Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Momenemies of a Daycare Mama

I have to be a slave to the man to pay the mortgage and have no relatives who are crazy enough to deal with my children for free for nine hours a day, so I send my kids to daycare.

For those of you with kids in daycare, you know that it is an awesome place. I love our daycare. The teachers are ridiculously amazing and our kids basically walk in and give me the, "Don't let the door hit you in the ass" look when I go to hug them goodbye. 

Daycare teachers deserve awards for putting up with someone else's germ-encrusted kids all day for little pay. They don't rake in big bucks, they do it because they love kids. They are saints.

But even with all the learning, hugs between tiny friends, awesome teachers and snacks, daycare has its downfalls. The Momenemies below are not directed toward daycares, just the crap parents have to deal with who have kids in daycare in general. So, here we go:

The First Day
Whether you are dropping your infant off for their first day ever away from the wicked awesomeness that is Mommy, or dropping your toddler off for their first day at a new daycare, the first day blows. Big time. The first time I dropped The Quite Contemplator off at daycare following maternity leave, I rocked with her in a rocker and bawled like a fat girl whose cake was stolen for about an hour. Thankfully, it was only hard on me. Newborns don't seem to even notice you are gone. Toddlers, on the other hand, add a little more drama to the situation. Cue dropping your child off for the first day at a new daycare only to have them cling to your leg screaming, "Mommy! Don't leave me!" Thanks for that, kid. As if leaving you here so I can work on TPS reports all day wasn't hard enough.

The Germy Kid
No, it is not just an urban myth that daycares are cesspools of germs. Hand, foot and mouth, roseola, croup, you name it, daycares are full of sexy-sounding illnesses that will invade your child. No matter how much cleaning and bleach a daycare uses, germs are inevitable. Kids are just gross and love to share (their germs, not their toys for God's sakes!). Somehow, all of these illnesses seem to be traceable back to one kid: The Germy Kid. What exactly does this kid do on the weekends that he comes back every Monday with a new plague to spread upon his peers? Roll around in the Infectious Diseases lab at the hospital? Eat contaminated meat and dairy? Lick toilet seats? Come on! Spray this kid down with some Lysol and put him in quarantine already. Mommy is out of sick days. (My lovely carrier monkeys just managed to get their entire school sick right before our big Halloween party. Suck. And you're welcome.)

The Thermometer Mambo
Speaking of The Germy Kid, his outbreaks of mucus- and fever-inducing bacteria lead many mamas to do what I call the Thermometer Mambo. 100.1 is the most dreaded number for daycare moms. That is the number that means your kid is being sent home and has to stay there for at least 24 hours. This is fine, of course, if your kid is actually sick. I love me nothing more than rocking a sick baby in my arms while I catch up on my TiVo in my jammies. But most of the time it is just teething/a cold/malaria/your child trying to sap your will to live. Every time The Quiet Contemplator got a tooth, her fever would be EXACTLY 100.1. I am not even kidding. I spent about 50 sicks days with her at home, happy as a clam before I had to be "that mom" and break out my friend Mr. Tylenol to get her below the magic number. But many times, they really are sick, and that is when you get The Call.

The Call
The Call is what you get when you have lost the battle with Thermometer Mambo, or worse. Every mommy dreads seeing their daycare's number come up on their caller ID. It is never them calling to let you know that your kid is a ray of sunshine and puppy dogs and that they just wanted you to know how much they love having them. It is daycare calling to let you know that the projectile vomiting has commenced or that your kid is on the way to get stitches. I usually answer this call in some sort of, "What now?" fashion.

The Mean Kid
Every daycare has a mean kid. I am not talking about the everyday toddler behavior all kids exhibit. I am talking about the kid that you just look at and can see that their tiny beady eyes are filled with mirth. This is the kid that is always pushing, hitting, saying "mine!", stealing toys, etc. Often, this kid is also The Germy Kid.

The Incident Report
Sometimes these are the results of The Mean Kid attacking your child, sometimes these are reports of your child finally having enough from The Mean Kid and going all Cujo on them. Either way, they are embarrassing. You end up feeling like either your kid needs to buck up and hit back, or your kid has been watching too much Ultimate Fighting and needs to back off. Awesomeness all around. I just got an incident report stating that The Contemplator had hit the sweetest little girl in her class in the face with a truck. Out of nowhere. For no reason. Can toddlers file lawsuits? I am pretty sure she has a case. There goes The Contemplator's college fund.

The It's-Almost-Cheaper-to-Stay-Home Sayer
Let me cut this one off right at the knees. No, it is not almost cheaper for me to stay home with my kids than to work and send them to daycare. I am not raking in the McGotbucks working at a non-profit and all, but daycare costs less than I make in a year. Also, staying at home doesn't pay for insurance, or provide for retirement, or the many other frivolous needs mama has. And, since my husband is in the ├╝ber high-paying profession of being a 4th grade teacher, mama has to work.

The Guilt
Like all mommies, daycare mamas have to deal with The Guilt. Was my kid too sick to go into daycare today? Is The Mean Kid going to make them cry again? Is it really cheaper for me to stay at home with them? Am I a bad mom for working when we could make it on Spam and cheese if I just stayed home? The Guilt sucks. But, like all Domestic Enemies, some days it sucks big time and some days it only sucks a little.


Want to read more Momenemies? Read my post about Momenemies of the Mom of a Newborn or head on over to Rants from Mommyland for more fun.

If you share this post, I will buy you a pony. I suck at Twitter. I am OK at Facebook. Pinterest is my bitch. I am also on Bloglovin' and Instagram

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Confessional

Confessions from a fellow Boozehound

When I have been drinking, and have had one more than what I should, I turn into a game of Operation.  Basically there are “safe” zones and “unsafe” zones to touch me on.  If you touch an “unsafe” zone, aka my back, I will hurl multiple times.  And it’s not a pretty sight.

I must have something defective in my head (not referring to my brain), but when I hurl, unless I actively plug my nose, it comes out both my nose and mouth.  Dis-GUS-ting. 
Well, after one of these nights, someone had touched the unsafe zone and off the bathroom I ran.  Luckily, I plugged my nose.  But, after hurling multiple times, I came out to wash my hands.  While washing up, I sneezed….

Yep, I sneezed purple puke all over my white tank top.  I had a shirt on over the tank, so I threw the tank away, and proceeded to button up the shirt.  The reason I had a tank top on: I’m well endowed and said top does not button very well over the girls.  Since I was happy drunk, I didn’t care, and walked back out to the bar to rally up and drink more, not carrying that my buttons were strained so tight that it is a miracle I didn’t shoot missile buttons at people.

I wish I could say this has only happened once…



ILBAB says: First off, friend, I have been there. I have also puked stars out of my nose after getting the flu and eating chicken and stars. It was awesome. But I digress. I think the most important part of your story is that you can rally. Not many girls would have the cojones to ralph, redress and head back into the fray. For that, you are my hero. Also, I love boobs, so you have that going for you, which is nice. You are my smelly, electrifying, big-boobed hero. Rock on, sister. Rock on.



The Confessional is now open. Have something you need to repent for? Feel free to send me your sin and I will help your purge your demons.  

Thursday, October 25, 2012

And Then I Knew

The other day, I visited my friend to meet her beautiful new baby girl. I got to hold a sweet and cuddly 5-week-old, then give her back when she crapped her pants and had needs. It was wonderful. It was also the signal that I am 100% done birthing babies.

I held that sweet little bundle of goo and didn't turn into one myself. I enjoyed the opportunity to hold a baby, but didn't yearn to do it again with my own. My ovaries didn't sing, "Maybe just one more, for old time's sake?" My uterus didn't beg for one last chance at bat. My body just said, "Cute baby, glad it is yours and not mine."

I will miss this

And I knew. I knew I was done with this phase of my life. Done with the bottles and the sleepless nights and the baby vomit. But also done watching Project Runway while a baby calmly sleeps on my chest.

Babies are sweet and wonderful and the miracle of life, but they are for me no more. I will relish the chances to hold my friends' babies as they come, but will no longer want for another one of my own. It was a great feeling. Knowing that we are complete as a family and being at ease with it.

Now accepting all applications to babysit your babies to help me get my fix/keep me strong in my convictions to close up my lady parts for good.

If you share this post, I will buy you a pony. I suck at Twitter. I am OK at Facebook. Pinterest is my bitch. I am also on Bloglovin' and Instagram.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Crayon Cock Blocker

Little known fact: The Quiet Contemplator is a crayon cock blocker. What's that, you say? What is a crayon cock blocker? Let me break it down for you.

Whenever The Contemplator and I color together, it always begins well. She starts coloring in her book and I color in mine. This goes on nicely for about one minute. Then, she decides the only colors that will do are the ones I am currently using--though there is a box of 4,978,651 other crayons in front of us.

She nicely asks, "Mommy, when you are done, it can be my turn?" "Sure," I reply. Then,  I use the crayon a bit more before I hand it over to her just so she doesn't become an entitled brat by always getting instant gratification (plus I am still coloring the doggy's ears).

Funny Baby Ecard: Yes, Honey. You have to share. But Mommy doesn't. So give me my crayon back.

We repeat this step about 500 times. She uses the new crayon for about 15 seconds before she decides that the color that I have just started using is now the "perfect" crayon. Between each handing over of the crayon, The Quiet Contemplator breathes down my neck and stares me down while waiting her turn. It is a bit uncomfortable. She is a formidable presence at all of 3-feet tall.

After about five minutes, she decides that merely stealing all of my crayons is not enough. She then decides to take over my entire coloring book. This starts out innocently enough. She says, "Mommy, can I color with you?" Again, I reply, "Sure." She then picks a place on my page and starts coloring it. How sweet, right? Not. Then, slowly but surely, she starts coloring on top of what I am coloring, thereby knocking my crayon to the wayside. Once I have finally given up and put my crayon down, she says, "It's OK, Mommy. You all done."

Um..OK. Was I just bullied by a 2-year-old? I want my crayons back!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Things I Want to Teach My Son


 We all know the posts about what we want to teach our sons. Love, dance, stop and smell the flowers, etc. That is all fine and good, but I need my son to learn a few more lessons that are a little less puppy dogs and rainbows and a little more true-to-life. Such as:


Cigarettes are gross.

Herpes and babies are forever. Use protection.

Treat women like ladies, but remember they are just as smart as men.

If you become a father, act like a man. It is not a woman's job to raise your children.

It is also not a woman's job to wash the skid marks out of your underwear or vacuum the living room.

Don't be a dick. Remember that you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.

Don't be afraid to express your feelings. They only make you stronger.

Don't let anyone make you feel like you aren't good enough.

Never think you are better than anyone else.

Don't judge those you don't know.

Never bully those you feel are weaker than you.

Cigarettes are gross.

Don't act like you care about someone just so you can have sex with them.

Remember to look up from your phone/computer/television screen every once in a while.

Don't be afraid to show your weaknesses.

Treat women the way you would want other men to treat your sister.

Think before you speak. Diarrhea of the mouth runs in the family.

Funny Baby Ecard: Son, you need to think before you speak. Diarrhea of the mouth runs in the family.

Use your vacation time. They give it to you for a reason.

Remember to say, "I love you." But only if you mean it.

Opening doors for a lady isn't old fashioned. It is just good manners.

Say please and thank you. They will take you far in life.

It is OK to smoke a joint or two, but anything harder than that is going to end badly. Trust me.

Seriously, cigarettes are gross.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Confessional

Over the weekend, I was reminded of a pregnancy confession that I haven't clued you Boozehounds in on: I have had diaper rash. Yep, you read that right. When I was pregnant with The Quiet Contemplator, I got a bad case of diaper rash.

How, you ask? Let me break it down for you. We mamas all know that during pregnancy, there can be more...ahem...discharge produced from your nether regions. Well, I had that problem for pretty much my entire pregnancy. To keep my underoos from resembling a rainforest on a daily basis, I wore panty liners pretty much 24-7 for about 9 months. This resulted in a wicked case of diaper rash on my lady bits. Yikes, I know!

So, what did I do? I broke out my unborn daughters Butt Paste and Aquaphor, of course. Problem solved! Just thought I would share just in case any other preggo eggos needed help with their undercarriages. You're welcome!


The Confessional is now open. Have something you need to repent for? Feel free to send me your sin and I will help your purge your demons.  

Thursday, October 18, 2012

I'm Not Pregnant. I'm Just fat.

If you follow me on Facebook, you already know of the verbal assault I experienced last week. For those of you that don't, A: START! and B: let me fill you in.

While making a follow-up appointment at my Dr's office, the nurse scheduling the appointment stopped working to ask me, "When are you due?" I instantly replied, "I'm not pregnant. I'm just fat." I know, you are all cringing right now because this is like the lowest form of female torture: the false pregnancy identification.

To make matters worse, she proceeded to insult me even further by telling me it must just be my dress that makes me look pregnant. So, not only am I so fat that I appear pregnant enough for you to comment on it public, but it is my fault because I wear clothes that accentuate my fat in a way that makes me look pregnant? Um…OK. That just totally made this whole sitch less awkward. Not.

To top it off, I wasn't even at my gynecologist's office, where the mistake could easily be taken as just a, "Hey, most of the women in here are knocked up so I just assumed you were too. My bad." No, I was at an endocrinologist's office. An office I was visiting specifically to see why the hell I keep gaining weight exponentially. ESPECIALLY IN THE BELLY AREA. If that wasn't the biggest bag over the head, punch in the face I ever got. Way to kick a girl while she is down and feeling at her worst, lady.

Funny Baby Ecard: I'm not pregnant. I'm just fat. Now get away from me before I rip your heart out and eat it.

Though this may have been one of the more painful ones, this isn't the first time someone has mistaken me for pregnant when I was not.

The Grabby Kathy
Before I was even thinking about kids, I walked up to a lady at work to ask her for something. She immediately squealed at me. I asked her what was wrong. She squealed again and then looked at my stomach. After me still not getting what she was aiming at, she proceeded to put her hand on my stomach and ask me if I was excited. I responded, “No, I am not excited. I am not pregnant and now I have to throw away a brand new dress and never talk to you again.”

These People Are All Dead Now
A week after I had The Quiet Contemplator, I had to go to a friend’s art opening. I thought I looked pretty damn good for having had a baby a week earlier until not one but THREE separate people came up to me and said, “Damn, when are you going to have that baby already?” To which I replied, “I had her last week.” To which they responded, “No seriously, when are you due.” Me, “No, seriously, I had her last week.” Insert sound of crickets chirping. Commence hysterical tears.

The Ghost Baby
While holding a friend at work’s six-week-old baby, a coworker came up to me and said, “Wow, I didn’t think you were that far along again.” I said, “I am not. I had my baby eight months ago and I am not pregnant again.” But thank you for making me feel like a huge fat a$$ that looks seven months pregnant again.


I think, from now on, unless a woman has a baby dangling from an umbilical cord hanging out of her vagina, let's go ahead and give her the courtesy of not asking her when she is due, shall we? Better safe than sorry.

Monday, October 15, 2012

5 steps to a cleaner home


I received an email from BabyCenter today. It was titled 5 Baby Steps to a Cleaner Home. OF COURSE I didn't bother to read it. I just figured I would rip the band-aid off and give you my take on it.

5 Big Girl Steps to a Cleaner Home.
  1. Remove children from house.
  2. Remove husband from house.
  3. Clean house.
  4. Change locks.
  5. Sit back and enjoy your clean house with a glass of wine.
Funny Family Ecard: I have discovered the secret to a clean house: never let your children or husband enter it.
    The end.

    Mommy Mulligan

    This weekend was a long one. For many reasons. We had too much to do, too little time with the kids and I was STILL sick with a fever (my monkey pox have now transformed into a sinus infection--bonus!). Needless to say, there were a few highs, but mostly this weekend felt like one big low. I felt like a slug who will never recover and have been on the verge of tears/a nervous breakdown for the last few days, including today.

    Let's start with the highs, shall we:
    Kim at Let Me Start By Saying threatened me with a shiv if I didn't get the balls to try red lips. So I did, for a friends wedding on Saturday. They helped distract from my overall monkey pox look of pasty white, clammy skin, and dark under eye circles. When I came out of the bathroom after applying the harlot red lip stain, The Quiet Contemplator looked at me and said, "Why you paint your mouth? I want you paint my mouth." Um..not for another 25 years, sweetheart. Anyway, my $3 tube of lipstick was a real spirit lifter and I highly recommend it. Thanks, Kim.

    Needless to say, those red lips looked awesome wrapped around the fantastic red and white paper straws of the pre-ceremony bourbon cocktails.


    And then there were the lows:
    I felt horrible all weekend. Feverish, exhausted, head felt like it could explode at any minute, sinus headache, you name it. I was a real peach to be around when I wasn't drunk on bourbon cocktails.  Sunday was my all-time low. I was tired and crabby, sick for the 14th day in a row and just pissed off at the world. And I was a bad mommy.

    Not in the I-fed-my-poor-children-non-organic-food-and-didn't-do-our-second-craft-of-the-day way. No, I was a mean mommy in the losing-my-shit-and-raising-my-voice-at-my-children's-every-move way. I was a bad parent. Even this morning.

    When I went to check my temperature this morning and found that The Contemplator had changed the thermometer from Fahrenheit to Celsius, I lost it. Completely. I said things I instantly regretted. But the thing is? I am human. Though I felt like a hot pile of dog shit after it, shit happens.

    Why do I share this horrible crap? Because none of us are perfect and I never aim to be. I do my best as a parent, but there will always be days where I feel like I need a mommy mulligan. We all do. And it is OK to grant yourself one every now and then.

    Maybe next time we feel like like a crappy mom, we should give ourselves a minute in the bathroom, slap on a coat of red lipstick and move on. After you pour yourself a bourbon cocktail, of course.

    Thursday, October 11, 2012

    What do you want to be when you grow up?

    When I was a little, I wanted to be a veterinarian when I grew up. Or a writer (I have always been weird, it isn't a new occurrence). Strangely enough, I now write about animals for a living. It wasn't a path I actively pursued, just a path that found me. I live my "dream job" on a daily basis and I love it. I get to both help save animals all over the world and write--the two things I have always felt I was meant to do. I have too much emotion to be a veterinarian. And too little inner turmoil (some days) to be a full-time writer. The combination of the two was exactly what I needed. 

    Funny Family Ecard: When I grow up I want to be a fire-fighting, veterinarian, rocket scientist, movie star, cowboy. Or a mom.

    But does my career define me? No. Being a mother does. Is my job who I am? No. My kids are. I would still be who I am if I lost my job. I would cease to be without my kids.

    When I was a kid, I never wanted to be a wife or a mother. I was so independent that I thought that marriage and kids would steal my identity. And, in a way, they did. I am no longer who I was. I am stronger, more resilient and am more selfless. I am a better version of me than I ever dreamed of.

    I may have lost my spontaneity (nap time waits for no man). I may not do impulsive and dangerous things for fun anymore (unless you count unprotected sex that ends with me getting pregnant). I may not grab life by the balls as much as I used to (unless it messes with my kids, then step the fuck off or I will cut you, Life). But, deep down, I am still the same loud and obnoxious little girl who doesn't mince words or give a crap what the world thinks about her. I am still the me I wanted to be, I am just also the mother I never thought I could be.

    So what do I want to be when I grow up now? A good mother. One that my children will look back at and be proud of. One that they will see for who she is, not who she isn't. I want to grow up to be me. Only thinner, of course. Damn you baby weight!

    Jobs come and go. Family is forever.



    Want to see "dream jobs" from other perspectives? Visit the links below to see what other people have to say.


    Cloudy With a Chance of Wine 
    The Insomniac's Dream
    Mod Mom Beyond IndieDom
    Mommy Rotten 
    Mom With Her Running Shoes On 
    Shit I Don't Tell Most People
    Something Clever 2.0 
    The Next Step 
    Who Woulda Thought?  

    Wednesday, October 10, 2012

    Monkey Pox Strikes Again

    I think I may have caught a slight case of the plague. Or ebola. Or monkey pox. Something exotic and disgusting. I have been sick for almost two weeks and it kind of makes me want to bash my sinuses in with a squeaky inflatable hammer.

    It all started with a stomach virus and has melded into bronchitis. Because just puking and crapping my brains out wasn't enough. I also had to spend the week after that painfully coughing up what I imagine to be important parts of my anatomy.

    Anywho. Lucky for you, my monkey pox resulted in the following conversation between myself and ADD Daddy (at least I think it did. I have been kind of hallucinating lately from the lack of sleep/booze the pox have caused):

    Scene: Our bedroom around 2 a.m. (don't worry, no "lotion" was present). I wake up to a scary noise and immediately wake up ADD Daddy.

    Me: (shaking ADD Daddy) Wake up. Do you hear that noise?
    ADD Daddy: Sn4834hvjks89i4nwktgr…zzzzzzz
    Me: (shaking ADD Daddy harder) WAKE UP! Do you hear that noise?
    ADD Daddy: Zzzzzzzzzzz...WHAT! What? What. What noise?
    Me: That scary noise.
    ADD Daddy: What scary noise?
    Me: The noise that sounds like you are taking one of those ribbed plastic straws out of one of the kids' cups.
    ADD Daddy: WHAT?
    Me: You know, those plastic straws that are shaped like those Burple drinks you used to get when you played little league when you were a kid. Those were awesome. I used to love those.
    ADD Daddy: WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT!?!?! WHAT IS BURPLE?
    Me: Dude. Whatever. Burple rocked. Anyway. Do you not hear that weird noise? There it is…Wait…There it is again…Wait…There it is again. You don't hear that?
    ADD Daddy: Are you serious?
    Me: Yes I am serious. What is it?
    ADD Daddy: Are you SERIOUS?
    Me: Yes. And why do you keep asking me that? What is it?
    ADD Daddy: It is the sound of you breathing.
    Me: No it's not. I am talking about the horrible weird scratchy noise. Wait for it…there it is. Wait for it…there it is again. That noise. You don't hear it?
    ADD Daddy: Yes I hear it.
    Me: Well then, what is it?
    ADD Daddy: Seriously, it is the sound of you breathing.
    Me: Oh. Gross.
    ADD Daddy: Yes, I know. It is like sleeping with Darth Vader. Now shut up and go back to sleep.
    Me: OK. Zzzzzzzzzzz (crackle crackle) Quiet Contemplator, I am your mother.

    The end.

    Tuesday, October 9, 2012

    Second Baby Weight

    Before I popped The Cool Cucumber out, I had heard many warnings that losing the weight after a second baby was hard. I want to track all those bitches that said that down and punch them right in the vagina. It is not hard, it is impossible. Plus, the sagging skin and stretch marks are about a million times worse after #2. (Shut it, Alessandra. I swear to god I will drive to your house and slap you right in the face with a bottle of fat free salad dressing if you say how easy it was for you. You know how I feel about you and your friends.)

    Anyway. The bitch of it is? I worked out more, ate better and gained less weight in my second pregnancy. And here I am, 9 months later, fatter than I was RIGHT AFTER I gave birth. Excellent. Thank god for jeans with space-age stretchy shit in them. I finally bit the bullet and bought some in size Fat Ass, so now I can actually button them and breathe at the same time. Bonus. Suck.

    I am a realist. I understand that my body will never fit into single digit sizes. Ever. Seriously, ever. I don't strive to weigh 120 pounds. Or 130. Or, hell, even 140. That isn't healthy for me. I have child-bearing hips. They have served me well, as evidenced by my immaculate deliveries (see parts 1, 2, 3 and 4).

    I think Lady Gaga is on to something. I may not have been born this way, but I sure as shit earned every pound and stretch mark I have gained along the way. Let's start the Mommy Body Revolution. One where we can have a second slice of pizza and bottle of wine without feeling dirty and comparing ourselves to our thinner mommy friends, or, worse yet, our thinner non-mommy friends.

    I want pizza, wine and brownies. Suck it, salad. You too, Alessandra.

    Monday, October 8, 2012

    Advice Under the Influence

    Dear ILBAB,

    So I'm preparing for my son's first birthday party. He was born last year on Black Friday so I have the misfortune of having to plan his party during/around Thanksgiving. Anyway, I'm the kind of person who is SUPER creative and I LOVE to do crafts. But I don't want to drive myself nuts doing all kinds of stuff from scratch by myself. On the other hand, I also don't want to break the bank with buying all the cutesy decorations, favors and stuff. So where do I draw the line? What is worth doing myself and what is best to just buy and save myself the grief? (Theme is turtles btw). Thanks.

    Best regards,

    Monica






    Dearest Monica,

    I feel your pain, sister. The Quiet Contemplator's birthday falls Thanksgiving week and The Cool Cucumber's Christmas week. Holidays are a bitch at our house.

    For The Contemplator's first birthday, I went crazy with the theme. I matched the invites, cake, tablecloths, birthday signs, napkins, etc. The big day came, people ate my food, trashed my house and she just sat there crapping her pants and playing with cat toys. My point? Don't stress yourself out on the first go-round. Parties aren't that big of a deal for kids until AT LEAST three. Then, all they want to do is go to horrible places like Monkey Joe's and act like heathens while stuffing their face with processed sugar.

    The Quiet Contemplator's 1st birthday party was a pirate princess theme, not to be confused with a pirate hooker.

    Overall, it is all about perspective. Remember why you are doing this: to celebrate the birthday of your son, not to impress people with your Pinterest skills. Keep things easy and light for the first time. It will make it a heck of a lot less stressful on you, and, in turn, make your son enjoy it a lot more. Don't blow the budget on favors for a first birthday. Or even budget for them, really. What does a 1-y-o want for a favor beside food and a diaper change?

    If you still feel the need to get crafty, I would recommend the invite and the party banners. Overall, just go with the things that give you the most visual bang for your buck. And, if you are still feeling frisky, you are welcome to create some circus-themed crap from my kids' joint 1st and 3rd birthday party in December. :). 


    Anywho. Hope this helps.



    Smooches,
    The Beer Bitch

    Advice Under the Influence
    Not sure of whether to go with Playtex or Dr. Brown's? Looking for a way to keep your toddler from shaving your cat again? Want to know what to do when your husband pees on the toilet seat again? Well, the Dr. is in. Email me your query and I will put on my thinking cap and publish your question, along with my answer. 

    Thursday, October 4, 2012

    Parents at the Park

    When looking for the perfect park for The Quiet Contemplator to play in (The Cool Cucumber still only eats his own boogers, he could care less about the park), we found that there are some real politics involved in playing at the park. It is like being in a parenting fishbowl where you get to swim with parents from all walks of life. It is fascinating. Here are some of the parents we have encountered at different parks throughout our journey to find the Goldilocks park that's "just right" for our family.

    The Stay at Homie
    These mamas are usually in some form of yoga pant and a comfy T (Hell, who are they trying to impress?). These women (and some men) are talkative and friendly and just seem damn happy to be able to have an adult conversation. They pay attention to their kids, but don't suffocate the fun out of them.

    The Silver Spoon Sally
    These mamas show up in designer duds--usually some form of ridiculously expensive track suit. They tend to spend most of their time at the park on the phone (actually talking, who knew people actually used phones for that anymore?). They drive vehicles that cost more than my house and that are usually about the same size.

    The Helicopter
    These parents can be dressed in any fashion. The key to The Helicopter is breathing down their child's neck the entire time they are at the park, worrying that something might happen if they give them any space. Pray your kid does not want to play with The Helicopter's kid. You might need to provide your child's DNA markers to allow them to interact.

    The Business Meeting
    These parents are usually dressed in an outfit that would be appropriate for casual Friday--even if it is Sunday afternoon. They spend their time at the park buying and selling, or making mergers and acquisitions, or whatever important people do. They often have Bluetooths and make frequent trips pacing around the actual playground while they are working.

    The Marathoner
    These parents are always dressed in running shoes and sporting the shirts from their latest Ironman. They tend to encourage their kids to do the more strenuous activities at the playground. They can frequently be seen throwing Clif bars at their kids while they scale the rock wall. I imagine most The Marathoners kids could probably bench press mine.

    The Babysitter
    These parents don't have a particular dress, but if they did, it would be sweatpants. They see the park as an opportunity for someone else to watch their children for a while. They pretty much park themselves on a bench and zone out while their kids play with dog turds and push other kids down the slide.

    The Nanny
    The Nannies at the park always seem to be legitimately having fun. This weirds me out. I mean, I know it is their job and all, but they seem to actually enjoy it. They also seem way better at it than me. Whatever. Ever since I saw The Hand That Rocks The Cradle, nannies have freaked me out. And don't even get me started on Au pairs. I need some hot foreign chick who my kids like better than me sleeping in my house like I need to birth another baby.

    The Over Achiever
    "OK, Bridget. You can do it. I know you are tired, but let's try the monkey bars just one more time. You don't want the others kids at school to be able to do it and you can't, do you?" These parents want their kids to excel. At everything. Even going down the slide. They are like gymnastic coaches at the playground. Maybe Bridget doesn't want to do the monkey bars. Maybe she just wants to shovel sand into her pants like all the other kids. 

    The Cheerleader
    These moms are happy. Really happy. Really, really happy. If their kid as much as takes a dump, they practically beam with joy, shouting encouragement with every little fart. Their kids are going to be incredibly disappointed when faced with the real world. No one is going to say, "Hooray, Timmy! You turned your TPS reports in on time! I am so proud of you!"

    The Foodie
    These parents do everything they can to give their kids the best start in life. Gluten free, soy free, non-dairy, organic, minimally processed, etc. Their snacks at the park are all individually portioned in BPA free containers and served with hemp napkins. Give it a rest. They serve chicken nuggets made of donkey balls once they get into grade school, so let your kid live a little and have a Goldfish cracker.

    The Boozer
    This would be us. We show up in jeans and an old t-shirt, looking like either retired rock stars or homeless people. Hey, it's Sunday. We had friends over last night and didn't know the park was such a fashion and political hotbed. We let our kids play, play with them when they aren't playing with other kids, then go home. Give us a break. And stop shouting, I kind of have a headache.





    Want to see the park from other perspectives? Visit the links below to see what other moms (and one non-mom) have to say. Want to toss your own opinion into the ring for future posts? Contact me.

    Cloudy With a Chance of Wine 
    Mod Mom Beyond IndieDom
    Mommy Rotten  
    Something Clever 2.0 
    The Next Step 

    Wednesday, October 3, 2012

    You Sure Can

    As parents, I find we are often worried about our kids inheriting our worst traits. Will they get my wicked temper? Will they pick up my bad habit of cursing? Will they grow up to have ape-like fingertoes? We spends countless hours worrying about things that we can't change, because it is already ingrained in their DNA to be one way or another. The problem is, we don't spend enough time looking at all of the wonderful aspects of ourselves that our children get. Their father's kindness and patience, my verboseness and free spirit, etc.

    The other day, I was changing The Cool Cucumber's diaper when I asked The Quiet Contemplator if she could go get something for me in the other room. She cheerfully responded, "I sure can!" It made me stop. What a sweet reply and what an odd way of saying yes. I was proud of her, but more so, I wondered where she had picked this expression up at.

    The next day, The Contemplator asked me if she could have a cookie and since she had been a good girl all day, I replied, "You sure can!" And I stopped. It was me that she picked it up from. I was the person that she had mirrored herself after that had made her respond in that way. My heart swelled. One, because she is such a sweet freaking kid that it is fucking disgusting, and two, because I had something directly to do with that. Score one for Mommy!

    As parents, we don't often take the time to pat ourselves on the back for our successes, we are too busy beating ourselves up for our perceived failures. We only credit ourselves with the bad habits our kids pick up, not with all of the wonderful things that they learn just by being with us.

    So, today, Mommies and Daddies, take a moment to remind yourself of what a good job you are doing. Even if the house is a mess. Or you burned breakfast. Or you snapped at your toddler to get their ass in the car because you are already late. Today, try to focus on the good you are doing.

    Because I'm good enough. I'm smart enough. And doggone it, people like me.

    Being a parent is hard. Being hard on yourself is easy. Let go. Just for a minute. Or an hour. Or a day. How long can you make it without beating yourself up? How much good can you see in yourself today? Here's hoping you see a lot.

    Tuesday, October 2, 2012

    What we are reading

    I know I am always looking for new books to read for the kids and myself, so I thought I would share with you what my family's favorites are at the moment. I would love if you would all share yours, as well. Always looking for more to read!

    What We are Reading to the Kids:


    On the Night Your Were Born For some reason, The Cool Cucumber LOVES this book. Every time I start reading it, his whole face lights up and he starts cooing. It is really weird. I never liked it much with The Quiet Contemplator, but love reading it to The Cucumber.


    The Tickle Monster The Quiet Contemplator loves this book right now.

    Where the Sidewalk Ends
    Falling Up
    A Light In The Attic
    We love reading these books. I grew up with Shel Silverstein and, thankfully, my kids are too. One of my favorites is Hector the Collector, from Where the Sidewalk Ends. The Contemplator loves Complainin' Jack, from Falling Up.

    The Pout Pout Fish Such a cute story and well written. I think it is a great reminder that we can all be happy if we just allow ourselves to be. Sometimes we feel we just aren't "designed" to be happy.




    What Mommy is Reading:

    The Hunger Games This was my first real dip in the reading pool since I had the kids. Sad, I know. What it did was remind me of what an ridiculously addictive reader I am. I finished these books in about a week. It was gross. I couldn't stop. Not because they were awesome or anything, but just because I love to have something easy to read.

    Fifty Shades Mmmmm...Mommy porn. Me likey. So easy to see that this is Twilight fan fiction in the beginning, but it goes away about halfway through the first book. Besides, at least Christian gives it up, unlike that prude Edward.

    (Yes, I sometimes read more intelligent stuff than Twilight-esqe drivel, but Mama is tired and just wants to give her brain a break for the time being.)

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