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Monday, December 30, 2013

Resolutions, revisited

Last year, I made the following resolutions:

I resolve to be kinder to myself.
I resolve to stop bullying myself.
I resolve to stop making fun of myself for every little misstep.
I resolve to stop berating myself when I make mistakes.
I resolve to stop calling myself "stupid", "idiot" and "fat ass".
I resolve to feel like I am good enough.
I resolve to feel like I deserve the good things.
I resolve to not feel responsible for the bad.
I resolve to give myself a mommy mulligan when I need it.
I resolve to feel OK doing something just for me.
I resolve to feel worthy of the life I have.
I resolve to love myself.
No matter what.
I resolve to be OK with the fact that I will probably screw all of these up.


So how did I do?

Surprisingly, pretty well. I made myself a priority and started to treat myself the way I wished others would. Basically, I gave myself a friggin' break and stopped kicking my own ass. Was I always perfect? Hell no. Will I ever be? Hell no. I never want to be perfect. I just want to be the best version of me that I can be. For my kids. And my husband. But most importantly, for myself. 

So this year, I again resolve to be kind to myself. To not judge my actions against the actions of others. And to love myself, no matter how broke I may be. I hope you will join me.

Happy New Year, friends.
I hope the best day of your 2013 is the worst day of your 2014.

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.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Very (Un)Merry Christmas List

I am super grateful that anyone buys my kids anything ever, but sometimes common sense just doesn't enter the gift giving process. Here is a lift of a few things to not buy my kids for Christmas this year (or ever):

Things that are way over my kid's pay grade
Now, don't get me wrong, my kids are smart. But a lot of gifts we receive are for kids that are more than twice their age. This is lovely and all, but the toys basically sit and collect dust until my kid can understand them and by the time they can, I have either buried them under three tons of other crap, never to see them again, or they are so completely uncool that my kids wouldn't touch them with a 10-foot pole. Sponge Bob erector sets? Seriously, grandma. These are so 2013.

Things that are choking hazards
On the same age-appropriate note, though one of my kids is old enough to play with toys with small pieces, the other is not. So buying her Polly Pockets is AWESOME for her until she plays them with her little brother and says, "Here, Cool Cucumber. You can play with this tiny shoe. I hope you choke on it." Not fun for anyone. Also, Polly Pockets should be banned from existence anyway. Who the hell has time to corral all of those tiny little pieces? How about I just vacuum up the entire set and we call it a day?

Things that take up an entire room
People like to be generous when giving gifts to kids. Which is freaking awesome. Except when their generosity comes in the form of toys that take up an entire room. Though the 16-foot blow-up ball pit was a super awesome score for the kids, I now have to watch TV while sitting in the middle of it. Because god forbid we take it down and play with something else. Ever. Especially since you play with it for a whole 10 seconds A WEEK!

Toys that my kid obviously already has
Wow, a set of blocks? I TOTALLY never thought to get my three-year-old blocks. You are a genius. Let me put these right next to the 16 other sets of blocks she has because she is THREE and not a homeless child who lives on the street.

Things that require D batteries
Seriously. Just stop. Those things are like $5k a piece and each toy that uses them needs at least four of them to work. And then 15 minutes later…it needs four more. Mama is broke and that toy is ANNOYING!

Things that require ninja-like skills to assemble
If it takes more than five minutes to assemble, please, please, please either assemble it before you give it to them or don't buy it. Christmas sucks major ass when we are in the middle of 3,000 tons of empty boxes and wrapping paper and my kids just HAS TO play with Barbie's ski chalet RIGHT NOW. I am still in my pajamas and haven't had any wine yet, so I am not prepared to work an allen wrench, hammer and power saw to put Barbie's winter timeshare together right now. OK, stop crying. I will just get some duct tape and super glue and this shit is on.


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.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

How to survive the princess stage


No matter which way you slice it, if you have a little girl, she is most likely going to end up having a princess stage. Even if you never introduce her to a single princess yourself, she will have little girlfriends who love princesses, or she will see one on TV or at the mall, and the mania will hit. And, man, does it hit with the quickness and intensity of a meth addiction.

Mainlining Princess Dust

For those of you who don’t have little girls or whose girls are still too young, I am sure you are just swooning at the idea of a princess stage. But for those of you who are currently neck-deep in tutus and tiaras, you may have had enough of Cinderella’s fancy ass and need a little help and a lot of wine.

Though we kept The Quiet Contemplator as far away from all things princess for as long as possible, the tide of pink and frilly slowly leeched its way into our house via my daughter’s friends at school. TQC is now in a full-blown princess mode 24-7. I want to take all of her princess shit and light it on fire in the middle of my living room. Seriously, if I have to watch Snow White one more time, I am going to have a princess-induced rage stroke.

But through all of this princess crap, I have found a few things that have made this stage result in a slightly less noticeable eye twitch for mama. Namely, a few books and a frame of mind for my little princess.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0761458158/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0761458158&linkCode=as2&tag=ilibeanba-20

The first book we love is Princess Peepers Picks a Pet. Basically, Princess Peepers is the nerdy outcast at the Perfect Princess School. I love her. We bought this book to help TQC deal with her feeling like a weirdo for wearing glasses, but it ended up helping a crapload with all of the annoying princess stuff. It shows her that it is OK to be different and that being different is actually cool. She loves the book.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0873588282/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0873588282&linkCode=as2&tag=ilibeanba-20

We also like Do Princesses Wear Hiking Boots? This books basically shows kids that being a princess isn’t about wearing pretty dresses or marrying some strange dude you met once. It teaches that, as it says when kids look in the mirror on the back page of the book, “A princess is a place in your heart.” Gag, I know, but this book really sets the stage for talking to your little girl about how a princess is how we act and how we treat people, not some just lady locked in a tower waiting for a man to rescue her.

Anyhoo. Just thought I would share for those of you that are currently self medicating their way through the princess stage with boxed chardonnay.

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.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Advice Under the Influence: Owning a Minivan

Well, this is the last episode of Advice Under the Influence. I hope you have enjoyed the series (and shared it so the lovely people at ulive will order up some more). Truth be told, this episode was my baby. I actually bolted out of the bed in the middle of the night with the inspiration for it and furiously typed it out around 2 a.m. And wow, did IKA Collective really do my dream justice. Check it out.

http://www.ulive.com/video/own-up-to-owning-a-minivan

Behind the Douche Canoe

All you really need to know about this episode is that all of the footage involving the van was shot at my house. In my front yard. Right off a fairly busy street. My neighbors were all peeking out of their windows or full-on open-mouth gaping at me from their front yards. While I licked my “paws” and cleaned myself like a sexy kitten. On top of my minivan. In heels. And hot pants.

Yeah. We have to move now.

 Plus, how else would I know what I would look like if I wore "mom jeans"?

You're welcome.

Anyway. I hope you enjoyed the final episode of the Advice Under the Influence. If you want to ensure that I keep embarrassing myself on the internet, SHARE IT. With everyone you know. Everywhere. Facebook, Twitter, your uncle's gay porn site, your grandma's bingo newsletter. You get the idea. The more people who watch them, the more likely that the lovely people at ulive will order up another batch of my douche canoery. Thanks so much. I will send imaginary fountains full of wine, unicorns and chocolate to all who share.

Smooches,

The Beer Bitch


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, December 9, 2013

Happy Holidays, Boozehounds!

video


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.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Advice Under the Influence: Getting a Toddler Dressed

http://www.ulive.com/video/how-to-dress-your-toddler
Welcome to another annoying episode of Advice Under the Influence. This week we will learn how to get our toddlers dressed and fight the effects of Toddler Erectile Dysfunction. Enjoy. 

Advice Under the Influence: Behind the Douche Canoe
1:05 Yeah, so that display of toddler dickery while getting dressed wasn't acting. That was the actual footage of me trying to get my daughter dressed. A-hole.
1:46 = entering sexy Dr mode. BOOYA!

2:21 This scene was shot outside in my backyard, where I introduced my New Yorker producer to what Midwest mosquitoes are like. He actually looked scared when he came inside. Hey, I warned him to douche himself in Deet before he went out there…
Anyway. I hope you enjoyed this episode of the Advice Under the Influence. If you want to ensure that I keep embarrassing myself on the internet, SHARE IT. With everyone you know. Everywhere. Facebook, Twitter, your uncle's gay porn site, your grandma's bingo newsletter. You get the idea. The more people who watch them, the more likely that the lovely people at ulive will order up another batch of my douche canoery. Thanks so much. I will send imaginary fountains full of wine, unicorns and chocolate to all who share.

Smooches,

The Beer Bitch

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, November 27, 2013

Today you are four.

The Beginning

DearJ,

My sweet little princess, today you are four years old. Oh how the time has flown since you came into the world and changed who your daddy and I are forever.

You are one of the most sweet. giving and emotionally caring children I have ever met. Your heart is so pure it hurts me.

One Year

You are truly a good soul. And an old soul. You are far wiser than your four tiny years provide for. Even Fatty knows it. She has taken to trying to sneak into your room at night so she can sleep with you but you will have none of it. Fatty is a damn good judge of character so if she trusts you enough to sleep in your bed, especially at only four years old, that is really saying something.

Two Years

You love Cinderella and Snow White and anything with princesses. You also like Caillou but mommy had to cut that shit off at the knees because Caillou's voice makes Mommy want to punch a kitten. Sorry.

Three Years

We call you Bean, Beanie Weenie and Baby Girl.

You are growing into such a big girl. You are smart, responsible and a good friend to those in your class. I am so proud of you and so thankful to have such an amazing person in our family.

Four years

I love you, Baby Girl. So much.

Mommy


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.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Advice Under the Influence: Throwing a Kid's Party

http://www.ulive.com/video/throw-the-perfect-kids-party

Welcome to another annoying episode of Advice Under the Influence. This week we will get our party on and learn how to throw a kid's party without losing our minds. Enjoy. 

Advice Under the Influence: Behind the Douche Canoe

Meet Charla

First things first, that lovely lady with me at around :22 seconds is my amazing fried Charla. I asked her to help with this episode and she was a freaking natural at playing an annoying parent. We should make a gag reel of just the crap that came out of her mouth when asked to ad-lib what an annoying parent might say. Man, I love her. Plus, her daughter Cam is so cute I want to steal her.

Cake, anyone?

Next, see me being a douche canoe around :48 seconds? Yeah, about that. About two seconds after I did this I dropped that damn cake on the floor. Yeah. Balls.

Oh hell-to-the-no.

About that cake. See around 2 minutes when that adorable little girl attacks said cake with a bat? Yeah. That happened. This was all filmed at the beginning of August and I am STILL finding icing EVERYWHERE. Seriously. Plus, the cake incident trashed my rug and that rug really tied the room together, man.

Anyway. I hope you enjoyed this episode of the Advice Under the Influence. If you want to ensure that I keep embarrassing myself on the internet, SHARE IT. With everyone you know. Everywhere. Facebook, Twitter, your uncle's gay porn site, your grandma's bingo newsletter. You get the idea. The more people who watch them, the more likely that the lovely people at ulive will order up another batch of my douche canoery. Thanks so much. I will send imaginary fountains full of wine, unicorns and chocolate to all who share.

Smooches,

The Beer Bitch

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, November 20, 2013

Toddler Parent Problems


Woeful Ones, Terrible Twos, Trying Threes, you name it. Toddlerdom is hard.

And the littlest thing can set your toddler's delicate psyche off. Like their milk being too cold. Or too hot. Or too cold and then too hot. Or too hot and then too cold. Or not of the chocolate variety. Or that the milk is in the pink cup and not the purple one. Or that they wanted to pour the milk from the 5-pound jug into the tiny cup by themselves. Or that it is milk and not water. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

There are myriad enemies of the parent of the toddler. These are just a few.

Basic Human Hygiene
Toothbrush, shampoo, Q-tips, these methods of toddler torture are Domestic Enemy #1. Trying to keep a toddler from smelling ripe and looking like they just crawled out of a gutter is hard work. They fight you at every turn with the ferocity of a honey badger. Brush their hair? NEVER! They would rather you waterboard them while making them watch footage of Caillou kicking a puppy. And don't even thing about cutting their nails. That is the lowest form of torture and completely unnecessary. Who doesn't want to have claws like Wolverine? Duh.

Wardrobe Malfunctions
Getting a toddler dressed is like trying to stuff a water snake through a key-hole. Pointless, infuriating, and in the end, impossible. And that is just the actual physical side of getting a toddler dressed. The fashion side is an even deeper issue. God forbid you try to put your toddler in a Hello Kitty t-shirt when they want to wear their Batman pajamas. Such a blatant misdoing will most certainly result in a tantrum the likes of which this planet can surely not survive. In the long run, it really doesn't matter what you picked out for them to wear. It could be a vest fashioned from live puppy dogs that bark your child's name and it will still be wrong. Man, I want to wear that…

Sustenance
Even if your baby was an adventurous eater who would shove everything from caviar to canned dog food down their gullet, chances are, once they hit toddlerdom, a new sheriff will take over Dinner Town. Dinner time at our house generally makes me want to stab myself in the thigh with a rusty fork. One day, my daughter loves fish sticks. The next, she acts like I filleted our cat and served it up to her on a plate made of bat wings when I offer her fish sticks. What gives? Is it just me or are toddlers bi-polar when it comes to eating? The most infuriating? If your toddler wolfs down everything from quinoa to roasted beets at school and won't so much as touch a single grain of rice at home. Every night at our house is kind of like a terrifying game of culinary roulette. Will I win, or will the grapes I offered up as homage to the toddler god result in me losing a finger?

Public Places
Toddlers have a sixth sense when it comes to when their tantrums can be the most epic. At home, you can just leave them to whine and wail in the living room while you go freshen up your chardonnay in the kitchen. But when you are at the Drs office, or the grocery store, or Grandma's, you have to heed to their demands. One more cookie? Sure thing. Coming right up. Just please don't freak out while we are at the DMV. Now honey, please don't stand on that chair. You know we don't do that. Honey, that is not nice. Please don't poke that man in the face with your toy truck. Oh, screw it. Just do whatever you want so I can get these damned plates renewed.

The Sandman
So you finally got your baby into a pattern where they sleep for more than 15 minutes at a time in their own bed? Awesome, right? Wrong. Chances are, toddlerdom will change that. Toddlers are wiley. They are master manipulators. Your baby couldn't make requests for a glass of water, one more story, more cuddles or a potty break. But your toddler can. And they will. Over and over again. And now that they are in a big kid bed and not a cage, I mean crib, they have free access to Mommy and Daddy all night long. Because they needed to tell you that they went pee pee in the potty at 11:38 and 2:00 and 3:15 and 5:07 and… Wait, why did we let them out of the crib again?

Potty Time
Potty training sucks. BIG TIME. I have found it is a lot like prison. Why? Because no matter how hard you try to get out of it, you are going to have to do your time. Your can't beg, plead or cry your way out of your sentence. You are about to be locked in a cell the size of, well, your bathroom for the next month…or more. You are stuck for the majority of your day with a cellmate that can be super annoying. And, even after your release for good behavior, chances are, you will be sent back to prison for violating parole. A new baby, daycare, illness, brand of milk, etc., can all send your cellmate into a tizzy that will result in you getting sent back to the slammer diaper duty.

Self-Fulfillment
Do you want to know what the last words I might hear before I have my final rage stroke are? "No! I can do it by myself!" Toddlers are an independent lot. And after a year of raising a baby who has nothing but needs, that can be kind of awesome. However, toddlers want to do EVERYTHING by themselves. Put on their coats, tie their shoes, pour their cereal, do their taxes, cure world hunger. Which is great, except A: they are still unable to do most of these things by themselves in less than six hours B: them doing these things by themselves usually ends in a huge mess and C: just let me tie your damn shoes so we can go already! What? Oh, sorry. I think I blacked out there for a minute.

The Spanish Inquisition
Toddlers are curious. Very curious. They often ask deep, insightful questions, such as, "Why is black?" that tend to boggle the parental mind. And there is always, "Why". The Why phase is a Domestic Enemy all of its own. It is one of the most exhausting phases of toddlerdom. Why are you taking a shower? Why do I have to brush my teeth? Why is the sun hot? Why are you scratching your leg? Why did you get a mosquito bite? Why does it itch. Why? Why? Why? The questions are non-stop from sun-up to sun-down in our house. And all lines of questioning end the same way: with 362 repetitions of, "Why?" The word "Why" has caused me to have a permeant eye twitch that even wine can't remedy. I feel like Jules Winnfield in Pulp Fiction. Say "why" again. Say "why" again. I dare you. I double-dare you, motherf*cker. Say "why" one more goddamn time.

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.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Advice Under the Influence: Potty Training

The thought that I am about to enter the potty training ring for a second bout makes me want to curl up in a corner with a bottle of tequila and not come out until my son is in college and has hopefully figured the whole thing out for himself. But alas, I will throw myself in front of the punches the potty has to hand out one more time so my son doesn't end up at his wedding in a poopy Pamper. After my first round in the potty training ring, I learned a trick or two. Like to hear 'em? Here it goes.

http://www.ulive.com/video/potty-training-boot-camp

 Advice Under the Influence: Behind the Douche Canoe


First off, nothing like a good poop gag to start everything off, right? The pudding was smeared on my face for a few takes but I think that read too…um…poopy for public consumption. I was lucky to get any pudding at all with two chocolate sharks swimming about at knee level.

Around 1:18, Fatty could handle being out of the limelight no longer and decided to make her big debut…in the crapper. She is such an attention whore.


The Cool Cucumber's adorable face at 2:07 might be one of my favorite things about this whole series. Man, that kid kills me. I also love him at 2:29 when you can see him trying to "poop" like me. Ha!

Anyway. I hope you enjoyed this episode of the Advice Under the Influence. If you want to ensure that I keep embarrassing myself on the internet, SHARE IT. With everyone you know. Everywhere. Facebook, Twitter, your uncle's gay porn site, your grandma's bingo newsletter. You get the idea. The more people who watch them, the more likely that the lovely people at ulive will order up another batch of my douche canoery. Thanks so much. I will send imaginary fountains full of wine, unicorns and chocolate to all who share.

Smooches,

The Beer Bitch

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, November 18, 2013

Parental peace of mind

In general, as a result of my brother's murder and the resulting Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that is has caused, I am pretty anxious. Especially when I am alone. And especially when I am alone in public. So when I first heard about React Mobile, it instantly clicked: this could help me feel safer, and therefore help with my anxiety and PTSD.

Check out this video for a little background on the app:



Now do you have to suffer from PTSD for this app to be useful? Hells to the no. I also use it to keep my husband in the loop when I go for a run through its "Follow Me" feature. That way he always knows where I am and that I make it home safely if he is not there.

But there are tons of other uses. Here are just a few:

Going on a blind date and need to send a bat signal to get you the heck out of dodge when your suitor starts using their fork to floss with? React Mobile can help. Just send and "SOS" and a select group of friends can know that you need "rescuing".

Have a teenager that would rather die than let you know they got somewhere safely? With React Mobile, they can just push a button on their phone and you can know they arrived alive and they are spared the embarrassment of having to acknowledge that they have parents who care. Win-win.

There are endless uses for React Mobile, but basically it just provides you with a mental and virtual safety net if needed. It sure as hell helps me feel more at ease all-around. You can download it for free here.

React Mobile App: $0
Cost of raising a child to adulthood: $250,000
Parental peace of mind: Priceless

This post was sponsored by React Mobile but I wrote about it because I felt a personal connection with the service the app provides. I will never write a sponsored post about a product I do not personally believe in. I love you guys to much to do that garbage.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

You might be a parent if...

  • You consider macaroni and cheese and chicken nuggets a food group.
  • The "Five second" rule has turned into "Meh, it doesn't have any hair stuck to it" rule.
  • Having an audience every time you use the bathroom no longer phases you.
  • The floor of your car could double as a Cheerio/toy skill crane machine.
  • You purchase wine by the box because a bottle just isn't enough anymore.
  • You haven't had an uninterrupted conversation with an adult in over a year.
  • Mopping up all the water after bath time now counts as cleaning the bathroom.
  • You constantly have the theme song from an annoying kids show in your head (Die, Caillou. Die.).
  • You now count the seconds until another human being's nap and bed time.
  • Being covered in another person's pee, poop or puke no longer elicits a reaction from you.
  • If you have anything baby-shaped in your arms, you instinctively rock it..
  • You now consider a decent night's sleep anything over five hours.
  • An appropriate outfit is now anything that hasn't recently been spit up on.
  • Cool car features went from having heated leather seats to having a built in DVD player in the back.
  • You find yourself watching kids shows even when there are no children.
  • You get excited when someone other than yourself poops in the potty.
  • You know why the word "why" is so annoying.
  • You understand why sometimes animals in the wild eat their young.

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.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Advice under the Influence: Getting Your Toddler to Sleep


Welcome to the second episode of Advice Under the Influence: Getting Your Toddler to Sleep



 
Advice Under the Influence: Behind the Douche Canoe

So here's the scoop on this episode: I am a total Hollywood sellout. You know how people only get to the top in the film industry by jumping into bed with Hollywood big wigs? Well, I am sorry to break it to you, my friends, but I am no exception.

Why, you ask? Well…that man in bed with me around 20 seconds…is not ADD Daddy. It's actually my director/producer, Robbie. I know, I know. What a slutbag. Well, kind of...


You see, my house during filming was an absolute and total shitshow. Wires, lighting rigs, cameras, boom mics, production crew, etc. Oh, and two drunken midgets running around during it all.

Needless to say, someone had to corral those midgets while mama was making the magic happen and that someone was ADD Daddy. So while he was herding cats toddlers, me and Robbie hopped into the sack for a little alone time. On film. Surrounded by a room full of people. Yeah, it was like college all over again. Wait, never mind.

This all leads me to 1:14, where you again find Robbie in one of our familial beds. What the heck is up with this dude? He has a total Goldilocks complex.


Anyway. I hope you enjoyed this episode of the Advice Under the Influence. If you want to ensure that I keep embarrassing myself on the internet, SHARE IT. With everyone you know. Everywhere. Facebook, Twitter, your uncle's gay porn site, your grandma's bingo newsletter. You get the idea. The more people who watch them, the more likely that the lovely people at ulive will order up another batch of my douche canoery. Thanks so much. I will send imaginary fountains full of wine, unicorns and chocolate to all who share.

Smooches,

The Beer Bitch

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, November 11, 2013

I am winning at Christmas Already

It's that time of year again. No, not just time to get out the holiday decorations and start drinking heavily so I can tolerate all of the "holiday cheer" going around. No, it is time for me to navigate four holidays all in the span of a month, and I ain't even counting New Years.

You see, we don't just have the regular holidays to deal with in our family, because for some reason I am only fertile during times that will end with my children being born during the shitstorms that are Thanksgiving and Christmas. So, yeah, I have THREE gift-giving holidays coming up. JOY!

The mere thought of organizing all of the gifts needed for birthdays and Christmas, then relaying said requests to the interested parties, makes my eye twitch. But I have found a way to get it all done in a way that doesn't end with me wanting to punch a kitten: Giftster.

Giftster let me make a list for everyone in my family and then add crap to the lists from all over the internets. Then I just email the link to my list to my friends and family who ask what everyone wants. Here are my lists for Me, ADD Daddy, The Cool Cucumber and The Quiet Contemplator.

So far I have added stuff from Target, Blik, Amazon and even a site for a race series that I want to enter. I would rather have someone pay for me to be able to run off the holiday stress than buy me an ugly sweater with a reindeer on it. Plus, this gives ADD Daddy a list of stuff I want in a way that can help him remember it for longer than three seconds, complete with the link to where to buy it.

Oh yeah, and the whole service is free and takes about five seconds to sign up for. You can also add a button to your browser that lets you pin gifts just like you pin stuff on Pinterest. BONUS!

So, basically, I am winning at the whole birthday/Christmas thing this year thanks to Giftster. And you can suck it, Santa.

This post was sponsored by Giftster but you Boozehounds know I would NEVAH EVAH subject you to anything I didn't think was amazeballs on my own. For realzies. 

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.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Advice Under the Influence: Getting Your Toddler to Eat

Welcome to the world premier of Advice Under the Influence. I have waited a long, long time to share this with you all and am so excited that the day is finally here.

http://www.ulive.com/video/getting-your-toddler-to-eat

Today's episode of Advice Under the Influence is Getting Your Toddler to Eat. If you currently have toddlers (may God bless your exhausted and incredibly annoyed soul) you know how hard it is to get them to eat anything more nutritious than a Goldfish cracker they found between the couch cushions. Well I have been to the toddler trenches so I have a few knowledge bombs to drop on you.

Once you are done laughing at what a complete idiot with no sense of shame I am, and possibly peeing yourself a little, read on for your first taste of Advice Under the Influence: Behind the Douche Canoe.

Enjoy.

Advice Under the Influence: Behind the Douche 

Well, I hope you liked it. Here are a few inside looks at what it takes to make the magic happen:

Stick 'em up, toddlers!

At around :32 was when we discovered that The Quiet Contemplator may just give Daniel Day-Lewis a run for his Oscar-worthy money some day. Seriously, that kid has acting chops in spades.

They are not smelling what I'm cooking...

The Cool Cucumber? Not so much. We tried a few takes of the dinner scene at :56 and every time we would put the fish sticks down he would start shoving them down his gullet like a ravenous beast. But after a few tries, he started picking up what his sister was putting down and got on board with the whole "saying no to food for once in his life" idea. Watching him pick up on his sister's cues and start pushing his plate away and covering his head like she was one of the cutest things ever. (You can see an example of his shoveling around the 1:13 mark. Priceless.)

Bastard!

The down side of this whole episode? Teaching my son to flush Cheerios down the toilet like his sister constantly did as a toddler. That little f'er did that for WEEKS after the shoot. Every time I turned around he was trying to pour a box of cereal down the crapper. Excellent.

Anyway, hope you enjoyed the first of the Advice Under the Influence series. Don't worry, there will be more videos of me making a complete ass out of myself to come. But if you want to ensure that I keep embarrassing myself on the internet, SHARE THESE. With everyone you know. Everywhere. Facebook, Twitter, your uncle's gay porn site, your grandma's bingo newsletter. You get the idea. The more people who watch them, the more likely that the lovely people at ulive will order up another batch of my douche canoery. Thanks so much. I will send imaginary fountains full of wine, unicorns and chocolate to all who share.

Smooches,

The Beer Bitch

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, November 4, 2013

I've been hiding something from you...

So I have been keeping a BIG, BIG secret from you all. I have been working on the most amazeballs with a capital BALLS secret project for the last six months. No it's not a book (because who doesn't have one of those out nowadays anyway, oh yeah, that's right: me). It is way more awesomer than a book. It is a video series based on my Advice Under the Influence columns. On ulive.com. From the people at SCRIPPS! Dude, I know. What were they thinking?

Anyway. Here's how it all played out: on my way to the hospital with The Cool Cucumber for his tube surgery, I got an email from a deliciously wonderful girl named Lauren. The email said that the people at Scripps had found my blog on Scary Mommy and loved it. They wanted to talk to me about possibly working together on something they were developing. I about died. Seriously, I was shaking and sweating like a whore in confession.

Long story short, they wanted to develop a series with me where I could be my whole idiot self in front of the entire internets. Phrases like, "Your pilot has been green-lighted" made me feel like a complete douche canoe, but I was beyond excited to try something new and to give you guys a real taste of what a complete idiot I really am.

There will be more where this came from...

And guess what? It comes out TOMORROW! When it does, PLEASE share the CRAP out of it. Seriously, send it to everyone you know, including your grandma's cat. I will let you all know when each video is ready, complete with a behind-the-lens look of how it all went down. I am so excited to share it with you, Boozehounds!

Cheers,

Julie

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.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Oops, I crapped my pants. Seriously.

I ran a half marathon on Sunday. It was my first long distance race since before I got pregnant with The Quiet Contemplator. It was awesome. I am running another one next Sunday. Yes, I am an idiot.

I'm the bee-yotch on the right.

After I was finished the race (I crossed the finish line carrying both of my babies--best and worst decision ever), my friends and I decided to go out and eat a lot of horrible food and drink a lot of shitty beer. It was a wonderful Sunday. I went to bed early and slept like the dead. Until around midnight...

Suddenly I could no longer sleep and my stomach was cramping uncontrollably. This continued until around, well, hopefully it will let up any minute now... Yeah, I got food poisoning from that shitty food.

Needless to say, the last two days have been less-than-pleasant. There are two ends that food poisoning can come out of and mine always seems to head south.

Anyway. The POINT of this story is that parenting on your own (ADD Daddy has to work late the next two days) while you have food poisoning is not for the weak of heart...or stomach. I have spent a good portion of my last two days on the pot (and not the good kind). And, of course, none of that time was spent alone.

My son sees my weakened state as an excellent excuse for an all-you-can-read book fest that includes his own personal Mommy-on-a-throne.

My daughter thinks my current situation is the perfect time to practice her color commentary skills. I get an incredibly descriptive play-by-play of every noise and facial expression, along with a critique of the color and consistency of my poo plays.

So, yeah, I crapped my pants today. How was your day?

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.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Why I want to drug Daniel Day-Lewis

So my girl Ilana over at Mommy Shorts went and got all famous on me. Instead of hanging out in the playground circuit, catching hand foot and mouth or some other lovely childhood malady, she is all up in the celebrity game swapping diaper blowout stories with the likes of Taye Diggs and Rachel Dratch via the Mommy Show.

WHATEVER! I totally have a slutty promiscuous friend from college who made out with G. Love AND the guy from Fastball. So take that, Ilana. Wait, never mind.

ANYWAY. Ilana asked me who I would want to drug, tie down and make watch me drink boxed wine for hours while I drone on about my stretch marks interview if I could interview anyone. Well, Ilana, I pick Daniel Day-Lewis.


Why?
  • Because he is amaze balls, first of all. The guy could stand on stage in a hot dog costume while reading the phone book and still get an Oscar for it.
  • Second of all, I would throw my husband in front of a bus just to have the chance to make out with him a little bit. Yeah, I know it is kind of weird, but it is true, none-the-less.
  • Third? Who doesn't want to watch Bill The Butcher change their kid's shitty diaper. Also, I totally want to see the look on my daughter's face when Daniel Plainview tells her he drank her milkshake.
  • Fourth: My Left Foot. Enough said.
  • Fifth: He digs writer chicks. Hell, he married Arthur Miller's daughter!
  • Sixth: They named their kids Ronan and Cashel. 

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 9, 2013

Life is hard.

Life is hard. Some days, the tiniest obstacle can seem insurmountable. An everyday task can stop you in your tracks and feel like a hurdle so large you can never overcome it.


But you are strong enough. To take that tiny task, and even the tremendous ones that may follow, and kick it in the balls and tell it who's boss. Because you are the only boss of you.


Because you were put here on this earth to do great things, whether big or small.


So let go of your insecurities. Stop downplaying your successes. Start shouting them from the rooftops.


Let life take you on a wild ride. Feel the wind in your hair. Feel the sun on your face.

Let go.



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.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

How to clean your house in three easy steps


Step one. 
 Hop your kids up on as much overly processed sugary goodness as humanly possible. Candy, soda, cookies, you name it. Stuff that sugary crap down their gullet faster than those adorable little midgets can say foie gras.


Step two. 
Now that your kids are so jacked up on refined sweetness that they make Ty Pennington look like the Dalai Lama, hand them some cleaning supplies. I suggest a cordless vacuum and a wet rag. These provide the least risk and the most profit.


Step three. 
Sit back and watch the magic happen. But before you do, be sure to pour yourself a nice glass of mommy juice so you can thoroughly enjoy the fruit of your labor's labor.


You're welcome.


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.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

How to promote good behavior while losing your marbles.


Lately our kids' problems with sharing, whining when asked to do simple chores, talking back, etc., have caused my husband and I to figuratively lose our marbles. My solution? To literally lose them. We have established a marble jar system to reward good behavior and the results have been amazing.

Here's how you can too:

Things needed:
Two small jars (we got ours from the Dollar Tree)
One small bag of marbles (we used flat glass stones from the Dollar Tree)



How it works:
  • Show your child(ren) the two jars and the marbles.
  • Explain to your child(ren) that when they do something good from now on, they will get a marble in their "Superstar Jar".
  • Let them help you pour the marbles into the starter jar.
  • Talk to them about a reward they would like once they move all the marbles to the Superstar Jar (it should be something small, like going out for ice cream or getting a small toy).
  • Get started: when your kid does something good, move a marble from the starter jar to the Superstar Jar.
  • Once the Superstar Jar is filled, give your child their reward and talk about how proud you are of them.
  • Talk with your child about what they would like their next reward to be.
  • Have them help you move the marbles back to the starter jar.
  • Lather, rinse, repeat.

Side notes:
  • Reward good behavior often. Being stingy with the rewards makes your kid get bored of the whole thing with a quickness. Aim to empty the jar within a week or two so they stay excited about it.
  • No Indian giving on the marbles. Once they are earned, they can not be taken back for bad behavior.
  • Kids are not allowed to ask for marbles if they do something good. They have to be earned without asking.

This is a great way to encourage sharing and relationships between siblings. It also helps older children feel special when they get to do something their younger sibling can't. It has encouraged our daughter to be nicer to her younger brother, share more and help around the house--all without being asked! It can also help with potty training and breaking bad habits.

Two glass jars: $2
One bag of glass stones: $1
Maintaining your will to live all the way through bedtime: Priceless


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.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Parenting: Silly vs. Serious


Before I got knee-deep into this whole parenting thing, I thought I would be a different type of mom. I also thought ADD Daddy would be a different type of dad. I thought I would be the silly and crazy one that threw caution to the wind and made silly faces while ADD Daddy was the one who would stop all the horsing around and make sure shit actually got done. Boy was I wrong.

The way it really works in our house is that daddy is the silly one and mommy is the one that makes sure the ship stays afloat. Some days, I get tired of being the mommy. I want to be the crazy one that gets to throw the kids around and let them eat ice cream for dinner. But most days, I relish my role as the authoritarian because it means that I am making sure my kids needs are met. I know that they are healthy, and well fed and emotionally sound, because I make sure that they are.

Now, don't get me wrong, I also play and roughhouse and have fun with my kids, but that is not my primary roll. Where daddy is the instigator of epic tickle fights and general craziness, I am the instigator of Drs appointments and clean teeth. I'm the boss, applesauce. And I'm OK with that. At least most days I am. Some days I would pay a drunk monkey to take the reigns for a bit so I can just be fun and free with my kids.

Why so serious? Because I have to be. Not because my husband refuses to be, but because I need to know that my children are growing up right and that they don't think that life is all puppy dogs and rainbows. Because it's not. Life is hard. And I want them to be as prepared for what life will throw at them as I can make them. People will hurt their feelings. And break their hearts. Bad things will happen to them. There is just no stopping that. I want them to know balance in life. To know that even when the shit hits the fan, that they are strong enough to clean themselves up and start over again. That no matter how much pain there is in the moment, there is still joy to be had in the future.

If both my husband and I were happy, happy, joy, joy all the time, our kids would have a skewed view of reality. If we were both rules and repercussions all the time, they would have the same. Balance in parenting is hard, but it is important. I often have a hard time with that. I beat myself up for not being as "fun" as I this I should be or as "strict". There is often no winning for me when it comes to me. But more and more every day, I realize that it is OK to be a little bit of both. That just because other moms don't lose their shit in public like I often do doesn't mean that they never lose their shit at all. They may just store it all up under their veil of perfect parenting until they explode. Just because I am the serious parent most of the time doesn't mean that that is the only way my kids see me.

So what about you? Are you the silly or the serious parent? Or the perfect blend of both?

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.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

My toddler and my cat might actually be the same person/cat

I am starting to think that The Cool Cucumber and Fatty might actually be the same person/cat.


Why, you ask, would I be confused at whether my toddler son and my obese cat are the same person? Well, the similarities between the two are uncanny (or uncatty, if you will).

They both howl in agony when you take their milk away.
The Cucumber LOVES him some milk, as does Fatty. Duh, she's a cat and he's a baby. But try to get said milk away from them, even if the vessel is empty, and you will find yourself in a shitstorm of titanic proportions. Claws out. Hissing. Fur flying. And that's just the baby. Don't even get me started on how Fatty reacts...

They both have no sense of personal space.
Though they have their own personal method of getting all up in your grill, Fatty prefers to sit on my neck while The Cucumber prefers my lap, both Fatty and The Cucumber will always make sure you are without personal space. Ever. They both like to watch me in the bathroom, both of them are usually under foot when I am making dinner and they both are somehow attached to me from the time I wake up to the time I go to sleep. Fatty doesn't even let me do that alone.

They both love food more than anything in the world.
Dear sweet baby Jesus do these two love food. They would both eat until food came out of their eye holes or they suffocated to death on chocolate pudding. It is both disgusting and fascinating how much this dynamic duo can cram down their gullets. And expensive. And did I mention disgusting?

They both sound like Darth Vader having an asthma attack. 
When The Cucumber and Fatty breathe, it sounds like a plastic bag being sucked into a vacuum cleaner. And not just after they have both finished a rousing game of flashlight tag. They sound like that all. the. time. Try sitting on the couch and trying to enjoy a movie with the mesothelioma twins at your side. Not fun.

They both find the grass greener on the other side. If they stand at the door and beg to go play outside, they will be happy for about two seconds once you let them out there. They will then stand on the other side of the door and beg to be let back inside. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

They both loved to have their bellies rubbed.
Seriously. Both of them. All. Day. Long.

They both sleep more than seems humanly/catly possible.
Of the 24 hours that are in a day, both Fatty and The Cool Cucumber sleep over half of them. They love sleep. Love it. It is like they actually live to sleep. And they are both equally awesome at it. A dump truck could drive through a nitroglycerine plant next door and they would open one eye to investigate, decide it isn't worth getting up for and go back to dreaming about tuna fish and pancakes. Assholes.


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.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Why I am cooler now than before I had kids


I can multitask like a mother
Before I had kids, the mere thought of working out, getting my hair cut and buying an outfit for a party, all in one day, would make me a little anxious. Now? Carry a toddler, my purse, diaper bag, infant seat and unlock the car? Done. Wrangle both children, hand over my insurance card, sign the co-pay receipt and wipe a yucky nose? No problem. Switch the TV to video, open the bag of Goldfish, refill the milk and start Yo Gabba Gabba, all while guarding my glass of chardonnay? I'm on it.

I embrace alternative art
Before I had unprotected sex, my view of art was so narrow-minded. Monet, Beethoven and Poe may all be awesome, but they got nothing on my toddler with a crayon and a tambourine. Though my favorite medium remains macaroni, I have explored the diverse and colorful world glitter has to offer and also embraced the tactile sensations that painting via finger can provide.

I go to a raging party every night
Parties now aren't much different than before we had kids. Sure, it may be in my basement instead of a club and sponsored by Sesame Street and not some trendy vodka, but that shit is off the hook. People throwing things, dancing like they are having a seizure, drinking straight from the bottle, staying up way past bedtime, drinking 'til they pee their pants? Every. Single. Night. Throw in the occasional pile of puke and you know how we roll…straight to nap time. We know how to party hard at our pad.

I've expanded my culinary palate
Long gone are the days of sushi and expensive bottles of wine, but my culinary offerings have grown, none-the-less. Slightly soggy cereal offered via spoon by my toddler? Sure. Mystery nuggets served at my kids' Family Picnic at school? Why not. Macaroni and cheese leftover from my preschooler''s dinner? Don't mind if I do. A Skittle found on a mission to locate a lost toy under the couch? Come on. Of course I am going to taste the rainbow.

I rock the latest trends

Move over Dolce. You too, Gabbana. Dr. Brown and Petunia Pickle Bottom are all up in this hizzy now. Long gone are the days of sporting the latest fashions, but I am most certainly up on the hottest mommy trends. Red 40? I don't think so. Dye- and preservative-free is what all the cool kids are doing this year. And don't even talk to me about BPA. Please. That was so 2010.

I don't sweat the small stuff
Before I procreated, I would worry if my apartment was in disarray before guests came over for a civilized gathering. It takes a lot to make my eye twitch nowadays. My toddler once crawled across our new white carpet with two fistfuls of blackberries during a party. Blink. I then spilled an entire glass of red wine down the stairs, splattering the freshly painted cream walls with a Pollock-esque pattern. Blink blink. I then entered our basement to see that the toddlers had done this to it: (remind me to provide pic) Blink Blink. Twitch.

I think music is awesome

Yo Gabba Gabba may not be the hot new band on the scene, but that shit is catchy. Tell me you can listen to Music Is Awesome without singing, "I like bugs, baby, how 'bout you?" all day? Don't lie. You can't. Because my name is Julie, J-Julie, J-J-J-J-J-J-J-J-J Julie, J-Julie. 

I know the hotspots
A little-know-club hidden in an alley that you need a password to enter? Not quiet. Now, I know when to hit Gymboree for the best sales, where the least disgusting public restrooms are in the mall, which park is populated with the least heathenistic children and where to get the cheapest boxes of wine (Trader Joe's, FYI). I may not know which restaurant is trending at the moment, but I sho 'nuff got coups for Steak 'n Shake. Kids eat free on weekends, yo. Put that scoop in your cup and shake it.


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.
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