I’m not afraid of the Boogie Man jumping out from under my bed or hiding in my closet. My fear of the Boogie Man comes from seeing him in broad daylight, in a school classroom.
I was volunteering in the kindergarten classroom when I looked across the room to see my son (who shall remain nameless) “picking a winner,” if you know what I mean.
And that was the day I realized I was the Boogie Man’s mother.
It was also the day I gained much respect for kindergarten teachers once I noticed that over half the class was digging or scratching some body part they shouldn’t be.
Snot’snot funny. Oops. Missed a space there.
But you know what is fun(ny)? Winning a $50 gift card from Walmart! I’ve admitted time and time and time again that I’m a Walmartian (and belong on the People of Walmart website). You can also win a Boogie Wipes prize pack, because – let’s face it – before kidS learns what it means to blow through their noses, colds usually end up causing a tarred and feathered face when using tissues. I’m surprised no one has marketed booger glue – when that stuff dries, it’s stronger than cement and super glue combined.
Pardon me while I go hurl.
I should probably tell a joke to get the mucus mucilage memory erased from your brain. So…How do you make a tissue dance?
You put a little boogie in it.
If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy What Does the Kid Say??? which is a compilation of hysterical toddler speak including sneezes referred to as “Bless Yous.”
In celebration of Great Grape Boogie Wipes being sold at Walmart, I’m teaming up with Boogie Wipes to offer the Great Grape Summer Giveaway! One winner will be drawn each week for eight weeks and will receive a $50 Walmart gift card and a Boogie Wipes prize pack.
How to Enter
From following some of our favorite bloggers on social media to instagramming a picture of your Great Grape purchase at Walmart, there are dozens of ways to enter – and a few ways to enter every single day.
Giveaway is live Tuesday, July 8, 2014 until midnight on Tuesday, September 2, 2014. US and Canada residents only. One winner will be chosen each week and will be notified via email. Momopolize received no compensation for sponsoring this event, and is not responsible for the delivery of the prize. Prize delivery is the sole responsibility of Boogie Wipes.
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 searched the bin of track pieces. The solution required thinking outside of the box. The Matchbox.
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.)
“Sometimes being a brother is better than being a superhero.” ~ Marc Brown
Car in hand, it’s time to try, try again.
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.)
“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??
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.
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.
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.
Things went down hill quickly. Photo 4: Fail (but perfectly depicts personalities).
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.
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…
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.)
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!
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!
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.”
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.
Not many blogs get a birthday party. But mine did. Jim came home with cupcakes and a card. OK, ok. We look for any excuse to buy a cupcake, but still. He definitely got brownie points for that. Or cupcake points I suppose.
Some of you know that for the past couple of weeks I have become a bit “overly concerned” about some random goals I had set for myself. OK, maybe it was more than “a bit.” I couldn’t figure out why I was putting so much pressure on myself to meet these goals. No one made me set them. They were just numbers I chose. Nothing was going to happen if I didn’t make it. And nothing was going to happen if I did. I couldn’t figure out why I cared so much.
But now I do know why.
The goals I set were:
> 1,000 Facebook Fans
> 1,000 Twitter Followers
< 100,000 US Alexa Rank
I became pretty obsessed with these numbers. Just these three. I didn’t care about the numbers for Pinterest, Google+, Bloglovin’ or any of the other 247 social media sites out there. I didn’t even care about my number of email subscribers (which is arguably the most important). But why?
A couple of weeks ago, it was pretty obvious that #1 was not reachable. I was way more bummed about it than I should be. But why?
With only a few days left, I decided I couldn’t throw in the towel. I pulled out all the stops and asked for all the favors possible in a last-ditch effort. I just HAD to get there. But why?
My blogging buddies and real life friends came out in droves to share my page with their followers and friends.
And I made it! The moment I hit 1,000 I immediately went running to my kids to tell them. And THAT was the moment I realized why it mattered so much.
It was the look on their faces.
I spend so much of my time feeling guilty over being the “sick Mom.” The Mom that my kids hear talking about doctor’s appointments and naps and aches and pains. Others get to see the well-rested out-in-public me but my kids have to see the Mom that comes home exhausted. I worry that one day their childhood memories of me will consist of only that.
They never got to see the businesswoman me or the musician me or the anything-that-would-make-them-proud-of-me me. Until Momopolize. They think the blogger me is pretty darn cool.
Facebook fans impress them. Having more Twitter followers than them impresses them. Being ranked in the top 100,000 out of the 650,000,000 websites that exist in the world impresses them (Alexa ranks all websites, not just blogs. Google, Facebook, Amazon and the like are in the top 10.). Yeah, I really have no idea if that is the actual number of websites but that was the number I saw most often in a search and it sounds good to tell them I’m in the top .01%-ish.
So those numbers weren’t important to me because I want to achieve fame and fortune (well, a little fortune would be nice). It wasn’t to get that elusive book deal or attract bigger advertisers (well, yeah that would be nice too.).
Those numbers were important because for that moment I wasn’t sick Mom. I wasn’t even average Mom. In their eyes I was famous Mom. And maybe THAT will be what stays in their memory.
I mean, I KNOW those numbers don’t really mean all that much. I know of widely successful blogs that don’t even have a Twitter account. And others that have a huge Facebook following but only a few of those fans ever click on their blog posts. And my Alexa rank just shows me there must be a whole heck of a lot of websites that never ever ever get viewed. Like, ever! (You’re welcome for the Taylor Swift song that is now stuck in your head.)
But – shhhhhhhh – don’t tell my kids any of that. Let me be famous Mom for just a little longer.
Oh, and in case you are as easily impressed as my kids, when I started writing this my numbers were:
1,047 Facebook Fans
1,772 Twitter Followers
114,117 US Alexa Rank (I didn’t quite make it under 100,000 but we are just going to gloss over that for now and celebrate, k?)
And my goal for the coming year? To Momopolize the entire Blogiverse!!
(Or at least make my kids think I do.)
<insert evil laugh and cue world domination music>
P.S. My next post will be more about my first year of blogging and the wonderful community that is out there, including a shout out to those who answered my plea for help on Facebook. (I intended to include that list in this post but have to leave for an appointment for a sick kitty, sorry!)
P.P.S. For those who have been around for a while, you know that 47 is my favorite number (Always has been. No idea why.). Anytime I talk about any kind of numbers, I will add 47 to the end. When I saw my Facebook number was ACTUALLY 1,047 it was like a blog birthday gift. I guess I’m easily impressed also…
When Jimmy was little, I was the over-the-top kind of Mom. I wanted to do it all. Be it all. Have it all.
For Jimmy’s first turn being “snack person” in preschool I made an entire solar system out of ball shaped cupcakes for crying out loud (I will post a photo when I find it.). If there was a volunteer need at school, my hand was the first one up. Birthday party themes were meticulously planned from the plates to the games down to the piece of junk toy in the goody bag. I wouldn’t think of having a meal without a vegetable. (And if we went somewhere where there weren’t veggies, you could be sure I’d shove a carrot in Jimmy’s mouth when we got home). We had TV “coupons” that had to be earned for any screen time. I bought cute mix and match outfits from Little Me. And so on.
The problem was, I set the bar so high there was no way I could sustain that level. I stood on my tippy toes for as long as I could, trying to keep it up there. But I quickly realized I was in over my head.
The bar slowly slipped down, down, down.
Now the bar is just laying on the floor. I didn’t drop the ball, I dropped the bar. Now I’m completely a slacker Mom.
I feel bad that Greg never got to see the Mom who pole vaulted that bar. Without a pole.
He gets the Mom that was secretly relieved when the school stopped allowing class snacks to be brought in. The Mom that isn’t in his classroom frequently enough to know his classmates’ names. He didn’t even have a party for his past two birthdays. When the doctor asked at one of his check-ups how often he eats vegetables, he answered “Hmmm. I don’t know. Maybe once a week.” (It’s really not THAT bad. He got quite a glare.) Video games are his babysitter some days. He wears wrinkled/stained/torn hand me downs because I haven’t shopped. (Sometimes they even fit.)
I don’t really WANT to go back to how I was when Jimmy was little. I’ve realized that I wasted many, many hours then obsessing over things that didn’t really matter in the long run (like a solar system that was eaten in 30 seconds.). The earth didn’t stop spinning when I stopped doing those things (See what I did there? And come to think of it, I’m surprised I didn’t make the planet cupcakes rotate around the sun cupcake…).
BUT I also don’t want to be the bare minimum Mom anymore. I want to do the things that make me a good Mom. Not the best Mom. Not the worst Mom.
I need to figure out a way to pick that bar up off the ground.
I may not be able to jump over it anymore. But maybe I can limbo under it.
Now THAT is the kind of Mom I want to be.
The easy-breezy-don’t-worry-be-happy-life’s-a-party Limbo Mom.
The Limbo Mom: Where lowering the bar is a good thing.
(Not too low though. My back will go out.)
After I wrote this, I read “I used to be that Mom” on Our Small Moments. It is a beautifully written piece that you should go read also. And Courtney is going through a very rough time right now so she could definitely use some easy breezy vibes sent her way!
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 scriptedinsincere 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 alsohad for 20 years. A lot can be said by words unspoken.
6. Telepathyis 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.
I grew up with a peach orchard right behind my house. I first typed “literally in my back yard” but I knew you would think I was misusing/overusing the word literally – a peeve of many. Technically it was behind my back yard. But it really WAS literally my house, my yard and then acres and acres (and acres) of peach trees.
My Mom would never let us have any before the crops were picked. She made it very clear that would be stealing, even with my endless begging of “they won’t miss just ONE.”
Waiting was torture…but the day the crews came through was my favorite day of the year (well, top 10). When they left, we’d go gather the rejects. The smallest blemish would cause a peach to be rejected so there were tons discarded on the ground.
They were “stand over the sink” peaches. So juicy, you had to eat them while standing at the kitchen sink to avoid coating the kitchen table and floor in a sticky, wet mess. Mom would also put them in pretty much anything that could possibly contain a peach. She canned them, made pies, cobblers and preserves.
The day they plowed down the orchard to build a housing development was a very sad day indeed. I have always missed those trees.
Each peach season I scour every farmer’s market stand I drive by looking for peaches that live up to the perfect-peaches-from-my-back-yard standard. It’s a rarity to find one that does.
Last year I planted 2 trees and guess what? Peaches are actually growing! Even with my black thumb that kills all that is green.
I now have a peach orchard LITERALLY in my back yard. Yes, it counts as an orchard in my book.
And I don’t have to wait for the rejects. That is just peachy.
“I was lying on the grass on Sunday morning of last week
Indulging in my self-defeat”
“And of course you can’t become if you only say what you would have done
So I missed a million miles of fun”
Before I started writing a blog, I must admit I didn’t even really read blogs. I had a few I read sporadically, but for the most part blogging was foreign to me. Even though I had wanted to write one for years, I was pretty much clueless.
The past month I have started delving further into the world of blogging. I’ve been reading more and more blogs. Awesome blogs. Insightful. Thought provoking. World changing blogs. And hilarious. Laugh out loud. Pee your pants blogs.
And I’ve loved getting to know these wonderful bloggers. Incredible women (and men) that are pouring their souls out for cyberspace to see. Bloggers that can express their innermost thoughts in a way that I feel like I’ve known them forever. Or feel as though they’ve been peeking in my windows because they seem to be describing my life. Ladies that I’d love to meet in real life because I just KNOW we’d be instant friends.
BUT…there’s always a but…the more extraordinary content I read, the more extra ordinaryI felt.
I let them take my sparkle away. And by “them” I mean me. (Only those of you that admit to watching the Bachelor will understand the sparkle reference. Google “Tiara” and “Bachelor” and watch any video clips that come up. She’s a trip. But I digress.). As I read, I yearned for their loyal followers gushing praise in their comments. I felt completely inferior.
I lost my confidence to write.
Every time I try to blog, the dark cloud of doubt hovers.
My life is too ordinary.
My words are too ordinary.
My ideas are too…ordinary.
See, I couldn’t even come up with words other than ordinary!
I’ve had so many things I’ve wanted to write about, but I sit and stare at the “Add New Post” screen and all that goes through my mind is “my writing isn’t good enough.”
So I’ve remained wordless.
But I miss writing. Really miss it.
Tonight when I signed on to Facebook, the first thing in my news feed was this photo…
Eureka! By comparing myself to others, I was taking away something that brought me much happiness.
So I will try to get the words flowing again. Try to view the fabulous blogs out there not as competition, but as community. To not be concerned whether I’m better or worse. To embrace that we are all unique.
I will try.
I will continue to write my blog. AND I will continue to read other blogs. Because that’s what I enjoy. Will I still long for the ability to attract 10s of thousands of followers that comment endlessly and freely press the like button and share all over every social media avenue because my writing is just so inspirational or helped them feel like less of a failure or made them split their sides laughing because it contained the world’s longest run on sentence? Will I have doubts in the future when I press that publish button that people will yawn and say b-o-r-I-n-g when they read the post? You bet ‘cha.
But hopefully I will be able to stop comparing and keep the sunshine thief at bay.
Because I don’t want to miss a million miles of fun.
I may not always choose the most eloquent dialogue, or come up with a ground-breaking concept, or be changing the world (yet!).
But my blog is changing my world. And that should be enough to keep me versed and on my feet.