And So It Begins…

The day my three year old started preschool was a momentous moment in my motherhood career. I was finally going to get a little break and a breather while she was at school for three glorious, whine-free hours. I wasn’t going to be one of those moms crying her eyes out because she couldn’t leave her child, but I was going to be one of those moms with tears of joy streaming down her face doing a happy dance of freedom.

happy dance

Just like this

The morning of my daughter’s first day, she got dressed, donned her horsey backpack, and stood in front of the fireplace to have her picture taken. Once she would finally listen to my direction, and I was able to get a good one, we then took another one standing by the front door. And another one next to the car. Now that I think about it, I was trying to stop time, capture every moment before she was officially a student.

Driving her to school, I was nervous. How would she do at drop off? She’d never been to daycare and had only been left with family members up until then. Would she cry and scream? Throw a tantrum? To calm my nerves, I turned on the music. And wouldn’t you know it, that damn Frozen soundtrack was playing. Of course it was on, Let it Go. Of course.

let it go

But not the movie version, the Demi Lovato version, which made it all even worse. My eyes filled with tears. What the hell was wrong with me? I told myself I wasn’t going to cry. And there I was driving my daughter to her first day of school, realizing that this was the beginning of the end, and she’d be off to college before I knew it. Which doesn’t sound all that bad now, but let’s face it, it’s terrible. I’ll be so old and exhausted by then, that is, if I even survive the teenage years.

It was not so long ago that my little girl was a little baby, and now she was going to school for the first time, and the enormity hit me like a gust of icy wind. Here I was releasing her into the real world, sending her off to make her own path, and it was too much to process. Luckily, whenever I get emotional and overwhelmed by the feelings of motherhood, my kids know just how to distract me by having a complete meltdown or needing one of their million needs met. They keep me from over-thinking things, or thinking things at all, really.

So by the time we pulled into the parking lot, my avalanche of emotion stopped short by their cries to get out of their seats, and I was able to collect myself. We went inside her classroom, only after taking more pictures outside the door. Everything went well. She didn’t cry, she wasn’t afraid, she was a little unsure, but it didn’t stop her from sitting at the table and playing with the freshly made playdough. It went better than I imagined. She was ready, the only thing I had to do was let. her. go. Oh god, here come the waterworks again. Damn hormones.

And so begins her journey to success, and Mummy’s journey to freedom.

Why I Cried

Why I Cried


Two Candles

Happy 2nd Birthday to our little Cheeto!


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!

Welcome to Parenthood, Check Your Life at the Door

At times, the first year of parenthood is a literal shitstorm. And on top of that, it’s a shitstorm of emotions.

Our lives change overnight. One minute we’re just a couple of normal, carefree people and the next we’re mothers and fathers in charge of a tiny infant who we want to have the very best life. But we’ve never done anything like this before, so we feel as though we’re screwing them up no matter what we do.

Now that my kids are toddlers, it’s hard for me to even remember the first year of parenthood. It’s all such a blur of random memories. Thank god for pictures because a lot of it has been lost to sleepless nights and crazy chaotic days or just my own self-preservation.

And speaking of pictures, #NewDad, is an awesome new picture book for adults.  A first time dad documents his journey into parenthood with humorous photographs and funny anecdotes that we, as parents, can all relate to. When I say “picture book” it’s almost like his Instagram account has jumped off the screen and into your hands. The opening page is a photograph of the author, Josh Gloer, resting his head on the steering wheel of his car while the caption reads, “Just took a nap…at a stoplight.”

newdadBeing a new parent is utterly exhausting and this sums up every parent’s life well beyond the newborn stage. You think  you’re just going to close your eyes for a brief respite, and the next thing you know, you’re drooling and a police officer is shaking you awake.

From being sprayed with spit-up, to “nailing” a work presentation with poop on his arm, to being in bed on a Friday night by 9 o’clock, Gloer captures the quintessential milestones in the life of a parent perfectly. Never do we feel more unprepared and more unsure of what to do when we become parents, but the best thing to remember is that we’ve all been there, it’s normal, and as Gloer puts it, “If you’re a #NewDad…you get it.”

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.


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.

Another Birthday Letter

To Our Kooky Lil Bundle-of-Fun,

Happy 3rd Birthday Lovey Bear! You might as well be turning 23 today instead of 3 because you’re just so grown up now. You are quite the little character, telling tales using your hands like an even tinier Roberto Benigni. In fact, you look a lot like him. Same crazy hair, miniature body, and insane excitability. I’m going to enroll you in Italian classes tomorrow to complete my vision.






That old cliché is true…it seems like just yesterday your father and I were bringing you back from the hospital, staying up all night holding your precious little body, and staring at you with such wonder. We couldn’t wait to hear your little voice for the first time or find out who you’d become. I know you have a lot of growing and changing still to do, but I love who you are and will love who you’ll be no matter what. You are so smart and want to discover as much as possible. You love horses and balloons and books. Your favorite song is Alphabet Pony and you love interpretive dance. You make me laugh the best laughs of my life and that is everything.

We took you to Disneyland for the first time (cause you were free) and your favorite part was the carousel and picking out which color saddle you wanted. You loved A Small World and Dumbo and had more sugar than real food. You picked out a pair of glittery red Minnie Mouse shoes and you wore them home. All in all, it was a great day and I’m glad we could go.

I hope your birthday was as special as you are. Daddy and I love you like crazy.

All my love,

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.

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?


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!

Addicted to Chachi

Remember that show Joanie Loves Chachi? Joanie loves ChachiYeah, me neither. It was before my time. Spinoff from Happy Days, Scott Baio from Charles in Charge fame? Anyway, the “Chachi” I’m talking about here is my daughter’s beloved nickname for her pacifier…which she still has. I’m so embarrassed and ashamed to admit that I let my 2 1/2 year old still use a pacifier. I was always one of those people who said as soon as the kid could walk, that thing was gone. Yet, here we are a year and a half after she started walking and she clings to them like a junkie to a needle, like a fat kid to cake, like me to my shred of sanity.

We called the pacifier a paci or passy like other families, bypassing the outdated term of binky. Chachi came about organically. She called it something that sounded like chachi and it stuck. She even had a little song and dance about it. “I got a chachi. I got a chachi” swaying her little hips side to side while waving her chachi in the air. chachiIf you asked my friends, it sounded like she was singing about something else entirely.

She’s a full-on chachi hoarder! It’s not like she’s happy with just one. Oh no! That would be far too simple. She needs a minimum of two and prefers three or more. I remember how it happened. When she was nine months old we used to stock her crib with a couple extras for those middle of the night wakings so she could flail around and find one in her sleep. Well, that ultimately backfired on us and now she needs them to cuddle and rub against her nose. However, this might be more than a learned behavior it might be genetic and the person I have to blame is myself! Apparently I was a chachi fanatic just like my chip off the ol’ block. However, I called it a poey (Long o sound like Joey with a p–didn’t want you thinking I called it a pooey). I used to rub my nose with the poey to soothe myself as well. One day when I was two my mom told me “no more poey” so I calmly turned it over without so much as a fuss. Not going to be the case for my little petunia. I’ve been getting her used to the idea that chachis are only for babies and now that her sister is no longer a baby, we need to pass them on. She adamantly refuses this conversation and idea. I’ve even told her the chachi fairy will bring her an awesome present, yet she tells me she’s not giving them up. Eff the Chachi Fairy in so many words.

Not too long ago I read something by Erma Bombeck about pacifiers from her book, Motherhood: The Second Oldest Profession. She talks about the mothers of her generation being closet pacifier advocates. She never wanted her own mother to know that she used them with her children. I get it. I start to perspire when I think about the world witnessing my giant child with a chachi in her mouth. I can just hear the judgement swirling around their heads. Lucky for me she only uses them in the car and in bed.

Erma writes that the pacifier signaled that we can’t cope with our children. Ding! Ding! Ding! Hit the nail on the head–at least in my case. When her mother saw her grandchild with a pacifier she said, “Do you know that if you keep using this pacifier, by the time this baby is four years old, her teeth will come in crooked and her mouth will have a permanent pout?” To which Erma replied, “Do you know, Mother, if I do not use that pacifier, I may never permit her to become four?” My sentiments exactly! And why my toddler still has a chachi obsession! If she didn’t use those things at night, who knows what kind of crappy sleeper I’d have on my hands. Guess I’ll find out soon enough when I take them away.

“We American pioneers of the pacifier have given it the respectability it deserves. After all, what other force in the world has the power to heal, stop tears, end suffering, sustain life, restore world peace, and is the elixir that grants mothers everywhere the opportunity to sleep…perchance to dream?”

Amen, Mama!

Wish I could’ve remembered this passage when I was up at 2 am this morning frantically searching the dark corners of my baby’s crib for her stinking pacifier to quiet her uproarious cries. Maybe then I wouldn’t have cursed those plastic pieces of crap to hell. Then it hit me, I’m the chachi pusher.

Hello, my name is One Funny Mummy and I’m an addict…of peace and quiet!

Year One

Today was the little one’s first birthday. What the what?! How is that even possible, you ask. I’m not sure. Life is a complete blur since the second one came along. I can’t even begin to imagine what it’s like when you have 3, 4, or 5 kids. Good thing we’re stopping at 2!

When the big one turned one, I thought I was going to need a tranquilizer to stop my incessant crying from losing my baby, but this time it never even crossed my mind because I don’t have a moment to even think about something like that anymore…the curse blessing of a second child.

I’m trying to recreate the first one’s birthday for the second one so looking back, she can’t say that her sister was the favorite or anything like that. So in staying true to that, I would like to write a letter to my daughter about her first year. So here goes.

Dear my sweet darling,

One year old! It’s hard to believe. It seems like we were just leaving the house at 4 am to drive up to the birth center to have you. I remember crying a little at the thought of our family of three changing to a family of four and not knowing how everything was going to shift. But you came along, with your lovely little face and you fit into our family as if you’d always been there.

I was over the moon that I had two little girls–sisters–who would (hopefully) grow up to love each other and be best friends. I think you two are well on your way despite the lack of sharing and all the pushing going on these days. You seem to have your own language, yelling and shrieking back and forth, making Mummy crazier by the minute and you two closer.

You are a complete joy, except for when you’re tired…you become a complete bear, so thankfully you have the most kissable cheeks and adorable grin. They have saved you on many occasion.

You’re walking everywhere–sooner than your sister so you can brag about that someday. It’s the cutest thing to see you on two feet, stumbling around like a zombie baby. The only downside is that you’ve had more concussions than an NFL quarterback and a black eye from slipping in the tub. Your father is one click away from buying you a baby helmet on Amazon. But don’t worry, Mummy won’t make you wear it.

My most favorite thing is how you smell like toast when you wake up from your naps. The way you squeal and point whenever you see a bird. And how you scrunch up your nose when you smile. Oh, and the way you think you’re jumping by bending your legs and propelling your tiny body upward.

We took you to the zoo today for your first birthday. It was the perfect day–sunny and not crowded at all. Mummy was the only one to have a meltdown when I learned we couldn’t get nachos because the zoo changed their menu…the nerve!! (What’s the zoo got against delicious chips bathed in cheese and beans?) You were most excited to see the gorilla and you loved sliding down the hill with Daddy on a piece of cardboard. Then after taking a nap during the car ride home, we opened presents on the floor. We got you a cute book called Miss Lina’s Ballerinas, a pink owl pillow for you to carry around the house instead of the couch pillows, and a stand-up play center with lots of flashing lights and loud noises. You loved everything! After your sister asked to eat cake literally 100 times in a row, we put your party hat on, lit your one candle, and sang to you. You clapped along then ate your piece of cake with a huge smile, smearing the frosting all over your face. It was priceless! I tried to capture every second between three different cameras…not the easiest thing to do!

Now you’re snoozing away, conked out after your sugar rush and crash, officially one year old, officially a toddler (although you’ll always be my baby). I’m so excited for what the next year will bring. I’m sure it will be filled with giggling, tea parties, and lots of twirling.

I hope you had a very Happy 1st Birthday, my precious cutie pie! We love you more than we can say!

Hugs & Kisses my little Bun Bun!