook update or Tweet

This post was originally published here.

Is That a Baby in Your Pants?

BabyinURpantsThis was seriously the title of a TLC episode of ‘I Didn’t know I was Pregnant’. I was flipping through the channels and this caught my eye, how could it not? I turned to it because seriously I just had to watch this. I missed the first few minutes, but the show was just getting to the quality reenactment portion. The mother was on an exam table in the ER and was in a full on panic. The nurse was busy cutting her out of her pants and asking questions. Then the camera zooms in on the woman’s nether regions and there long and behold was a baby. WTF?

The nurse exclaimed, “Ma’am congratulations you just delivered a baby!”

The confused 42 year old new mother questioned her, “A what?”

The nurse then said it….wait for it…wait for it….”You just had a Baby, in your pants!”

Seriously this is totally freaking ridiculous. This woman had no idea she just had a 6 lb 9 oz baby in her pants? What did she think was moving in her pants? That would be a massive shit if that was what she was thinking, and one that moves? My first thought once I started to think through the possibility of this scenario was – did this woman not have any underwear on? Did she push this 7 lb turd right through the crotch of her panties? Was she numb down below? Cause I gotta tell you, I am pretty much aware of most things in my underwear. If a watermelon was crowning in my lower extremities I would like to think I would be at least a little bit curious. I would maybe excuse myself to the restroom, or something. I would not be able to have a child just slip out head, shoulders, legs and everything and be none the wiser.

This then lead me to think, wow this woman must have had other kids or something. Surely a 7 lb kid doesn’t just fall out of your vagina unless that is a well stretched canal. Nope, first kid. So was she just that loose down there? Cause most first time mom’s I know had to have a few stitches to make things right again. That type of trauma causes some tearing. I have first hand experience. The idea that my first or second would have just dropped out of my vagina is pretty much impossible for me to believe. And let’s just imagine for a minute that a kid did just fall out of your body into your pants, busting it’s way through your underwear – would you not feel some movement? How could she have delivered an entire child in her pants and not feel or see the baby move? Was she thinking she had an alien in her pants? Or what about her water breaking? Did she think she just peed all over herself without knowing? Wouldn’t her pants be a little wet? Was she going to keep on her pants – yeah honey I peed myself but I am gonna go ahead and keep these on cause they’ll dry. I have to think that when the baby dropped out like a parachuter into her pants that there would be some sliminess, cause I have delivered 2 kids and they don’t come out clean.

Either way, I gotta say I am now going to have to watch this show more because this shit is just insane and it makes me feel like a genius.


After you set up your DVR to record a season pass of this show (you know you want to), go visit Alyson’s blog for some more laughs!  And tell her I sent you!

Guest Post Week: Minivan Conversations T-H-I-N-K (The Golden Spoons)

Thanks to Lisa from The Golden Spoons for being my guest blogger today!  I love this post and have had plenty of opportunity to use the “T-H-I-N-K” principle this week since we’ve had so much “together time” on vacation!


Lisa is a former preschool special needs teacher who has been working as The Director Of Household Operations in the “Spoon” household for the past ten years.  She has three daughters ages 10, 8, & 5 and a husband who works in sales and travels quite a bit for his job.  Lisa started her blog, The Golden Spoons, over three years ago.  She enjoys writing and has enjoyed the personal connections blogging has created.  She also enjoys a good cup of French Vanilla creamer with a little coffee added in, belting out her favorite songs when she is alone in the car, and trying new recipes that her family will most likely not eat.  She is not crafty, but she is organized (most of the time) and is a church/school volunteer extraordinaire.  Come check out her blog and follow her on FacebookTwitter, and/or Bloglovin
This post was originally published here.


MiniVan Conversations: T-H-I-N-K

I don’t know what it is about being in our minivan that almost instantly incites an altercation between my girls – especially between the oldest two.  As soon as they get in from the carpool line after school, it starts.  Someone says the other is annoying.  One tells the other to shut up.  They argue over who sits where.  They argue over what to listen to on the radio. The same thing happens when we get in the car to go to church or to run errands or go pretty much anywhere.   It is endless.  And maddening.

Last week, we were driving across town to a retirement home where all three girls were taking part in a performance with the children’s choirs from our church.  As usual, the bickering started right away. Before we even got in, they were arguing over seats.  Soon after we started driving, they were arguing over the radio and then the insults started to fly.

I was about to blow.  Instead, I took a deep breath and remembered something I had seen on Pinterest.  Yep – Pinterest saved the day!  Are you on Pinterest??  Have you seen this???

I love this and I love planting the seed in my kids that they should always think before they speak.  So while we were driving, I “preached” this lesson to them.  I had them spell out the word T-H-I-N-K and we talked about what each letter means.

 T- Is it True??  Is it really true that you hate your sister?

H – Is it helpful?  Does it help anyone when you say “Butt” and fall out of your seat laughing?

I – I changed this one to “Is it Intelligent?”  Does what you are saying even make sense?

N – It is necessary?  Is it really necessary to tell your sister to shut up?

K – Is it Kind?  Is calling her stupid a nice thing to say?

I consider this a new twist on the old “If you can’t say something nice, then, don’t say anything at all” lesson.  I think the girls understood the concept, but it will definitely take some time for this to become a habit – for both of us.  However, I am really going to try and implement this strategy with them.  When they are fighting or laughing about “potty words” I want to remind them to T-H-I-N-K before they continue to speak.  I have printed out a copy and added it front and center to our refrigerator.  Hopefully, over time, it will become a habit – for everyone in this house.

It is a strategy that adults should use as well, I think.  Let’s face it.  We all gossip from time to time.  We all complain about stuff.  We all have those people who get under our skin and we are almost compelled to say mean things about them.  But often, our words are hurtful and/or unnecessary.  Perhaps if we also T-H-I-N-K before we speak, the world would be a little bit nicer place!


Now go get some more golden advice from Lisa here!

Guest Post Week: How To Take Two Toddlers to the Pool in 25 Easy Steps (From Meredith to Mommy)

From teens yesterday to toddlers today, my guest bloggers are giving such a great variety of posts this week!  Today I’d like to thank Meredith for letting me use such a hilarious post!  Since my youngest is almost 9, I’m past this stage…but the memories of taking a toddler to the pool will ALWAYS be there. 😉


Meredith is a former music teacher, mother of two young girls, and writer of the blog “From Meredith to Mommy.” Meredith writes about transitioning from her former life to a mother and wife, shares reflections about her journey, and anecdotes from her life with her two little girls; the sweet ones, the silly ones, and the tough ones.  Meredith can also be found on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

This was originally posted here.

How To Take Two Toddlers to the Pool in 25 Easy Steps

I’ve already alluded to the fact that this summer is going to be very different when it comes to the pool. Last year Reagan sat quietly in her bumbo under an umbrella. This summer she’s doing bar routines on railings and scaling chairs. Last summer Madison was afraid of the big pool. This summer she’s doing everything she can to let herself out of the baby pool and dash toward the big one. Not exactly restful.
Up until yesterday, I don’t think Adam really got that. Often he’ll finish a round of golf and send me a text telling me to bring the girls over after their nap so he can meet us there. So far this year he’s been surprised when it takes me over a half hour to drive the 5 minutes.
This weekend he got it.
Instead of eating lunch after he played golf, he came home so I could take some time to myself out of the house. The girls had taken earlier naps than usual, so they were just waking up. He told me he was going to take them over and I could join them later on.
Thus, Adam learned what it is really like to take two toddler girls to the pool.

1. Console older child who is crying because Mommy is supposed to the the one to go swimming with.
2. While consoling older child, realize younger child has woken up and is quickly moving from happy babbling in her crib to crying because no one is coming to get her.
3. Get younger child out of crib and console younger child with the leftover goldfish that older child dropped and convince them to watch the end of the Tinkerbell movie.
4. Now that two children are calm, grab bag that Super Awesome Mommy has packed and left out. Load it into car before Tinkerbell is over.
5. Remember that Super Awesome Mommy reminded you that the bathing suits are not in the bag yet. Remember that she said something about where they were, although you weren’t totally paying attention.
6. After an extensive search, find bathing suits.
7. Decide against dressing girls at home since Tinkerbell is over and they’re getting cranky.
8. Throw bathing suits in bag.
9. Load girls in the car.
10. On the road, tell the girls that it’s a 5 minute ride and it doesn’t matter that Daddy’s car doesn’t have the princess CD.
11. Arrive at pool. Take older child out of carseat first.
12. Realize older child has taken her shoes off and is crying while standing on the hot pavement. Pick her up.
13. Set younger child down to juggle older child and the bag more effectively. Younger child takes off across the parking lot.
14. Manage to get both children into the pool area.
15. Stop child one from going into the ladies’ changing room and lead them both toward the men’s room.
16. Pull out bathing suits. Realize that older child wears tankinis now, which have two pieces.
17. Amid much cursing, leave bag and put both children back in the car. Drive home.
18. Get tankini bottoms and drive back amid crying from older child that her cup is in the bag, which is still at the pool.
19. Bring children back into men’s room. Attempt to wrangle younger child into swim diaper and bathing suit while she attempts to run out the door.
20. Realize that while you were working on younger child, older child, confused by the layout of the men’s room, has peed all over the floor.
21. Wipe up pee and wrap up wet clothes.
22. Retrieve younger child as she escapes into pool area. Put her as far into the men’s room as possible to contain her as long as possible.
23. Wrangle older child into tankini with one hand, while holding younger child back with the other.
24. Realize that since the initial arrival at the pool, the snack bar has closed. Text wife asking her to bring underpants, a sundress, and snacks. And to hurry.
25. Bring girls to tiki bar for lemonade and (ahem) something stronger. Collapse in chair around baby pool…until you realize that one has escaped.

I don’t think he’ll be complaining that it takes me too long to get over there again.

Now head on over to From Meredith to Mommy for some more laughs!


Guest Post Week: Yes, The Times They Are Changing (My Dishwasher’s Possessed)

Guest Post Week continues!  (I apologize if my intros are getting shorter and shorter.  I don’t want to start getting dirty looks from posting while on vacation. 😉 ).  I “met” Kathy fairly recently through a wonderful blogging group (I’m still in awe of the fact that I get to “hang out” with such fantastic bloggers!).  I consider Kathy a true friend and wish we lived closer to each other so we could “meet” more than virtually.  I’m happy to know such a wonderful blogger and happier still to be able to feature her writing here!

With 2 teens in the house, this post really hit home.  You may want to grab a tissue.  Just in case, you know, you get something in your eye…


Kathy Radigan is a mom of three, wife to one and the owner of a possessed dishwasher. She is also the co-founder of Bonbon Break. Kathy started her blog, My dishwasher’s possessed! in the fall of 2010 when her youngest child started kindergarten. She has been happily possessed ever since. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Google +

This was originally posted on My dishwasher’s possessed!

Sitting at my desk and staring at my computer all I can see is my
stuffed inbox. My anxiety level is rising by the second as I think of all I
have to do.

I take a deep breath and let it out slowly. As I look up, I notice the pin board I keep over my desk. Among the post-it notes scribbled with reminders of things yet to do I notice a
picture of me and my first born when he was just a few months old tucked into
one of the ribbons.

How is it possible that the little blonde blue eyed boy who I would carry in my Baby Bjorn and later stroll all over Queens, is 14 and getting ready for high school?

I close my eyes and can almost feel myself back in the nursery with the teddy bear wallpaper and the crib with the bedding it took me weeks to pick out. I would rock a sleeping Tom in my arms and marvel at his creamy skin and sweet sleepy smile.

All of a sudden I’m startled out of my trance by a voice that I have not yet become accustomed to.



Who is this man-child with the light mustache and smile full of braces calling my name?

“Mom… dad is going to kill me.”

There is my baby, now 14 and carrying his cell phone. I have a pretty good idea why he is panicking now.

“Oh, no. Not again. Tom it’s only the 15th. How could you exceed your text limit?”

He starts to laugh a bit.

“Well can I help it if I have friends? I need a social life you know. I am a teenager. Isn’t that what I’m supposed to do?” More laughter.

Now I start laughing. “I understand Tom, but that’s it till the fourth of the month.”

“You know Zach has unlimited minutes and he has the iPhone.”

“Well Tom, Mallory has always been a nicer mother than I am. You know that, I know that, Mallory knows that.”

“Ha, Ha, Ha mom. Very funny.” Then he goes off with a combination smile and sulk.

I go back to my computer, relishing that Peter and Lizzy are sleeping and I have a little time to work.

As I start to get engrossed in my latest task, I find myself startled again by Tom.

“Hi Tom, what is it hon? Do you need something?”

My tone is starting to reveal a bit of my impatience. I look at the clock on my computer. Shouldn’t he be in bed soon?

“  I forgot to tell you I got a 91 on my math test.”

Oh, that’s great. You must be happy about that. I find myself smiling and happy but still distracted.


“Is there anything else honey? I want to try to get a little work done now that Peter and Lizzy are sleeping.”

I’m starting to get more anxious as I remember that my to-do list is a mile long and no matter how much I do it never seems to get shorter.

“No. When do you think Dad is going to get home?”

“I’m not sure. It’s 9:30 now. Probably soon.”

“Do you think he is going to be really mad that I’m over my texting limiting.”

Now I’m getting really annoyed. Doesn’t this kid realize that I have been up since four in the morning and I still have things that need to get done?

“Tom, he will be fine. But you have to get with the program with the phone. If you can’t manage it, we will have to take it away.”

“I know, I know.”

I go back to my work.

“Mom do you want to watch Friends with me?”

Now I’m mad. I start to have a conversation with him in my head. How am I supposed to do everything? I’m not a saint you know. Why do you have to need me now and not when I was trying to talk to you a half hour ago?

I open my mouth not sure what I’m going to say, but totally knowing what I want to.

Then I see those big blue eyes staring back at me.

Not much different than when he was just a little baby.

When did I start seeing this sweet boy as one more thing on my list? It hits me that he is 14 and very soon, I will be begging him for the smallest piece of his time.

Life is going so fast. I have become obsessed with getting everything done that I’m starting to forget what is really important. I am taking my precious son for granted.

“Sure Tom.”

We sit and watch a  rerun of Friends that we have seen a million times yet we both start laughing hysterically.

My heart starts to melt. Behind the deeper voice and cries for independence he is the same sweet child who needs me. In some ways even more than he did when he was younger.

“Thanks mom.”

“I love you Tom.”

“Love you too.”

All of a sudden my to-do list doesn’t seem so long.


Now go visit Kathy!  You’ll be glad you did.