When I Hear the Term “Epic Fail,” I Think of the Time…

color

Parenting, like life, is mostly guessing, some common sense, and a lot of mistake making. So, when I hear the term “Epic Fail,” I think of the time:

I thought my toddler was old enough to color without being supervised. And she painted a series of symbols on her arm that may or may not have translated into: “Hey stupid, I’m not old enough to be left alone with markers.”

I decided getting that last burp out of the baby wasn’t really important. Because at two in the morning fifteen minutes of burping, a baby takes about four years less than the Second World War. When the baby regurgitated half the Pacific Ocean all over his crib, I decided burping was less work than remodeling an entire bedroom.

When I made Pinterest-inspired finger paints out of cornstarch and water. And my kids ate them.

I decided to put more water into the tub while my two-month-old was in it. And the Niagara Falls whoosh of the running water gave my child a fear of the bathtub. One that was so bad, all she had to do was look at the tub, and she’d start screaming like there was a nine foot shark in there.

I decided to catch the baby’s spit up before it landed on the couch. And I did. I would have been so proud of myself if it hadn’t been for the fact that I deflected the spit up back into the baby’s face. All I could see was a pair of blinking eyes.

I decided it would be easier to give the cat a bath in the kitchen sink instead of in the tub. Yes, I bathe my cats. When we moved into our house, the deep kitchen sink and faucet spray hose seemed pretty ideal for bathing the cat faster than in the tub. Long story short, I was soaking wet, and my husband had to peel the cat off my back.

I decided nap time was a great time to schedule playgroup. Because who doesn’t like to leave their destination fifteen minutes after they’ve arrived? It’s like throwing a party for yourself then leaving before all the guests show up. If I had I stayed, half the city would’ve witnessed a meltdown so dramatic it could’ve won Academy Awards in twelve different categories.

I decided I didn’t need the diaper bag. Oh, but I did.

I decided to make my toddler’s lunch more fun so she’d eat it. I created a cat face out of her lunch using all the fruits and veggies she liked. She played with it for awhile until it looked less like a cat and more like a Picasso. Then she asked for a snack.

When we built up hype about the animal sanctuary. And the bridge was so high the animals weren’t visible to the naked eye. But we walked down the bridge anyway because we were there. And we pointed out specs that could’ve been animals, but could’ve also been rocks or bushes, and everyone cried because they wanted to go to the zoo and have ice cream.

As far as epic fails go, it could be a lot worse. I’ll admit the bath stuff was a legitimately traumatizing experience for my child—the cat too. But, thanks to my mistakes, I’ve learned. Now I know the symbols my child scribbles on herself, or her sister’s forehead, are likely a message in response to those mistakes. Like: “Hey stupid, next time bring ice cream with you to the most boring animal exhibit ever.”

This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post. Each week, Kristi at Finding Ninee hosts bloggers and writers who want to participate in a prompt and make new writer friends. This week’s sentence is “When I think Epic Fail, I think…” This week’s co-hosts are: Allie at The Latchkey Mom and April at 100lb Countdown.

The Breakfast Bird Feeder

birdfeeder1

Since I can’t seem to get my toddlers to eat anything that isn’t raisins or pickles, I decided to boost my self-confidence as a parent and feed the birds. Because who doesn’t love having bird poop all over their yard?

Thanks to Pinterest—the June Cleaver of crafting—my desire to create fun and exciting crafts is greater than the reality of a house full of unfinished projects. On the rare occasion we mostly finished a Pinterest-inspired craft, the end result is anticlimactic. For example, my children and I recently attempted bird feeders, because it was easy and we have a lot of stale bread around the house. The actual project description said:

The breakfast bird feeder is an easy homemade bird feeder craft that even toddlers can create. It’s a great way to help your child invite birds into your yard!

What you’ll need:

  • Stale bread or toast. We used the ends no one wants because the loaf ends are like eating one giant slab of crust. If you’re a lover of loaf ends, then you can use the chunk of toast that your ten-month-old casually tossed across the kitchen.
  • Cheerios. Any O-shaped cereal works. If you only have square-shaped cereals then have your toddler lick a hole through the center.
  • Thread. Or string, yarn, embroidery floss, fishing line, dental floss, glue, whatever.
  • Pen or Pencil. This is to poke a hole in the bread so it can fall apart and make a huge mess. If you don’t have a pen or a pencil, have your toddler lick a hole through the center of the bread.
  • A Child. Otherwise, this is just weird.
  • A Broom. Because stale bread, Cheerios and toddlers.

Your project will look a little something like this:

birdfeeder2

Then, one of your children may wait for up to 45 minutes for the invited birds to come and eat her bird feeder. And when they don’t, great sadness abounds.

birdfeeder4

In conclusion, the breakfast bird feeder is any easy homemade bird feeder craft that even toddlers can create but won’t because you’ll have to. They’ll be too busy eating the cereal and wrapping the thread around their face. If you take a bowl of Cheerios and throw it up in the air, that’s pretty much this project.

When it’s all done you’ll have a lot to clean up: crust, cereal, bird poop and heartbreak—which includes an explanation to your two-year-old on why birds are jerks. Any Pinterest crafts for that?

10 Reasons I’m Late to Your Thing

file0001447089305

I never used to be late anywhere. I was always at least ten minutes early everywhere. I also didn’t have kids. Which means I had a clean house and pillows that never wandered away from the bed or couch—I used to think pillows were kind of like kids, right?

These days I have to start getting everyone ready at least an hour ahead of time. Even then, we’re still late and it’s usually because:

I have to wait for my two-year-old to put her pants on because: “Mommy, I do it!” First, both legs in one leg hole. Then, one leg in one leg hole and the other leg in a leg hole that was inside out. Then, both legs in the opposite leg hole. One leg in a leg hole and one leg in a shirt hole. Sometimes she’ll wave a leg hole, indicating surrender, And let me help. Other times we leave with her wearing her pants in a way only Lady Gaga can appreciate.

Everyone in my house moves at 0 miles per hour.

  • The child who doesn’t have their jacket on decided this is the moment to put their train set together.
  • The child who doesn’t have a shirt on decided this is the moment to look for a toy we don’t own.
  • The child without their shoes on is sitting on the kitchen stairs with their shoe in their mouth.
  • No one is near the car.

I can never find my car keys. Let’s face it, I haven’t been able to find my brain since the birth of my first child. If my keys are not in the ignition, on the key hook, or taped to my forehead, I’m not going to find them.

I have to go back home for a “second.” On the way, someone realized they forgot their favorite bear and the fabric of the universe was going to tear if we didn’t turn around right now. Of course, once we got home no one remembered where it was. Six hours later, here we are—minus the bear, which somehow got lost in the car on the way. Which means we might be here for another five and a half hours, just so you know.

My kids forgot where the garage is. Except when we don’t have to go anywhere. Then it becomes a magical room full of things that don’t belong to them.

Everyone has to go potty.

  • The first one said they didn’t have to go.
  • The second one did have to go, but they needed privacy. Then they needed the step stool. Finally, they needed more toilet paper because whatever was left on the roll was now on the floor, in the toilet, and wrapped around them.
  • On the way back to the car the first one decided they actually do have to go potty.
  • Once I got everyone in the car, the baby had a blowout.

I have spit up in my hair. I didn’t notice right away but found it when I had to clean out the syrup. You can’t just wipe the smell of sour milk out of anything with a wet wipe, so it took a careful and creative way of using the right amount of shampoo and water to spot clean.

I have to change because I had poop on my shirt. You’re welcome.

Someone got hungry. Because no one ate breakfast. They were too busy playing in the garage and trying to creatively put their legs through the correct pant leg holes.

I forgot you were having a thing. I never remember what day it is anymore. Most days I don’t even remember to brush my teeth until 9:30 p.m. You’re lucky I can remember who you are because on a good day I can’t even keep my kid’s names straight.

So, now that I’m here, and your thing is over, we can call it coffee or a playdate. I know you don’t have kids, but you have a few pillows. Those are kind of like kids, right?

15 Impractical Lunches For Preschoolers

preschoollunch

My kids love pepperoni. If I let them, that’s all they would eat. The problem with pepperoni is I’m not feeding it to them at every meal because I’m accountable for telling their doctor what their diet consists of. Which is the same as explaining to your high school chemistry teacher why you were looking at Stacy Hochinheim’s paper during the final exam.

Because of this, lunches are a challenge. Every week I send my kids to preschool with a variety of fruits and veggies. Sometimes I make patterns with their foods, other times I use a cookie cutter to make shapes. Because who wouldn’t want to eat a star-shaped peanut butter and jelly sandwich or butterfly shaped slices of cheese? My kids.

I know picky eating is a phase and they’ll grow out of it. But until then, what’s the point in trying so hard to create a lunch that’s going to come right back home? Here are 15 lunches I’d love to send to school with my preschooler instead:

  1. Fruit basket
  2. 12 pound lobster
  3. Ostrich burger
  4. Wedge salad
  5. Rack of lamb
  6. Nachos served in a sombrero
  7. Squid
  8. Live squid
  9. An entire watermelon
  10. Sushi
  11. 105 pound hamburger
  12. KFC 21 piece bucket of chicken
  13. Full English Breakfast
  14. Prime rib
  15. The Baco

Sure, I signed a waiver saying I would provide only the healthiest of lunches for my children. But, with the exception of the Baco and the 105 pound hamburger, most of this stuff is a lot healthier than what they eat, anyway. Toss the sombrero on the 12 pound lobster and it could pass for show and tell and lunch. Two birds, parents. Two birds.

Eventually pepperonis will stop being a main course and I’ll have more important things to worry about. Like a parent-teacher conference over why my child was looking at the final exam paper of their generation’s Stacy Hochinheim.

George Clooney’s Smile

A couple months ago I sent out a survey asking readers what topics they wanted to read about most in 2015. My friend Kate over at Shakespeare’s Mom said she wanted to read more about George Clooney’s smile. So, here you go Kate. 12 times George Clooney’s smile made you want to read more about it.

gc15When someone asked him if he makes five figures per picture.

[Read more…]

A Toast to Writing in 2014

toast

Now that 2014 is over, I can look back on the year and reflect on things like:

In addition, I’ve had a pretty successful year in writing. Here are a some of my biggest writing moments of 2014:

And thank you, readers, for being part of it. Thank you for helping make it a great year for writing. Thank you for allowing me into your days to share a little of mine.

I hope you’ll stick around for 2015. Happy New Year!

You can find all my featured writing from 2013 and 2014 here.

10 Best Comments I Heard After Having My Baby

birthinfo

Since my torso isn’t even 22 inches long, we can only assume that this baby was a contortionist for 40 weeks. Unless my uterus has secret pockets that offer extra leg room, this baby was living in accommodations as confining as every row on an airplane that isn’t the emergency exit row. And really, does that row even offer that much more leg room?

I think it’s safe to say that everyone in the delivery room was surprised that I delivered a 9 pound 7 ounce baby. Even the baby was surprised. Here are ten of the best comments I heard after he arrived:

  1. Congrats I heard you just had two babies in one.
  2. Well, there goes the first 10 pounds of your pregnancy weight.
  3. One more week and he would have crawled out.
  4. Even the umbilical cord was huge. Like a vacuum hose.
  5. Ouch!
  6. So, is he going to drive you home?
  7. Bruiser or Tank are both great names.
  8. WHOA!
  9. That’s a biiiiiiiiiig boy!
  10. Aren’t you glad you didn’t have a 13 pound 13 ounce baby?

Of course now that he’s out, he certainly doesn’t feel very heavy. He also doesn’t look very big. Well, to me. Last weekend someone asked me if he was a month old. I told her he was only five days old. So, maybe he does look big. That means my smaller baby days are very numbered. You can bet I’ll be grabbing as many snuggles and cuddles as I can. This one’s going to grow too fast.

Week 39: What I Won’t Miss About Pregnancy

Limited bladder space. You don’t know frequent peeing until your baby’s head is testing the limits of your bladder. It’s only during this time that one truly appreciates the strength of an internal organ. Based on the laws of physics my bladder should be as flat as a pancake by now, and as useful as a whoopee cushion with a hole in it.

Read the rest over at Pregnancy & Newborn’s Knocked Up Blog >>

Exciting Things That Happened To My Toddlers Last Week

appleThis apple. Because it’s “both” colors.

hobbylobby
When we went to Hobby lobby and they had shopping carts that made them both look and feel ginormous.

tent
This van tent.

cat
This toy cat on my chair.

twix
This amazing Twix bar/ruler that Daddy could use to “measure things.”

pancake
When pancake Saturday turned into tryouts for The Strangers.

book
When my four-year-old put her name on this iPad app so her two-year-old sister would know it was hers.

cookies
Cookie decorating with reckless abandon.

snow
When we got snow and it was fun until cabin fever set in 40 seconds after I took this picture.

showtell
Not one. but TWO weeks of show and tell.

Toddler Inspired Fashion

fashion

This winter, spring, summer and fall toddlers everywhere are wearing nothing and everything. Sometimes at the same time. In layers. The distinctive and colorful hand printed techniques that cover their hair and face shout “youth” as they stand front and center while jumping on the dining room table.

Here are a few of this year’s biggest toddler inspired fashion hits: [Read more…]

The Art of Cup Peeing

cup

A pregnant woman spends 10 out of 10 doctor visits washing her hands because of urine samples. Peeing in urine sample cups after 36 weeks should be an Olympic event. The sheer amount of skill, and patience that it takes to get anything inside this cup would have to be the result of years of dedicated training.

The trouble with this is the size of a third-trimester belly and the actual lack of size of this cup. It’s like trying to get a single drop of urine on the head of a pin with a blindfold on. The art of cup peeing dates back to whenever they discovered that:

[Read more…]