The Big Book of Parenting Tweets

I refuse to believe that Twitter is a complete waste of time. I mean, it is, but it did lead to something as awesome as The Big Book of Parenting Tweets.

BBPT

When I first started Twitter, my husband would jokingly ask, “Are you making money doing that yet?” To which my response was always an exaggerated eye roll. Like anyone would ever pay me for my rantings on motherhood. Well, never say never.

For me, Twitter has always been an outlet, a distraction from the monotony of life. As a mom, my life is ALL about monotony, so between the playdates, the runny noses, the diaper changes, and the meltdowns, I look to Twitter to make me laugh, to inspire me, to make me think about anything other than my children, which is ironic because they are all I tweet about. I started tweeting one year ago in January of 2014, and had no idea what I was doing including using the dreaded hashtag in my first dozen tweets, wondering how anyone ever received one star let alone thousands of them. Slowly, I got the hang of it, and now it’s not so much an outlet, but a full-blown addiction.

As a writer, I’ve dreamed about being published and now thanks to The Big Book of Parenting Tweets, I can say that I am, even though my name is not on the front cover, it’s listed on the back among all the amazing contributors, and it’s not so much my name as my Twitter handle, but you get the point. Something I wrote is in a book, therefore I’m published.

Find my @

Find my @

Needless to say, I’ll be riding this high for quite awhile. The best part of being published is that I didn’t even have to do all the hard work, a talented writer and fellow funny mummy, Kate “Whine” Hall , along with Science of Parenthood’s, Jessica Ziegler and Norine Dworkin-McDaniel, worked tirelessly for weeks curating the best parenting tweets and chose some of mine. I’m honored and so proud to be a part of this project.

It’s the perfect book because you can read a couple pages, then set it down to do one of the hundred things your children need you to do, then pick it right back up and be laughing again in seconds before you have to do the next hundred things for your children. There are even amazing, hysterical illustrations that really bring the tweets to life.

Of course mine is about poop, of course.

Of course mine is about poop, of course.

The Big Book of Parenting Tweets isn’t just for parents, it’s for anyone who loves to laugh. I’m always surprised that someone who doesn’t have children finds anything I say about being a parent as funny or entertaining but somehow they do, so I’m sure everyone will find something to laugh at in this book. It’s just THAT great! So go get a copy now!

It’ll make you laugh, I promise!

Motherhood, Interrupted

We went, we selfied, we danced…because that’s what you do when you go to Las Vegas as a married mother of two.

Moms Gone Mild, Sin City 2014

My mom friends and I loaded up our Mom-mobile stocked with every snack and necessity known to man (cause we’re moms)…

before

On the Road

…not to mention practically every shoe from our closets (cause we’re girls)…

Never Enough Shoes

Never Enough Shoes

…and headed to Vegas this past weekend. None of us cared that the drive would take several hours, in fact, we welcomed it. We were happy to finish one conversation and only take care of ourselves. It didn’t matter what we were doing as long as it involved getting away from our children. We love them to death, but when you spend as much time with them as we do, you need a break. So that’s just what we got, and it was the best time ever!

My Girlz

My Girlz

We were able to forget the very thing that brought us all together in the first place (motherhood) and enjoy our freedom. We got our hair done, we shared clothes and jewelry, and never stopped talking or laughing. We danced the night away into the wee hours of the morning, (my feet still have the blisters to prove it.) Surprisingly, no one lost anything, except our voices, and there was not one moment of drama, but plenty of inside jokes and new dance moves.

Getting Down

Hershey Rollin’

For three stress-free days we didn’t have to be moms. We didn’t have to worry about the things we worry about on a daily basis, and it was exactly what the four of us needed. Now it’s back to our regularly scheduled lives of playdates, tantrums, and bedtimes, but for those three days when motherhood was interrupted, man, did we live it up.

Cheeeeese!

Cheeeeese!

Two Candles

Happy 2nd Birthday to our little Cheeto!

177

My baby turns two today and that fact makes me want to cry both happy and sad tears simultaneously. Happy because she’s that much closer to getting out of diapers, sad because she’s that much closer to getting out of diapers. Happy because she’s getting bigger and finding her voice, sad because she’s using that voice to scream at her sister.

Since I can barely keep up with anything these days, I had to make sure I wrote her a birthday letter before it was too late.

Dear Miss Bear,

Happy Birthday, Bun Bun! 2 years old going on 20. Your little voice is one of my favorite things in the world. It’s just so sweet. Everything you say is followed up with “Mama” and it melts my heart. However, we need to work on your pronunciation some more. Whenever you say the word, frog, it sounds exactly like duck…but with an f. So naturally, your father and I ask you which animal says “ribbit” way more than we should. Just don’t let me catch you saying, “Frog you, Mama,” anytime soon.

You are quite the little pistol, so it’s a good thing your Bambi eyes and blond curls make up for your fiery,  yet loving, personality. You need that though to put up with your older sister as she gives you enough competition as it is. The two of you together run the show around here, and I hope you are as thick as thieves your entire lives (although I don’t condone any actual thievery). Most of the time you guys are fighting over toys, and soon enough it will be clothes and the bathroom, but there are moments when you hold hands and laugh together and those moments fill me with so much joy.

Two years ago I hugged your little body against mine for the first time and it is one of my most treasured memories. Now you hug me back and squeeze me with all your might and it is the best feeling in the world.

We had an absolutely perfect day playing at the beach, running from the waves, squealing with delight, my three favorite faces ever.

Happy Birthday our darling girl. We love you!

Picture Perfect

It’s no surprise that my kids drive me crazy. They are the loudest, most demanding little soul-suckers that ever walked this earth. Couple that with my extreme fatigue and we’re just a shitstorm waiting to happen.

Whenever we visit my mom I have an out of body experience where I see myself as the frazzled, exhausted cliché of a mom that I’ve become. Wearing the typical “mom” uniform of crusty yoga pants and T-shirt, I vent to her about my frustrations and wonder how she survived motherhood without downing three bottles of wine a night.

It’s not always like this though. There are snippets in between the madness when everything is lovely. And those snippets are what I put on Instagram for my friends and family so they see the illusion of my “picture perfect” life.

beach scene

waves

running

While scrolling through all my photos it looks like my life is pretty great, and at times it is, but I never have the chance to sit back and reflect on it or even enjoy it because everything is so damn crazy!

However, this morning the girls and I sat at the desk and watched a slide show of old photos play across the computer screen.

holding handswalking away

snuggles

beach

I held one on my lap while the other leaned against us and we all smiled while I explained the pictures and for a couple minutes I was aware of my luck. Then the little one tried to propel herself onto the desk while the other one tried to smash the keyboard and just like that, it was all over.

Parenthood is exhausting and frustrating and beautiful and heartbreaking. I never realized that it would be living for these tiny, fleeting moments where everything comes together and breaks apart all in the same instant. It’s wanting to pause every happy moment and fast forward through the rest of the chaos. It’s wanting to keep them this way forever and wishing they were already grown up. It’s everything all at once and for this reason I’m happy to have my wineglass waiting for me at the end of the day.

wine

 

What I Love About Motherhood

My mom has told me repeatedly that babies are cute for a reason…it keeps us (parents) going. With all my complaining about motherhood because I’m exhausted and beat down I decided to write a quick list of the moments that keep me going and to maybe prove to you that I do indeed love my children.

The Top 10  Moments I Love the Most

1) When they’re quietly reading books together

2) When they’re napping

3) When they hug each other

4) When they’re napping

5) When they wrap their little arms around my legs

6) When they’re napping

7) When they smile for no other reason but they see me

8) When they’re napping

9) When their laughter is the only sound in the whole entire house

10) When they’re napping… for the night and I don’t have to hear them for 12 glorious hours (if I’m lucky)

Obviously there are a million other things I love about my children (and a million other things that drive me absolutely insane too) but I thought if they ever come across my ramblings then maybe they won’t hate me as much if I throw a sappy one in there every now and again.

 

Eff This!

It’s all too much!

This motherhood and parenting thing is for the birds! And not even, cause as soon as baby birds learn how to fly they’re gone, kicked out of the nest to take care of themselves, unlike my babies who won’t be self-sufficient for at least 20 more years and then there’s no guarantee that they’ll leave. (Kill me now!)

My nest won’t be empty for a looooonnnggg time and it gives me hives just thinking about how much longer I have to do all of this. And don’t you dare tell me this is the easy part. I will go ballistic on your ass!

sahm

How was my own mother SAD when she became an empty-nester? Her AOL account name was PJMTNEST when I went off to college. Mine would have been YAFREAKINGHOOTHOSEASSHOLESAREGONE@aol.com I’m going to throw a raging party when they’re both in college, hell, I might do it when they both start elementary school.

I can’t wait until the day I have my house back to myself and it’s quiet and I can sit and listen to the birds chirp and eat a meal without someone poking me or asking me “why” 5 million times a day or screaming at me because she wants a bowl of Cheerios to dump all over the floor. I realize it’s 30 years away, that’s why I’m so freaking pissed off!

If you can’t tell, I’ve been really overwhelmed with this stay-at-home-mom business lately. It feels like it’s too much 99% of the time.

list

When you wake up and fantasize about going to work just to get away from your kids, then it might be time to make a change. So then I start thinking about getting a job and how great it would be to feel validated and like I’m actually doing something and then the other side, the mom side, throws her 2 cents in and says, “But you’ll miss so much. They’re only this age for a short period of time. Do you really want someone else raising your kids?” When they’re both screaming at me and fighting over toys and pulling hair and screaming louder the answer is YES! I DON’T CARE WHAT I’LL MISS AND THEY MIGHT NOT LIVE MUCH LONGER IF THEY’RE IN MY CARE ANYWAY SO BETTER TO LET SOMEONE ELSE DEAL WITH THEM!

I wish I was one of those laid-back moms who lets everything wash over her as if she didn’t have a care in the world. How do you not care that your house is a goddamn disaster, your kids won’t listen to you, there is yogurt crusted onto your dining table (at least you hope it’s yogurt), you have more dirty dishes and piles of laundry than you can count, the dogs are barking at the wind, and someone smells like shit. She’s the mom who tells me that it’ll get better with time, much like my own mother. But no, I’m a crazy basket-case mom because I deal with two little mini-me terrorists all day, every day. It’s exhausting and I think I’ve hit my limit. Besides, my mom told me months ago that it was going to get easier and I’m pretty damn sure that it hasn’t.

So if you never hear from me again it’s because I got out and got an effing job!

happy

Cats, Cats, Cats

As a little girl I never went through a horse phase. My older one is currently in the midst of hers–although I think it’ll be more than a phase–she’s kind of obsessed.

She’s got another thing coming though if she thinks Daddy is ever going to buy her a pony! (Sorry, sweetheart.)

I’m surprised I didn’t wind up a cat-hoarding old lady because I definitely went through a cat phase when I was young. My ultimate cat was a white-haired, blue-eyed kitten. See below:

My dream cat

My dream cat

I coveted a cat with these features and got him in my beloved, Sebastian (named after the crab on The Little Mermaid, of course).

Me, my rad kitten, and my awful 80's hair

Me, my rad kitten, and my awful 80’s hair

He was the best cat in the world. He put up with all my shenanigans of dressing him in clothes and treating him like a baby. Unfortunately he didn’t live very long, breaking my 8 year-old heart when he died.

RIP Sebastian

RIP Sebastian

My girls love cats too–any animal, really. But I was reminded of my love for them when we came across, Emma Dodd’s book, I Don’t Want a Cool Cat!

By Emma Dodd

By Emma Dodd

It’s a fun story of a little girl searching for just the right cat. I didn’t even realize there were so many different kinds of cats until we read this book. She doesn’t want a cool cat, or a stuffy cat, or a prize cat. My favorite cat she doesn’t want is “a prowly cat: a howly,  yowly, scowly cat!”

She just wants “a purry cat: a small, soft, furry cat.” I know just what she means. While Sebastian had blue eyes like Sinatra, he wasn’t a “treat-me-like-a-fool” cat, like Sinatra would’ve been if he were a cat. Sebastian was a true gentleman–a cat I could call my own cat. The very best snuggly, wuggly cat.

Look up Emma Dodd’s other books, we loved I Am Small and Sometimes… Apparently there is also I Don’t Want a Posh Dog!  so we’ll be searching for that one soon.

A Tale of Sisterly Love

No one wants to share the spotlight especially when it’s the first-born and she’s losing her crown of Only Child. I worried how it would affect my daughter when our second one came along. All pushing and hair pulling aside, she mostly loves her baby sister. (It’s actually the little one I have to worry about! She’s more of a “bully!”)

One of our new favorite books addresses the issue of sibling rivalry. In Chloe, Instead written and illustrated by Micah Player, the big sister, Molly, laments having to share her house with her little sister, Chloe, and how it’s not the picnic she envisioned.

Chloe!

The cover alone makes me happy!

Molly wanted a little sister just like her to share in her love of keyboards, reading, and coloring…

Everything's Great

Everything’s Great…

but Chloe is a little too passionate and “spirited” as babies discovering the world can be.

…until Molly snaps!

Chloe is the cutest little spitfire and reminds me of my younger one, (especially the fact that her cuteness saves her!) She’s got that gleam in her eye that says, “Watch out, world!” And Molly is a lot like my older one who likes things done her way and will not budge unless bribed with a sweet treat.

Cheeky Monkey

Cheeky Monkey

Maybe it’s because the story is about two little girls, or maybe because the pictures are just so darn cute, or maybe it’s a little bit of both, but I’m head over heels for this book and I know you’ll be too!

Oh, Chloe!

Oh, Chloe!

April Showers Bring May Babies

When it’s your first baby shower, (as with your first wedding) I remember wanting everything to be perfect. Like ripped from the pages of a magazine perfect. And what is the first impression that any of your guests will have?

The invitation, of course!

When you’re planning your wedding you have complete control over the invitation, but not so much when it comes to your baby shower because usually someone else is throwing it in your honor so you let them have creative control and hope that their taste level matches yours. I have champagne taste on a beer budget (and I’m not talking cheap champagne either), I’m talking Perrier Jouet taste.

Luckily my friends and family know me pretty well and threw the best parties complete with adorable invitations that are now treasured keepsakes in my daughter’s baby books. If you’re really worried about it, you can always send the hostess some examples of what you like and hope they get your subtle hint, or if you have bigger balls you can send them exactly what you want!

A very good friend is expecting her first child this coming summer and I’d love to return the favor of a beautiful baby shower (she’s thrown 2 for me!) so I’m already scouting for the perfect invitation. Also, she just found out it’s a boy so that helps narrow the search somewhat. Minted has some amazing baby shower invitations that I know she’d love. Here are just a few that caught my eye:

Vintage-inspired

Vintage-inspired

This is somewhat of a classic option. I love the font and the vintage feel it gives off. It would look great in the baby book for years to come.

Who Doesn't Love an Elephant?

I heart this little guy!

This one would make a great theme as it features the cutest little elephant and fun, cheery colors.

Cute Gallery Wall

Adorable

I love this one because it looks like a gallery wall and features the parents initials. There are other color options too!

Perfect!

I’ll Drink to That!

This one is perfect for those co-ed showers where our better halves are invited to hang out and drink beer amongst the festivities.

Sip & See

If you haven’t heard of a “Sip & See” then you’re really missing out! My mother-in-law has the best group of friends and threw a “Sip & See” for my second baby. You have the baby, wait a few weeks, then debut her at a party where you get to ‘sip’ champagne and they get to ‘see’ your baby i.e. pass her around while you stuff your face with delicious appetizers and cake pops. It’s all the rage these days! (At least if it’s your second or third child as you would never agree to this kind of party when it’s your first. But for any subsequent birth, you jump at the chance!) It’s a great option and just look at how cute that invitation is!

If you’re like me and love every single one you come across, pick a theme first then go from there!

Obsessed with Books

We go to storytime every week.

It’s our religion.

I don’t know if it’s more for me or for my daughter as I’m just as obsessed about getting new library books as she is. It must be what Carrie Bradshaw felt every time she passed a shoe store. My palms get all sweaty and my heart skips a beat seeing all the book spines lined up.  I want ALL the books and I want them now!

I can’t help myself from perusing the shelves while my daughter sits and listens to the librarian read aloud. For the length of those three books, I’m in hog heaven imagining I had time to read at all. I end up checking out books that I know I’ll never finish–a classic case of my eyes being too big for my stomach. If that’s not an addiction, I don’t know what is. I could care less if my little girl is behaving and listening while sitting criss-cross applesauce, just let me look at books and imagine sitting in a quiet room, or better yet, an island in the sun with my book and a daiquiri.

I wanted to pass on my love of reading and books and I think it’s already taken. She loves to read all day, sometimes choosing them over watching a movie (which makes me really proud). This is what the corner of her dresser looks like at all times:

Library Books Galore

So I’ve decided to start writing about our favorites. I’ve come across so many children’s books that I absolutely adore that I want to share them with someone. Whenever the storytime lady reads one that I’ve already checked out, I yawn and shine my knuckles on my crusty shirt, “We read that ages ago. Get with it, lady.” Not really, but I do feel some sort of smug satisfaction that we indeed already read it. How stupid, huh? I can’t help it.

Our newest batch of books includes Crankee Doodle, Little Oink, and Hank Finds An Egg.

Hank Finds An Egg

Hank! My Hero!

I instantly fell in love with the photos in this book. It features an adorable little teddy bear named Hank who *surprisingly* finds an egg in the woods!

There aren’t any words in this book–which is somewhat an issue for a writer as myself–as the story is the guts of the book–however without words, it gives the writer in all of us a chance to create our own story. The author, Rebecca Dudley, created a storybook with whimsical pictures and a heart-warming storyline featuring a bear who wants to return a lost egg to its rightful owner. When we see all the trouble he went through to get the egg back to its home, do we then, truly understand Hank and his journey.

There’s something truly magical about Hank and his quest to get the egg back to its nest.

mama and hankHe’s a gentleman in an age where chivalry has died. Sure, he could go ahead and eat that egg when the economy has tanked and he’s ‘hankering’ for a Whopper but all he gets are some sprouts and berries. But no, he goes and delivers that egg to its Mama, like a true gentleman. There should be more dudes like Hank in the world. Out, not just for himself, but for mankind.

Check out this enchanting book if you still believe in happy endings…and I’m not talking about the kind at the massage parlors.