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.
This post is sponsored by General Mills 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 are magically delicious but I'm revealing the magician's tricks for the cereal bars
4 cups Lucky Charms (most recipes call for 6 but we like extra gooey)
10 ounce bag Marshmallows
4 tablespoons butter
Put cereal in zip lock bag.
Give your son a rolling pin. You may substitute daughter if no son available.
Tell him not to hit his sibling with it. Repeat.
Give son permission to be a cereal killer.
Beat cereal with a rolling pin until you crush its soul. Or until it is crushed.
Put one marshmallow on a microwave safe plate and cook until it explodes.
Clean microwave (optional).
Put remaining marshmallows and 3 tablespoons of butter (not all 4) in a microwave safe bowl and cook until melted.
Dump crushed cereal into marshmallow mush.
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.
Pretend the marshmallow/cereal mixture is play-do and squish it with your hands until it is well mixed.
Get out a pretty serving dish.
Put the pretty serving dish back in the cabinet.
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 my own Big G (Greg) be the cereal killer for this batch though. .
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.
What other varieties of cereal would make yummy marshmallow treats??
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.
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.”
“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. 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.)
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.)
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.
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.
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.
We discovered my cell phone camera had magical cloning powers. Must have been the pigeons.
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.
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?”
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.
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???
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
***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!
There 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!
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!
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.
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 @KateWhineHallMy 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 fabulousNo Mother is Perfect, But Every Mother is Unique Mother’s Day Giveaway brought to you byThe 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!
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.
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.
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.
The 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.
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.
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?
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.
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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!)
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.
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!
Disclaimer: Our vacation for the most part was incredibly relaxing and rejuvenating. In fact it was deemed the “best vacation ever” by all 4 kids within a few hours of arriving. That is great for me, but boring for you. So you just get to hear about the non-Rockwell moments.
#1 – PACKING FAIL
Since I was sick before our vacation, I did very little nothing to prepare for our trip. I told everyone they were responsible for packing for themselves. Jim made sure all the bags were ready to go and loaded all the luggage in the car.
Except his. He had 2 shirts and 2 pairs of shorts for the entire week.
#2 – GONE TO THE DOGS
We folded down the back row of seats in our suburban for the dogs to ride. Except for a cooler, they had the entire back area of the car.
They instantly jumped the cooler to cram themselves on top of the suitcases. And Greg.
“We just wanna’ be wif you guys.”
#3 – SWEET OR SOUR I’ve always been a mosquito magnet and couldn’t step out of the wooded lake house without the little buggers instantly finding me.
Me: “I must be really sweet. The mosquitos just won’t leave me alone!”
Greg: “That’s why I love you Mom…”
Me: <<Smiling – thinking he’s agreeing that I’m SOOO sweet>>
Greg: “…Because you keep them away from ME.”
#4 – NUCLEAR REACTION
We made the mistake of telling the boys that the water temperature was 91 degrees because the lake was built to cool a nuclear power plant.
They were convinced we were swimming in toxic waste.
#5 – DEEP DISH FISHING Despite many fishing attempts during the week, nothing was caught. On the last day, Jim stuck a leftover pepperoni on his hook on a whim. He instantly caught a fish.
The fish must have heard that someone ordered a pizza with anchovies.
#6 – JAKE SPARROW
Jake is a hat guy but forgot to bring any on the trip. He searched for a “souvenir hat,” but we couldn’t find any tourist-y shops. He finally found a baseball hat with a pirate skull at a little country store. Since it was the ONLY hat around, I said yes without really looking at it.
Later I noticed there were words under the pirate skull.
“Surrender the booty.”
Aaaaargh, not the best choice for a 14 year old.
#7 – GAME OVER During a game of Battleship, Greg called an incorrect guess by Jim a “close miss.” Of course, Jim’s next guess was a hit. He tried to explain to Greg that by calling it a close miss, that was a clue that the ship was probably next to that spot.
“Loose lips sink ships must be about this game.”
#8 – RULES SCHMULES
We rented a boat for the week. The agreement stated “no water sports” which we interpreted as “we have to say that because we don’t want you to sue us if you get hurt.” So we attached a tube to the boat anyway. The marina called Jim’s cell while we were in the midst of tubing to tell us they could see us. Oopsie.
Note to self: When breaking boating rules, don’t ride back and forth RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE MARINA that RENTED YOU THE BOAT!
Since the marina threatened to take the boat away for violating the rental terms, we followed the rules…until the last day. You are going to confiscate the boat now? Thanks! Now we don’t have to return it in an hour.
In the mean time we improvised and invented “kayak tubing.”
#9 – PHOBIA PHAIL
I’m terrified of water. Not as much the water necessarily as what I can’t see IN the water.
Why do they have to call them “bodies” of water anyway?? And I know sharks are only in salt water, but I’m sure there is SOMETHING in that lake just as scary. Like a mutant toxic waste fish-snake-lizard.
The boys kept asking me to go tubing (before we got busted) and, not wanting to look like a pathetic chicken in front of them, I hesitantly agreed. The tube had already taken quite a few trips behind the boat.
I jumped in and instantly thought it felt too squishy. Everyone poo-poo’d my concerns as paranoia.
Again, not wanting to be a chicken, I decided to go with the flow. The boat started moving and the front of the tube instantly went under and the entire thing filled with water.
My worst fear! I was sinking!! By the time they pulled me back to the boat, the tube was completely submerged and almost completely out of air. And everyone was laughing hysterically. At my hysterics.
I wasn’t amused. Jim will damn well make sure the thingies where the tube is inflated (what are they called anyway??) are tightly plugged next time.
After my titanic experience, I was definitely scarier than any mutant sea creature.
#10 – ENGINE FAIL(URE)
One night we boated to a restaurant for dinner. On the way back, the engine overheated. We spent the next two hours waiting for the engine to cool, and then moving full speed for about 30 seconds before it would overheat again. Did I mention that the lake is 17 miles long? And that of the 4 cell phones we had on the boat, 3 had dead batteries?
The lower the sun went, the higher the stress level went. I tend to inappropriately joke when I’m stressed. So even though I was envisioning spending the night on a pitch dark lake surrounded by the Loch Ness monster, I made up songs. The skipper and Gilligan would have been proud.
“The Dad was a mighty boating man. The mother brave and sure. Six passengers went to dinner that day. For a three course meal. A three course meal.
The engine started turning off. The tiny ship was stuck…”
We didn’t really venture further than that for those lyrics. Everyone just joined in right away and sang that same line over and over. And over. I never need to hear that song again.
When the engine would get too hot and cut off, the boat couldn’t be steered and would just drift. As we approached a bridge, Jim was trying to time it to make sure the engine didn’t overheat too close to the bridge so we wouldn’t drift into the bridge supports. It was at that moment that I realized just how much Eric is like me. He broke into song to the tune of “I love it” by Icona Pop (again, feel free to click on the link so you can sing along)…
“I got this feeling on a summer day when we’re afloat. I crashed my boat into a bridge. I watched, I let it sink. I threw the engine into a bag and pushed it in the lake. I crashed my boat into the bridge. I don’t care, I love it. I don’t care.”
That’s my boy.
We finally got someone to answer the phone at the marina as the sun was setting behind the trees and the response was “You really need to get the boat off the lake. It’s almost dark.” Gee thanks. I wish we’d thought of that two hours ago. Then we were given the option of calling a $350 tow boat.
Jimmy pulled out the paddles instead.
#11 – SOLAR FLARE
Lupus and the sun don’t mix. We rented a boat with a canopy so I could stay in the shade. Unfortunately, when we were stuck on the lake on the broken down boat, the sun was too low and there was no shade.
Lupus and stress also don’t mix. Apparently when you put the three together, it’s no bueno. As the sun crept below the canopy, whatever area of my skin the beams would reach almost instantly broke out in a burning rash.
It was very bizarre. I could actually watch my skin turn red and splotchy within 10 seconds of the sun hitting it.
But I tried to keep singing anyway. (It ended up lasting for weeks. The burn/rash, not the singing.)
#12 – LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
The lake is in a town called Bumpass. Four boys in a town by that name…the jokes are endless. End. Less.
Vacation win though? When your kids are misbehaving, it is perfectly acceptable to say
“You are being a pain in the Bumpass.”
P.S. Don’t leave yet. At the bottom of the photos is a vacation video you don’t want to miss. It’s pee your pants funny. Trust me, I found that out the hard way. 😉
Cute photo, huh?
I had 247 rejects such as this before I got them all to smile at once.
Sorry, I don’t think I can post videos here so you have to go view it on my FB page. It’s really worth the extra click though! Click here —> VIDEO OF THE SPINNING CONTEST.