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

The Chachi Fairy Cometh

I finally did what I said I was going to do for ages now–get rid of the effing chachi (or pacifier for all you normal people out there). We kept finding excuses to put it off: we were going on vacation and couldn’t do that to the grandparents, or we were just too tired, or we were just too scared.

To tell the truth I was dreading it, even though I knew it had to happen! Everyone I talked to said it would take 3 days of screaming and I just couldn’t do that to myself. However, it was so much easier than I thought it would be! (Feel free to punch or throw something or throw a punch at me!)

Sure, the Chachi Fairy had to send her assistant racing to the nearest sporting goods store to purchase a scooter and something for the smaller one, and then she had to collect the 2 chachis and put them in their little pouch so the big one could place them in the tree in the front yard for pickup in the middle of the night.

And of course the chachis would become permanent stars in the sky so the girls could always see them at night. Daddy even went so far as to point out their Mama’s old chachi. Oh yeah, and she also had to wrap the presents and make little cards with glitter hearts so that by the time she was done, the house looked like Tinkerbell farted pixie dust everywhere! This all sounds so silly, but it freaking worked!

Chachi Fairy's Business Card

Chachi Fairy’s Business Card

Love,  The Chachi Fairy

Love,
The Chachi Fairy

My wine glass and I were prepared for a sleepless week–a terrible, horrible, no-good very bad week. But on the first night, the little one slept straight through without a peep and we were shocked. She didn’t do that when she had the chachi! She usually woke up a couple times needing it put back in. The big one had a harder time obviously because she had the stupid thing for much longer, but after a couple days of asking about Chachi, she stopped and forgot about it.

So there you have it. All that time I could’ve thrown them away sooner and saved myself countless hours of searching for a goddamn pacifier!

I’m so excited that they’re gone–it feels like I’ve won some big important parenting award! The hubby is excited too, but he couldn’t part with them for sentimental reasons, or maybe it was because he wanted them as backup in case our plan didn’t work.

Maybe we’ll have them bronzed for posterity’s sake.

Success!

Success!

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!

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.

Tuesdays with Snooki

The moment you realize you have more in common with Snooki than Michelle Obama do you:

A) Call your mom and apologize
B) Sign up for etiquette  classes
C) Do 10 shots of Jager and say screw it right before getting up on that tabletop to dance
D) All of the above

snooki

The other day I realized I had more in common with Snooki than I cared to admit. When writing a tweet that said something like, “I hate when people who can’t read go on to write a book,”I was referring to the pint-sized self-appointed “meatball” from MTV’s Jersey Shore and her book, Baby Bumps.

Snooki book

After tweeting it, I realized I was just hating on Snooki for doing something that I dream about doing –getting published– not achieving the world’s deepest tan or highest pouf. In the midst of my hating, I had to take a hard look at myself and that’s when I realized I was more like Snooki than I thought.

And here are the top 10 ways:

1) I used to be addicted to tanning. Me with my freckly German/Irish skin used to “fake bake” in a cancer box my senior year of high school. Back then in ’99, spray-tanning wasn’t what it is today. It was just a can of orange spray paint but similar to the effect seen below.

snooki tan

2) Have thrown up in my share of parking lots. I used to have a life before I had kids and that included going out and drinking way too much. I finally learned that shots were to be done at the beginning of the evening and not at the end after you’ve already had one too many. And Flip Cup should never be played with Lemon Drops.

3) I’m kind of Italian. My grandmother was 100% Sicilian and 200% crazy so by that logic–I’m 1/4 Italian and 1/2 insane. Apparently Snooki was adopted from Chile by Italian American parents so she’s basically Italian by osmosis.

4) I’m short. Still taller than Snooki, but short all the same.

ss

5) I used to be a vet assistant. Apparently Snooki went to vet school to be a vet tech. I can’t imagine she’d be good at expressing anal glands, however she might have had her finger in worse places than a dog’s butthole when she lived at the Shore.

6) I’m a mom. No one ever predicted that Snooki would settle down and have a baby. While I can’t say the same for me because I was never a true party girl, some days I’m still surprised that I’m somebody’s mom.

snooki mom

7) I’d sleep all day if allowed to. I’d give anything to be able to sleep like a teenager again. Any.Thing.

8) I have awful tattoos. There are only 2 small ones on my back but one is technically a tramp stamp and the other is often misconstrued as the wrong initial. Here are just a couple of Snooki’s.

snooki tattoo

9) Have lived with a relative as a grown-ass adult. But at least it was a long time ago and way before I ever had kids.

10) Had a tiny crush on Vinny. What can I say–it’s hard to resist a babyface.

In conclusion, I can see why Snooki became America’s Guidette–there’s something about her IDGAF attitude that is infectious–or wait, maybe that was just another one of her UTIs. Who knows!

Look forward to the top 10 ways I’m NOT like Snooki, coming soon!

10 Tips for Surviving Disneyland With a Toddler

disneyland

1.Buy your tickets online and print them out at home instead of just checking the park hours like my rookie ass. It will save you from waiting in yet another line because at this point you’ve already waited 20 minutes in line to park, 15 minutes in line to ride the tram, and another 20 minutes in line behind the lady who is buying annual passes for every single member of her family. As you’re well aware, waiting in line is against a toddler’s everything.

2. Two hours later, or as soon as you get inside the gates, buy an ice cream cone or cupcake or both. No doubt you will already be cursing your stupidity for taking your kid(s) to the “Happiest Place on Earth” so sugar will at least trick your brain into thinking it was a good idea for 10 minutes.

3. Know that you will become asshole magnets attracting that stupid drunk group of people. They will undoubtedly stand behind you in line for the tram — karma for all the times you were those loud, belligerent assholes. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em by bringing your own flask because I still never found out if Disneyland sells booze.

4. Avoid driving through LA to get to Disneyland. Driving through LA is never a good idea. Stay nearby in a crappy hotel or freeload off a relative who lives close by even leaving one of your other kids with them to make your experience more enjoyable.

5. Bring a bag of toys and books to distract your little one while you stand in lines that last for days. You won’t be able to give her your phone because you need something to distract you also.

6. Don’t let yourself become “hangry” and settle for breaded chicken chunks and limp fries because it’s the closest thing. Just eat popcorn, churros, and cotton candy all day. Avoid the cafes and restaurants cause all they sell is overpriced microwavable frozen food.

7.When your child who normally naps around 1:00 starts acting like a whiny jerk, just give her more sugar like the moms on Toddlers and Tiaras. It totally works.

8.If you want your toddler to stop talking about going on the carousel for the millionth time, take her on the teacups cause she can’t speak when she’s going cross-eyed.

9. If global warming is in full effect and the weather is unseasonable warm, seek refuge in A Small World. It’s air-conditioned and it lasts a long time.

10. Feeling regretful at any point in your visit? Take a look around and notice all the other parents sporting the same FML look of frustration as they try mercilessly to please their overwhelmed youngsters. Try not to high-five your spouse when you see other children throwing a tantrum and yours is behaving, cause your time is a-coming!

BONUS TIP

11. Look up an actual article with helpful tips for surviving Disneyland with a toddler. You’re welcome!

Piece of Cake

Having one kid is cake. But you could never know this until you have two.cake

When our children are away from each other, it’s like they’re different kids. The baby is the happiest little angel never screaming or crying like she normally does in her sister’s presence. And the big one is her most sweet and charming self when she has all the attention and the patience of parents who don’t have a fussy baby to placate first. It makes me wonder what the second one would be like if she were the first born and vice versa.

It’s like those Luvs diaper commercials. You know the ones — first time moms vs. second time moms. Where the new mommy is breastfeeding in public for the first time in a busy restaurant. She’s nervous someone will see her boob, her baby is screaming cause she’s starving, and Mommy has a full-blown panic attack. The next scene shows the same mom with her second baby. She could care less about a cover-up, her boob is free, the baby is happily nursing away while her toddler throws crayons at the waiter who is ogling said boob. She gives the waiter the, “My eyes are up here” move with her fingers and proceeds to place her order. And just like that, a veteran mom gets her wings.

The other commercials are equally awesome, showing how a second-timer can leave the house with only a handful of Cheerios and a spare diaper, or let a greasy mechanic hold her baby while she writes a check for her new brakes. These are things a first-timer would never do. A first-timer has the entire house packed into the diaper bag and car before heading out anywhere and no one who hasn’t bathed in Purel and had all their vaccines can come close to touching or even breathing on your first born. But second born, shoot, you’d let a group of house-trained monkeys come in and do the job if they were willing to put up with your jerk of a baby.

As a second-time parent, there are a million things I’ve said and done that I never guessed I would. I openly curse them in the middle of the night in my exhausted stupor. I leave them unattended, asleep in their beds while we go next door for dinner. Before you get all Judgy Judgerson on me, I totally have the video monitor that alerts me if someone is crying or being kidnapped (although the signal only reaches the corner of the dining room). What? It’s not like the doors are unlocked and not like we live in a major city. We live in the sticks and have two of the yappiest (I mean, meanest, toughest, tear-you-to-bits) dogs in the world, so no way anyone is getting into the house without us knowing. And besides, we’re right next door….if we were Oprah, it’d be like they were just in the East Wing of the estate. No biggie.

Thinking back, I never left my first-born alone in the house even to go get the mail. And when she was strapped into her car seat waiting in the driveway, I’d lock the doors while I walked the 100 steps to the mailbox even though she was never out of sight. Now I go strap them in their car seats while I come back in the house to get the rest of our crap, moving as slowly as possible, enjoying the fact that they’re locked down and not running circles around the kitchen island while I’m trying to fill sippy cups and snack bags.

We start out as over-protective Mama Bears who fiercely watch over our babies and then whether it be because we’re tired, or more relaxed, or more experienced (and definitely more frustrated), we learn to let go just enough not to go completely cuckoo and to actually enjoy the odd moment of parental bliss i.e. naptime.

To Spank or Not to Spank? A Squirrel Satire

tree squirrel

Once upon a time there lived frazzled Mama Squirrel who, one day, took her two baby squirrels to the nearby playground to get out their chitters and squeaks in the fresh air so she wouldn’t be a complete nutcase by dinnertime.

Turned out all the other Mamas had the same idea and the playground was packed with skittering feet darting all around.

Mama Squirrel’s two little ones were playing well with the others until a bossy chipmunk wanted to use the counting toy and forcefully moved Sister Squirrel out of the way.

“No, Chippy Chipmunk,” her mother squeaked angrily. “You need to play together!”

Chippy huffed and continued on. Sister Squirrel was very understanding, swelling Mama Squirrel’s heart with pride…for once.

Meanwhile, Chippy’s mom proceeded to tell Mama Squirrel all about her dilemma just getting to the playground. First, her best jumping branch broke and she had to wait over an hour for the handyman to come fix it, then she had to nurse Chippy’s baby brother for a half hour only to be rewarded with a blowout on their journey over, but not before almost getting creamed by a guy riding a bicycle and texting at the same time. Mrs. Chipmunk was obviously distraught and Mama Squirrel knew exactly how she felt. That easily could have been her morning.

Out of nowhere, Chippy, still upset from being reprimanded by her mother, took out her revenge on Baby Squirrel, extending both arms and forcefully pushing her down. Poor Baby Squirrel didn’t do a thing!

Watch out, Baby!

Watch out, Baby!

Mama Squirrel swooped in, rescuing Baby Squirrel before Chippy stamped on her tail or gave her rabies.

Looked something like this.

Looked something like this.

Mrs. Chipmunk, with Baby Brother, strapped to her chest, didn’t miss a beat. She grabbed Chippy by the arm and swatted her behind three times and said, “We do not push anyone. We’re going home.” And off they went, Chippy’s mom pulling her by the arm while Baby Brother slept peacefully in his pouch, oblivious to what his future held.

Mama Squirrel felt badly for Mrs. Chipmunk, they’d only just gotten there and what an ordeal it was to do that! At the same time, Mama Squirrel was happy that Mrs. Chipmunk had no qualms about spanking her beloved little Chippy in front of a playground full of other mothers. Not only did she see what happened (because there’s nothing more annoying than when a mother doesn’t see her offspring behaving badly) but she took matters into her own hands, literally, and showed Chippy that pushing was not acceptable behavior. Now, if it had been Mama Squirrel, she wouldn’t have spanked because what does that teach them? It’s confusing to their wee chipmunk-sized brains. Yet, if Mama Squirrel was being honest, there was a tiny part of her that reveled in the punishment because who has the acorns to that these days? Apparently, Mrs. Chipmunk does, that’s who!

You Dumb Bastards

I don’t get out much. This is nothing new. The other day I was in a normal grocery store as opposed to the tiny hick market I usually frequent and I saw Star magazine. (The tiny hick market by our house doesn’t have trash magazines next to the registers thus limiting my pop culture knowledge to zilch.)

Says official...gotta be true then!

Says official…gotta be true then!

When I saw the cover of Princess Kate and it said, “It’s official! She’s Pregnant” my first thought was, “You dumb bastards” to quote a favorite Kevin Smith movie, Mallrats. Then my second thought was, “Of course she’s not pregnant, you don’t believe these rags. How can it be trusted when the story next to it is about Jessica Simpson’s weight or what Miley Cyrus did with her tongue now?”

Didn’t the Royal Couple just have Prince George? Wasn’t that hullabaloo only three months ago? My two monsters angels are close in age, but not THAT close! My next thought after calling the Prince and Princess of Cambridge dumb bastards was, “Ha ha! You will know my misery.” A millisecond later it struck me that “They’re royalty. They probably have nannies coming out the yin yang. And will never know my misery. So go on and have ten more!”

I already feel sorry for their alleged second born child though. Can you imagine following in these footsteps?

george

Any subsequent birth or baby would pale in comparison to this level of perfection.

As everyone knows you go all out for your first born — brand new everything. Nothing but the absolute best! And in Prince George’s case literal parades thrown in his honor, his birthday a national holiday.

So what does the second one get? Hand-me downs and an empty baby book or in this case a smaller crown with less gems and an older brother who can do no wrong in his mother’s eyes…even if he declares war on the rest of the world.

That poor alleged second child!

One Funny Mummy Goes Viral…Not Really, But it’s a Start!

This morning I was shocked to find an email from an editor at BlogHer in my inbox saying they were going to publish my most recent Mom Code post on their Family blog page. Immediately I felt like I’d won the Pulitzer Prize, wait did I say Pulitzer? I meant Publisher’s Clearing House and that dude with the ginormous check and balloons was knocking on my door ready to hand it over. I’m pretty sure the feeling would be the same…total elation!

Yahoo!

Woohoo!

This came at just the right time to give me a small piece of validation to keep going because lately I’ve been questioning if I’m even a writer anymore because I don’t have a spare moment to reflect or observe or do writerly things and it’s starting to mess with my mind and, no doubt, my mood.

I was so excited and beside myself that I immediately went to BlogHer’s website so I could see my post, but it wasn’t there. So I thought maybe it would be published sometime this week. So I went back to my inbox to reread the email and only then did I notice the date, December 26th…four days ago. The day after Christmas. Who checks their email the day after Christmas? Certainly not me! Isn’t the whole world on pause from the 25th until January 1st because it sure seems that way according to the amount of tourists walking around the tourist trap of a town next to us and also according to the TV as absolutely f*ck all has been on. Plus, I normally wouldn’t have even checked that email if it weren’t for that Target debacle. (Man, Target has really been letting me down lately.)

So I was bummed I missed seeing my post on the front page of their Family section, but completely unbummed that they selected my post in the first place. There is no monetary compensation (although that would’ve been icing on the cake) but there is a profound sense of accomplishment especially for someone who deals with poop all day. I’m super proud and thrilled. Hopefully, there will be more to come!