If It Wasn’t For Her I’d Be That Chick With That Blog

autumn-leavesMy guest blogger today is an example of just how cool being an online blogger can be.  You meet people that are amazing.  Jen and I are cut from the same cloth.  We get each other, so much so that sometimes it’s kind of creepy (I mean that in the nicest possible way)!

Jen is the mastermind behind both the Twisted Mixtape Tuesday segment on her personal blog My Skewed View , as well as the creator of Raised on the Radio, a new blog dedicated to the days when you couldn’t just find the song you wanted by clicking a few keys on a computer.  She also homeschools her son, who has one of the most infectious smiles I have ever seen!  So you can say she’s a little busy. Yet she took the time to guest for me today and I think that is swell.

I was told I was not allowed to edit this…  Here is her guest post:

I remember the first time I ever read this blog, Sarah’s blog. She was anonymous then, she was The Sadder But Wiser Girl. I remember the first time I addressed her, I addressed her as Sadder But Wiser. I remember thinking then, she must be really wise because look how many awesome bloggers are guest posting for her! That was this time last year. She took a week off and she had an amazing blogger guest posting everyday.

Fast forward 6 months and we had become real friends by then. Sarah was guest posting for me while I was on vacation and I was trying to think of an intro, and of course, asked for her help. She jokingly suggested I mention how I was stalking her. This is what I told her:

I did start stalking you and blah blah blah. I just said to my sister, “You know that blogger Sarah, The Sadder But Wiser Girl (she stared at me blankly) You know the one I thought was so awesome and totally stalked and then found out she liked me too? (still blank stare) Well she’s guest posting for me tomorrow. (more blank stares) That’s when she does a post for me on my blog because with vacation I am being lame and not posting.” Then she perks up “What about that Friday thing you do?” Dude. I am so misunderstood, but maybe now I have my intro!

Sarah has absolutely no idea how wonderful she is,

and when I was having a serious blog identity crisis, she was the one I went to for help. At midnight on May 10th I lamented to her that I felt I had completely lost my blog identity, I guess I just wanted a little sympathy and maybe a little encouragement. I got way more than I had hoped for. She agreed that my identity had been washed out (not what I was looking for) and then offered to “put our heads together” to find a solution (way more than I was hoping for!)

Sarah Almond named my blog.

Sure we had a lot of back and forth. I couldn’t come up with anything original or worthwhile. I was stuck in a Douglas Adams loop and suggested names like “Life the Universe and Everything,” “Slotty Bartfast,” and “Goodbye and Thanks for all the Fish.” She suggested I might run into some copywrite infringement, but my brain was fried.

Then she started thinking…

I mentioned I felt the humor for my blog was lost so she suggested Pictures from my Life, Scenes from my Life, Jen’s Scene’s from Life…. but still, I said, no humor. And then she said it. My blog’s interim name had been The Way I See It, that was OK but it was the name of my photography blog and I couldn’t get past it. And so…. she said…. Instead of The Way I see It, how about My Skewed Point of View.

Didn’t I tell you? She’s a genius.

But wait, there’s more.

Then she said, ” Then maybe you could have one of the silly pictures of your son. Maybe the one with the dynamite?” Oh, you mean like this one?

My Skewed View by Jen Kehl

Yes folks. Sarah Almond the WISER Girl, created my blog’s new identity.

And then I had another dilemma.

You see a few months later I was going to BlogHer, (and by the way, if you haven’t read Sarah’s post I’m Not Going to BlogHer and I Feel Fine, it’s a must read) as I was reading all of the “what you need to bring to BlogHer” posts, I realized I needed to bring something to BlogHer that I didn’t have. I needed to bring a short description of my blog that I could tell people in under a minute. What?! Impossible. I was at a loss, so who did I turn to? I turned to The Wiser Girl and this is what I said: OK, so you already know I’m freaking out. And since you are my blog crush that I get to know in real life because you are actually normal and pretty much just like me. I am coming to you for advice again. ESPECIALLY because you were SO AWESOME and came up with My Skewed View. I will love you forever just for that. So here’s my current struggle. I need a short way to tell everyone about my blog. Somehow I have to say in a succinct way, that I am a parenting a crazy child with issues, music lover critic fiction/memoir writing blog. How do I say that and not sound like a gypsy?

And this is what she said after thinking for maybe 30 seconds:

IN the third person, because Sarah Almond thinks best that way…

Mom, writer, homeschooler, maven of music, self-proclaimed sensory processing expert, photographer, controller of chaos, John Cusack aficionado and all around interesting person who refuses to put herself into any one category ( because that’s boring). Jen Kehl shares what is important to her in the blog My Skewed View.

Well, you’re reading Sarah’s blog, so that means you may have no idea who I am. But if you make it to my blog and click on “About Jen” or you check around the interwebs, you’ll find that my bio for every guest post I’ve ever done is that paragraph. From Scary Mommy to the book of essays in which I’m about to be published, Sarah succinctly summed up my blog on two sentences.

Sarah Almond, the infinitely gifted Wiser Girl is more than any publicist or agent or blog consultant.

Sarah has a gift. Her gift is not only creativity but it is also the ability to be a true friend. Someone who will put aside a migraine and forget about the kids that are driving her nuts to help you with anything you need. She will never say no, maybe in a minute, but never no. And she will never give you only half of herself, she gives you everything.

I have never met Sarah in real life, but I am fairly certain we would have been best friends had we grown-up together. (she would have gotten the short-end of that stick) And you know what I know for certain? I know Sarah is a real friend.

Now you know how cool she is, check out her blogs… The button for her personal blog is above, here is the link to her brand spanking new blog!

Raised on the Radio

Why You Should NEVER Scrimp on Salon Services

autumn-leavesToday is guest blogger number two in my week-long parade of awesomeness.  Dani from Cloudy, With A Chance of Wine is another one of my favorite ladies!  She was another blogger that I have followed for almost as long as I have been blogging.  What do I love about her?  She has such a fabulous sense of humor about herself, and can turn anything into a great story!  And I like a good glass of wine too!

Why you should never scrimp on salon servicesAs the 3 of us were wandering around our neighborhood a couple of weeks ago, I noticed a new salon had opened up nearby, and I almost died when I saw a sign in their window that said: OPEN UNTIL MIDNIGHT!

Intrigued, I ran ahead to find out what it was all about, and 5 minutes later I walked out with an appointment to get my eyebrows threaded at 9:00 pm that night at half the price I usually pay.

I felt like I’d won the lottery.

At 8:50 pm, after my daughter was tucked in and my husband was zoned out in front of the TV, I put on my best pair of jeans and headed to the salon with the biggest smile on my face.

When I arrived, I was immediately ushered into a back room, where I was asked to lie on a bed that had a plastic sheet over it and a (very) used tea towel on the end where my head was supposed to be. Thoughts of lice and Brazilian waxes ran through my mind, but since I’m a people-pleaser, I was physically unable to ask the sweet lady that was going to thread my eyebrows me to change the plastic sheet or the towel.

To try and distract myself, I brought up the idea of eyebrow tinting. I had this done YEARS ago, and since I only get my eyebrows professionally shaped once a year these days, I felt like treating myself.

Within seconds of suggesting this, I was lying on the skanky bed with another (very) used towel over my face and eyebrow dye slathered all over my forehead. Admittedly, I was feeling a little nervous, but the sweet lady told me I had nothing to be scared about because she was “going to make me look beautiful.” So I kept my mouth shut and continued lying there as she removed the dye from my eyebrows, and I didn’t even flinch when a little dye-infused water dripped into my eye and another (very) used towel was pressed into my eye to ensure I didn’t go blind.

But once the dye had been removed and my eyebrows were ready to be threaded, I couldn’t take it anymore. I had to see what they looked like. So I got off the bed and walked over to the closest mirror to take a look.

And I almost screamed.

My eyebrows, and all of the skin beneath them, were ALMOST BLACK.


But the sweet lady assured me that once she’d removed the excess dye from my skin and shaped my eyebrows, I would be thrilled with the results.

And beautiful.

So I got back on the skanky bed and started to recite Sandra Boynton’s Barnyard Dance over and over in my head while she SCRUBBED my eyebrows with rubbing alcohol.

Once she was satisfied my eyes were burning badly enough from the fumes, she started threading.

And then she continued threading.

And then she threaded some more after that.

And just as I was about to ask if I had any eyebrows left, she started tweezing those “hard to get hairs.”

When she was finally done, I shakily got off the bed and walked over to the mirror, and when I saw my reflection, it took every ounce of my willpower not to cry. My eyebrows were still virtually black, all of the surrounding skin was red and raw from all of the scrubbing and threading, and I noticed a bit of blood below my left eyebrow from those damn tweezers.

And this, my friends, is why you should never scrimp on salon services.

Then again, I overpaid for my first (and only) Brazilian wax, and that didn’t get me very far either.

Have you ever had a nightmare experience at the salon?

Love this?  Visit her blog!
Dani Ryan is a SAHM who likes to make people laugh by sharing funny stories about her functionally dysfunctional life, both before and after she became a parent. It keeps her from opening the wine at 9 am. Sometimes. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

The Squirrel Whisperer

autumn-leavesAll right!  Let’s get this guest blogging party started!  We start our week of fun with Marcia from Menopausal Mother!  Marcia is one of my best blogging friends-she previously led off the last week of guest bloggers with her post Cleavage and Kilts!  Without further ado-I give you her post:

photo-1It started with a bag of peanuts. I was relaxing in my garden with a good book and a handful of nuts when I heard an impatient clacking noise above me. It sounded like an angry woman with loose dentures arguing with someone in a Walmart line. Assuming I wasn’t going to find a Polygrip wielding woman perched on a tree limb above me, I scanned the branches until I found the source of agitation. A gray squirrel was barking her displeasure at my peanut popping habit, so I tossed a few nuts in her direction. She timidly approached me, then scooped up a peanut and tore through it faster than a Chipper Shredder.

And I was smitten.


Photo credit: Jon Whiting

The squirrel became a regular visitor to our yard and was easy to identify because of a little notch in her left ear. Her arrival peaked my interest in squirrels and motivated me to entice more of her rodent friends to my home. I stocked my yard with enough feeders to rival a petting zoo. It wasn’t long before my husband noticed the exorbitant amount of money I was spending on mega-sized bags of peanuts and bird seed. The peanuts I could pass off as something I needed for cooking purposes, but I had a hard time convincing him that bird seed muffins were a necessary source of grain in our diet.

Within a few months I had colonies of squirrels camping out in my yard, making me single handedly responsible for the increased squirrel population in our town. I became their main food source, and over time they trusted me enough to eat right out of my hand. This is what earned me the title of “Squirrel Whisperer” by my friends, much to the dismay of my kids.

Ever since that first squirrel encounter, I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time studying the fuzzy little rodents (yes, I know I need to get a life but this is what happens when you hit middle age). I consider my “research” a hobby, but my husband has another name for it: OBSESSION. He begged me to join a five step program and tried to teach me the squirrel serenity prayer, but I was immune to his pleas.

photoI’ve never thought of my love for the furry critters as an obsession but there must be some truth to it since my home is decorated in Early Americana Squirrel. Yes, I have it all: squirrel rugs, blankets, pillows, paintings, clocks, light switches, lamps, wine glasses and dozens of figurines. They litter my yard as well —resin squirrels that have multiplied in my garden faster than their plastic bunny counterparts.

I’m fascinated by the aerial acrobatics and nut-gathering work ethic of the squirrels. In many ways, we share similarities with these rodents: sibling rivalry, the gathering and hoarding of food (so typical of some teenagers I know) and their frenzied activity (think of a houseful of preschoolers cracked out on Kool-Aide and Halloween candy). The agitated “barking” that occurs when one squirrel warns another that a threat is nearby reminds me of the sudden bonding between children when one feels threatened and the others step in to support and protect.


Photo Credit: Jon Whiting

Not everyone on my block is thrilled with my furry friends. One complained that squirrels damaged his phone lines while another expressed his frustration over the abundance of peanut shells clogging his pool filter. And it appears that more sunflower and peanut plants are popping up in everyone’s yards these days.

The squirrels entertain me while reminding me of some simple truths. Life need not be so difficult—-stick to the basics of gathering and storing of food for the young, take time to play in the garden and steer clear of the animals in this world that are harmful.

I no longer need to buy mulch for my garden due to the excessive amount of peanut shells dropped by my little “pets.” However, we have so many squirrels to feed now that we’ve taken out a second mortgage on our home to buy their food and the peanut farmers in Georgia send us a thank you note every year.

I think it might be time to hire a contractor to build a squirrel condo in our backyard…..are we nuts???

marciapropicMarcia Kester Doyle is the author of the humorous blog Menopausal Mother, where she muses on the good, the bad and the ugly side of menopausal mayhem. Give her some wine and a jar of Nutella and she’ll be your best friend.  Her work has appeared on Scary Mommy, In The Powder Room, The Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Mamapedia, Bloggy Moms, Messy Moms Radio, The Woven Tale Press, the Life Well Blogged series and was voted top 25 in the Circle of Moms Contest 2013. You can find her at: http://www.menopausalmom.com. http://www.facebook.com/MenopausalMother, and http://www.twitter.com/MenoMother

Celebrating #14: The Clean Anniversary

ivory-soapThe 14th anniversary is the Ivory anniversary.  Cool.  This means we get a bar of soap?  The clean anniversary!  Or perhaps that means that we have to travel to Africa in search of an elephant’s tusk?  Or give the gift of pianos.

In case you haven’t figured it out, my husband and I have been married 14 years today.  Yeah that anniversary thing.  We had one of those last year too.

avengers lamps


Our geekdom unites us.  Or perhaps it’s our weirdness.

Recently Evil Genius turned towards me and I saw something on his back.  It was just a sticker, but I got the giggles.
“HA HA.  When did you get a tattoo?”
EG:  “Friday night.”
EG:  “I really should do that sometime.”
Me:  “No.”
EG:  “Well then, I guess I’ll have to because nobody tells me what to do.”
Me:  “Ok fine, then no tattoos on your face.  Like a moustache tattoo.”
EG:  “Yeah… that would be bad.  I’d have to grow a moustache the rest of my life to hide my tattoo of a moustache.”
I barely heard him, because the mental image of someone with a handlebar moustache tattooed on their face was too much for my little brain to handle.  I almost hurt myself laughing.

Yep, some people are just meant to find each other.

I’m not saying it’s all fun all the time.  There are days when he is tired and grumpy and I am oversensitive about it.  I’m sure that he gets sick of my lack of housekeeping skills on a regular basis.  He understands my writing obsession about as much as I understand his gaming.

So it's not quite what he was hoping. He was hoping for the whole Iron Man experience...

Hey look, he’s Iron Man!

But somehow we just make it work.  We got some pretty darn cute kids out of the deal too.

We’re not big on the mushy stuff, though I do tell him every night I love him.  We’re not extravagant people either.  This year I’d be happy with dinner, a couple of drinks, and some sort of acknowledgement that he feels I’m worth keeping around all this time.

In honor of our special day, and Evil Genius’s twentieth class reunion, we’ll be taking some time off and leaving town this weekend.  We’ll have some time to be adults even.  Whaaaaat?  Yes this one we’re actually going to attend.  No sitting home and watching Ghost Rider 2 in my pajamas this year!  Because we are such awesome people, we’ll be killing the proverbial two birds with one stone.  Two celebrations at the same time.  Word.

This means me actually having to take some time away from the computer.  So starting tomorrow, instead of my randomness, you will be treated to a parade of insanely talented bloggers for a WHOLE WEEK!  Every weekday from Thursday through the following Friday a different person that I think is the bee’s knees will have a little something to share.  I picked each and every one of these bloggers because they are special to me in some way.

Grab some energy drinks!

Grab some energy drinks!

So get your beverage of choice and settle in to read some fabulousness the next few days!  Thursday leads off with Marcia from Menopausal Mother blogging about SQUIRRELS!

So now if you’ll excuse me, I have an anniversary to think about…

Twisted Mixtape Tuesday: Dude You Must Chill!

Jen Kehl

This week’s Twisted Mixtape Tuesday is slow jams.  Music to chill to.  Groovy…

As an anxiety sufferer I am the exact opposite of a calm person.  I need to relax, I need to chill!  I need to find soothing things to slow my brain down.  Am I stressed out?  Take this post for instance-I have spent hours trying to figure out where “Dude YOU MUST CHILL!”  came from.  It’s NOT the quote from Say Anything.  I haven’t seen that movie enough to have that quote permanently etched in my brain.  It’s most likely from some obscure portion of some obscure movie that I’ve seen a zillion times.  But I’m going insane trying to figure it out.  The.Brain.Will.Not.Stop

I try to relax.  Music usually helps. After the other humans that live in this house have gone to bed, I stay up pretty late, reading and writing online.  Often when I’m writing late into the night I listen to Ambient music.  No one wants to hear that stuff, right?

Other times when I have to mellow out and chill, there are a few choices on my playlist:

It just wouldn’t be a list by me without some S and G.

The Sounds of Silence Simon and Garfunkel

A lot of times when I’m feeling stressed I’ll pop in The Division Bell by Pink Floyd.  I was introduced to Pink Floyd in college, a time in my life when I seriously needed to mellow out.  This particular CD is one of two favorites, the other being Dark Side of the Moon.  Most people are familiar with the dark side, but not so much with the bell.  I couldn’t find a lot off of this CD online, this is one song I could find.  Trust me, the whole thing is good…

Take It Back-Pink Floyd

And now for something similar yet completely different.  HA HA!  I love Enigma 2: The Cross of Changes.

Return to Innocence-Enigma

Sarah McLachlan is another musician I reach for when I need to slow down. My favorite song by her has become the signature song to depress people all over the world with images of abused animals.  So instead I share a not so slow but still mellow song.

World on Fire-Sarah McLachlan

And believe it or not, there are even some Pumpkins songs that I chill out to…

In The Arms of Sleep-Smashing Pumpkins

What do you listen to when you need to chill out?  Check out the tunes that do the trick for other bloggers by clicking on the cassette tapes at the top.  That will take you to Jen Kehl and Kristi Campbell’s awesome link up!  Link up your own if you want.  The more, the merrier.

The Dude Abides...

The Dude Abides…

Extreme Parenting: What The Books Never Prepared Us For

It started as kind of a joke.  Some blogging friends and I were talking about those things that the parenting books, such as What To Expect When You’re Expecting, didn’t prepare us for. Then a very smart person said “Hey, why don’t we write a group post?”

And we made it so.  The result, as my friend Stephanie described it, “epic”.  The following is a compilation of thoughts about those very things that we weren’t expecting.  Since there are eight contributions, it is a bit long, but totally worth the read!

Mommy For RealStephanie Sprenger- Mommy, for Real

A friend of mine told me last week about an unsavory incident she experienced during a game of peekaboo with her toddler. While my friend obediently covered her eyes, her two year old daughter put her tongue in Mommy’s mouth. Ew. See, these are the things we have come to expect as parents. There is no dignity; our basic human rights are violated on a daily basis. If you were to observe these events outside the context of parenting, there may be cause for alarm; perhaps it might even be appropriate to panic and alert the authorities. Can you imagine, in a bizarre Quantum Leap sort of scenario, finding yourself in one of the following disturbing scenes?

  • You wake up in the morning, startled, because someone has put a knee to your throat.
  • While you are laying on the floor stretching, somebody suddenly sits on your face.
  • You discover that another person’s urine has somehow dripped onto your foot. Now it’s inexplicably on your elbow.
  • While working in the garden, you suddenly realize that a small person is licking your leg.
  • After failing to respond appropriately to the proclamation that “A bear is coming!” (note: the correct response is to gasp, “Oh no!” and hide under your bedsheets) you receive a skull to the pubic bone, knee to the boob, and foot in the face.
  • While preparing oatmeal for the family breakfast, you notice that someone is dry-humping your leg. (To clarify, it’s not your husband.)
  • While reading a bedtime story, you are suddenly, without warning, subjected to an overly aggressive Eskimo kiss against your will.

·Should you find yourself in one of these situations, stay calm. There is no need to dial 911. You’re just a parent.

jeanJean – MamaSchmama

I wasn’t prepared for all the little things when I had children.  Living with a kid means living with toys and anything more complex than a rattle comes with little annoying pieces.  After bringing the toys into the house, eventually (and in my house that really means immediately) the pieces scatter.  These toy crumbs appear everywhere and stick around like dried snot on a kid’s face.

Lately, our ever-present toy crumb has been the tail with the stick.  Tail with the stick (TWTS) is blue and it belongs to a fish.  TWTS travels around our house mysteriously and lands in the most unlikely places.  TWTS was in my bed.  As I got comfortable one night, my foot touched something under the sheets. “OH SHIT!” I yelled, thinking I kicked a mouse or a bug.  No, it was TWTS.  I saw it in the silverware drawer. TWTS occasionally enhances my car’s Garbage Chic by hanging out on the floor.  I feel like I’ve thrown TWTS away ten times already.

Soon I will make it a point to get rid of TWTS and push it to the bottom of the trash where it will not be found.  Inevitably, that’s when someone will ask where the toy crumb went.  “MOM!  I need TWTS so I can get the squirt gun to work.”

It is only certain that a toy crumb has disappeared forever when it is requested and when we finally know its purpose.

My Skewed View by Jen Kehl

Jen Kehl – My Skewed View

All I ever wanted when I grew up was to be a mom. Don’t get me wrong I am not the soccer mom/room mother/girl scout leader type of mom. I wanted to be the mom from That 70’s Show (well my life was that 70’s show and I wanted to be my best friend’s mom), you know where everyone hung out, got fed and I was joyfully oblivious. What I didn’t realize was there was gonna be a life between 0-16. And although I’m pretty sure that my son will be the guy whose house you want to hang at; I never thought of the type of personality it would take to be the guy everyone wants to be around. Yeah, no one ever warned me about the things the cool kid might do, like this:

  • Almost burn the house down by making a torch; shoving paper towels in an empty paper towel roll (lighting it on the stove while I had my back turned) so he could see in the dark dungeon.
  • Spontaneously mimic the sound of a fire engine siren perfectly. When all is calm and quiet. And your back is turned. Same sound and same volume. Causing temporary deafness.
  • Shatter a glass door to pieces with a sledgehammer because it was fun.
  • Force his mother to make videos of him singing/making how to videos/performing in shows. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
  • Make a rope swing from the second floor balcony and swing around the kitchen when unsupervised for 5 MINUTES.
  • Lock a babysitter out of the house.
  • Tie a babysitter up with caution tape and sit on her until I get home.
  • Try to french kiss his mother
  • And I would stake my life on this one: Pretend to smoke and use an old Zippo lighter to light that fake cigarette or pipe whenever someone his parents want to impress comes to the house. And then offer him one too.

Motherhood is not at all what I thought it would be, and frankly I was completely unprepared to raise a boy. But now that I’ve settled in, I’ve gotta say that it’s pretty awesome and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

katiaKatia – IAMTHEMILK

Ouchies and stickers. Two things I was not prepared for as a parent.

I mean boys and ouchies go together hand and hand, we all know that, right? I just wasn’t expecting so many of the ouchies to be mine. One Year Old expresses love through biting. 4 Year Old expresses frustration with kicks. Both throw things to express a variety of emotions. Guess who’s always there within a bite’s reach?

I’ve decided to write this post when my right eye was on some sort of a karmic repentance journey absorbing extremely ouchy gestures of love and fury less than a week apart. When I called the eye clinic to explain what had happened, the receptionist on the other side of the line tried to sound understanding, but I was making it very difficult for her: Your one-year-old GRABBED your eye?! Yes. Exactly. And then my four-year-old accidentally kicked it. Oh.

Ouchies and stickers go together (visit any pediatrician’s office to find out) but not if you’re mama. My stickers show up unexpectedly and they’re everywhere. Last week I was leaving home to attend this year’s first parent BBQ at 4 Year Old’s new school. I made an effort. I was wearing makeup, a dress shirt and a blazer. On my left hand there were two stickers: a blue car and another car saying “feel better”. I’ve noticed them. 3 hours later I’ve noticed them again. It was right before bedtime. Oh well.


Sarah Rudell Beach – Left Brain Buddha

I am one of those lucky women who didn’t really have morning sickness. A few brief weeks of queasiness in the first trimester, and then I was fine. I thought I had escaped the nauseating moments of motherhood. Sure, I had babysat as a teenager, and I even worked in a daycare center for several years, so I knew about diapers, and spit up, and boogers. But I also knew about hand sanitizer. Armed with Lysol and Purell, I was ready to take on the gross inconveniences that would necessarily accompany the sweetness of my baby.

However, I never expected these nauseating, revolting, and downright repulsive experiences:

I never expected diaper explosions that seemed to contain more cubic volume of poop than could actually fit inside my child.

I never expected the extreme revulsion I would experience each time I used the “booger sucker” to remove more cubic volume of mucus than I thought could actually fit inside an infant’s head. I would have rather picked poop out of my baby’s hair with my bare hands than remove snot. Thinking of it even now turns my stomach. Speaking of w

I never expected that a two-year-old could vomit with such force that chunks of regurgitated pineapple would land on me, in the driver’s seat, while my daughter puked in her carseat behind me.

I never expected to be in a doctor’s bathroom, my daughter perched on the toilet, my hands holding a urine sample cup underneath her, my bare arm ACTUALLY TOUCHING the center part of a public toilet, while my hand and fingers got splashed with my daughter’s pee.

Sometimes, there’s just not enough hand sanitizer in the world. I never expected that.

Kristi Campbell Finding Ninee

Prior to becoming a mother, I thought I knew love, and realized that I had no idea what it truly was until I held my son for the first time. I wasn’t expecting how my heart would grow when I first heard him laugh, or found myself standing over him while he slept. I wasn’t expecting the intensity of my emotions.

Turns out, there are other things about parenting that were unexpected as well. Following are a few snippets from conversations recently had in my house.  Ones that none of the parenting books prepared me for:

“I’m not giving you a shoulder ride until you put your pants back on. I don’t want your penis on my neck.”

Me, after a tickling session went wrong and ended with my son accidentally headbutting the bridge of my nose: “I think it’s broken. I saw stars and heard a crunch.” Hub’s reply “Nah, I think if it were broken, it’d be bleeding.”

“Breasts are not for ‘beeping’ or ‘boinging,’ okay?”

Mommy’s shirt is not a Kleenex

“Ouch! You can jump on the bed. You cannot jump on my stomach.”

“Is that poop on your finger?”

“No, I’d rather not eat your booger. Thanks, though.”

So, yeah. While osmosis and parenting books prepared me for the fact that I’d get peed on, pooped on, and catch vomit in my hands, not a single one warned me that my kid would accidentally break my nose, offer me his booger as a snack or want a shoulder ride while not wearing pants.
rachelRachel Demas – The Tao of Poop

Confession: My baby was not the happiest baby on the block — despite reading Harvey Karp’s book, The Happiest Baby on The Block. With a name like that, who wouldn’t want to believe the hype? And, let me tell you, with a newborn crying for hours at a time, I was desperate for a prophet, even of the false kind. Enter Dr. Karp on his white horse (mixed metaphors appropriate for a new mom deliriously trying to stop her baby’s cries). His timing was impeccable. I opened that cardboard box from Amazon like I was unearthing the Holy Grail.

I embraced his 5S tenets like they were truths. I shushed, swaddled and swung Claire on her side, while she refused to suck a pacifier. The result: Lots of shushing and swinging coupled with endless hours of inconsolable crying. To add insult to injury: I personally vacillated between two different equally miserable states of mind:

1) Anger at the know-it-all Dr. Karp for preying on my desperation and duping me into spending $9.00 on his lousy book, which actually has the audacity to call itself “fool-proof.”

2) Anger at myself for being the only fool mother who was either a) duped by Dr. Karp, b) couldn’t figure out how to successfully implement these elementary techniques or c) the only idiot on the planet without the happiest baby on the block.

I realize that so many parents swear by this book (Jean). Personally, my time spent with Dr. Karp was similar to some of the dates that I had with bad boys in my twenties – full of promise with not a lot of follow-through.

Looking back, Dr. Karp wasn’t to blame for my reaction to his book. My expectations were. If I were writing a “What to Expect” book, it would have a super long title. One like: “Don’t have expectations about what your baby is going to need. Babies are generally alike, but they are also individuals, like us. Some of us like strawberries and squash, just like some babies  like swaddling and shushing. Moms want to be prepared. We want to have answers and solutions, but sometimes there aren’t any. As cute as babies are, they often refuse to be tied up neatly with a bow (or to be swaddled).”

That would be the title and it would include two pieces of essential advice. 1) Trust your mom instincts and 2) Eventually, babies stop crying anyway.

There you go. Now, where’s my nine dollars? Oh, wait; I don’t have the title “Doctor” before my name. My mistake.

GoofAnd of course my contribution…

Nowhere in any of those books I read was a chapter entitled “It’s All Fun and Games Until Someone Loses Their Glasses”.

When my daughter was a toddler, she snatched them off my face, threw them on the floor, and broke them.  Two pairs.  Might I add two pairs broken in similar fashion in two different grocery stores.   My son?  On several occasions in grocery stores he smacked my glasses off my face accidentally.  I don’t think I owned a pair of glasses that were intact until my daughter had reached the ripe old age of two and a half.

Nowhere was there anything preparing for the physicality of motherhood.

Of the whole glasses thing.

Or the whole fact that I was unable to walk or turn my head after having my second child.

Or that lying on the floor was in fact a hazard when my daughter used me as a hurdle and kicked me in the head half a hundred dozen times.  You’d really think I’d learn after the whole hundred times.

Or the whole licking thing, which is something else entirely, because my older child has licked every surface in the state of Iowa.

Those books?  I read them until my husband forbade me from reading them, because I took every little thing that happened seriously.  I must admit I was prepared for breastfeeding and illnesses and stuff like that.  But the glasses and the licking stuff?  Not.So.Much.

I hope you enjoyed our little (ok BIG) group post!  If you aren’t a fan of these other ladies, please click on their links and go show their blogs a ‘lil love!  sweet baboo

Weekly Wrap-Up: The I Can Barely Contain My Excitement Edition

omgIf you’re reading this you probably missed something this week?  Or my search engine terms are just that entertaining to you?  Did I mention I’m behind?  I’ve actually made some strides to catch up but not nearly as much as I need to.  But… I have news here at the other end of this post, so let’s get through this, k?  Here is what you might or might not have missed this week.

Tuesday  Twisted Mixtape Tuesday:  Acoustic, Schmamoustic  It was an anything goes week and I chose acoustic versions of songs I liked.  I got lots of great compliments on this one.  If you haven’t given it a listen, you might find some new favorites!

Thursday  Expectation Versus Reality:  A Morning in the ADD Household  Pretty self explanatory.

Friday  September 2013 Fly on the Wall:  The Frozen Thumb Edition  So it was Fly on the Wall and I wasn’t even around to read all of the awesomeness.  I’m getting caught up now.  If you’re also playing catch up, please go read some of the other fly posts by following the links at the bottom of mine!

What I Loved This Week

Big Bang Birthday: Pars Unum and Big Bang Theory: Pars Duo Starr Bryson The Insomniacs Dream  How about the coolest birthday party EVER?

A Survivalist Guide to Loving a Writer-Starr Bryson (The Insomniac’s Dream guest posting on Menopausal Mother)  Starr continues her awesomeness for a third consecutive day in a row by posting something that made me laugh and cry in the same place!  This post is something that anyone who blogs can relate to in some way!

(Starr didn’t pay me to like three of her posts this week.  She’s just that awesome!)

It Could Have Been Worse, I Could Have Been Wearing A Thong-Vikki Claflin Laugh Lines  This is one that I apparently missed the first time around.  Vikki is the mistress of poking fun at herself and making it hilarious!

Best and Most Disturbing Search Terms

naked life  Not here!

how to dive with no money  Probably the same way you dive when you do have money.

mummy pee  As in Halloween mummies or as in English mummies?

suspicious observers  There’s always one that I wonder how the heck this led people to my blog…

Next Week

Next week is going to rock!

Monday  I am partaking in a “group post” about the things they don’t tell you about in those parenting books.  What????? What’s a “group post”?  Guess you’ll have to wait and see!

Tuesday  Twisted Mixtape Tuesday “slow jams”.

Wednesday  It’s my 14th wedding anniversary.  Be scared, be very scared.

Thursday through the next Friday-This is where it gets really exciting.  Remember my week of guest bloggers this past spring?  I’m taking a few days off for my anniversary and my husband’s twentieth high school reunion and have rounded up some of the best people on the internet to share their talent!  I have been dying to share this news and am so excited I’m about peeing my pants over here!  The schedule of lovely ladies is as follows:

Thursday-Marcia from Menopausal Mother

Friday -Dani from Cloudy, With a Chance of Wine

Monday-Jen from My Skewed View

Tuesday-Karen from Baking in a Tornado

Wednesday-Terrye from The Adventures of a Misplaced Alaskan

Thursday-Melissa from Motherhood is an Art

Friday-Amy from Funny is Family

I hope you’ll join me next week to read some of the great guest posts (and other things too!).  There will be no weekly wrap-up next week since I’m going to be gone doing all the celebrating.  Enjoy what’s left of your weekend-I’ve got a lot of blog reading yet to do!


It’s so exciting!

September 2013 Fly on the Wall: The Frozen Thumb Edition

flyWelcome to this month’s Fly on the Wall group post.  Today 14 bloggers are letting you in to their homes to see what a fly might see…  After you’re done reading my post, check out some of the links below to see what goes on in their houses!


As you can see, he’s conflicted about his big brother status.

Mommy guess what’s on the radio in my room?  It’s Tar-ZAN!”
Me:  “TAR-zan?”
Princess:  “YES!  Tar-ZAN!”


Now that the dog and cat have accepted each other, they play together.  Unfortunately Neo is about 17 times bigger than Tiberius, and although he’s pretty careful he gets carried away.  The words uttered most in our house:  “DO NOT EAT THE CAT!!!!!!!”


The Professor decided to try his luck after not winning any prizes during library club.
“Hey Mom, can I have a prize out of the prize box because I’m your kid?”


Even though I’m getting a paycheck now, the way things line up it’s still easier for me to get our groceries for two weeks instead of one. We’ve had some potlucks and other various events happen lately where we’ve been challenged to make something out of whatever ingredients we have in the house when it gets close to but it’s not quite payday.  For example, two days before grocery day Evil Genius texted me and asked me what we had ingredients for, since he had been invited to a potluck in another department.

I started to text back “Nothing” when it dawned on me that we had the ingredients for No-Bake cookies.  As it turned out though, we didn’t quite have the right ingredients, and he was forced to make some substitutions.  By all rights it should have been awful, but as most Evil Genius concoctions go, they turned out just fine.

So to be sure, as I prepared to go to the store this week I remembered to ask Evil Genius this all important question: “Are there any emergency potlucks I need to prepare for this shopping trip?”


The Princess wanted to help cook the chicken tenders for supper.  I asked her to count me out nine from the bag and arrange them on the sheet for the toaster oven.  I ran up to use the bathroom.  When I came back, she had stacked them into a pyramid shape.
“That’s nice,”  I said “But you need to put them on there so they’re not touching.”
“OK.” She responded, and as she complied she said “They look like thumbs.”


My hair is an enigma.  It’s not as cool as it sounds.


Me to The Princess:  “You need to wear a light jacket to school today.”
The Princess (looking very puzzled):  “Why do I have to wear a life jacket?”


I went in to wake The Princess up the other morning.
“Mommy please get me some socks.”  she said sadly.
Me:  “Why are you acting so sad?”
The Princess:  “My teacher said no fancy shoes on PE days.”
Yup, it’s rough being a kindergartener…

The black shoes from Target.  Sigh... I bought them on sale so she could have something to wear with dresses, but she doesn't EVER want to take them off!

The black shoes from Target. Sigh… I bought them on sale so she could have something to wear with dresses, but she doesn’t EVER want to take them off!

The Princess:  “I need you to send Grandma an email.”
Me:  “Why?”
The Princess:  “Remember you told me that Grandma used to make you things for your dolls when you were a little girl like me?”
Me:  “Yes.”
The Princess:  “Well, I need a salon.”


Evil Genius was watching football.  I just happened to glance up and I SWEAR that one of the teams was called Unicorns.  If only, wouldn’t that be the most awesome team ever?  They could have big pointy horns on their helmets.  Sadly, it was only UConn…


Since I have two children, we have fights in our household.  Oh my do we have fights!  A couple of examples:

The Princess is singing the song “BINGO”.  The Professor almost can’t take it.  We’re playing BINGO at the library this week and he feels that she should know the truth about it.
The Professor:  “That’s not the right BINGO. BINGO is actually a game played with numbers and…”
The Princess: “Mommy!  Make him stop!  Make him stop telling me about the BINGO! I just want to SING!”

The Princess came running out of her brother’s bedroom, crying.
Me:  “What’s wrong?  Are you hurt?”
The Princess:  “Noooooooooo!  The Professor called me a Hawkeye fan!”
(For those of you not from or living in Iowa, the Hawkeyes and our team, the Cyclones, are rivals.  In our house that’s a major insult!)

Na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na BATBRELLA!!!!!!

Na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na BATBRELLA!!!!!!

Here are the other flies buzzing around these parts today.  Go see what it’s like to be in their houses!

http://BakingInATornado.com                                     Baking In A Tornado

http://www.justalittlenutty.com/                                Just a Little Nutty

http://followmehome.shellybean.com                          Follow me home . . .

http://stacysewsandschools.wordpress.com/               Stacy Sews and Schools

http://thesadderbutwisergirl.com                              The Sadder But Wiser Girl

http://menopausalmother.blogspot.com/                   Menopausal Mother

http://mooreorganizedmayhem.blogspot.com/            Moore Organized Mayhem

http://hypnoticbard.blogspot.com/                            The Insomniac’s Dream 

http://themomisodes.com/                                      The Momisodes

http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com/                      Spatulas on Parade

http://singlemumplusone.blogspot.com                     Searching for Sanity

http://www.therowdybaker.com                                 The Rowdy Baker

http://www.bethteliho.wordpress.com/                        Writer B is Me

http://sorrykidblog.com/                Sorry kid, Your Mom Doesn’t Play Well With Others

Expectation Versus Reality: A Morning in the ADD Household


Not me.

So you’d think everything would just fall into place.  Both kids are in school, I’m working part-time so I send them off, have plenty of time to exercise, plan meals, clean the house, AND work.  Right?

Riiiiiiiight.  If you believe that, I have a bridge in New York that I can sell you really cheap.

A Typical Morning:  The Expectation

The alarm goes off at 6 am.  I get up to do yoga with the sun in my shimmery, flattering yoga outfit.  At 7 am, I gently my rouse my children out of bed with snuggles and kisses.  They dress themselves in their out of this world adorable outfits that totally match.  We have a lovely breakfast of homemade sprouted 7 grain waffles with organic maple syrup and freshly squeezed orange juice.  Afterwards, I carefully make them lunches that are not only healthy but visually appealing.  I take photos with Instagram and upload them to Pinterest.

I brush my daughter’s hair 1,000 strokes and make it look like perfection with the addition of a homemade hair clip that matches her outfit exactly.  Both children put their shoes on and are ready to bound out the door, eagerly anticipating the glorious day ahead…

We walk from the house, hand in hand, smiling all the way to the bus stop.  I drop them off and they skip hand in hand into the school building.

I now can enjoy my alone time to go to the gym for a long workout session and take a nice walk before donning my wrinkle free work attire and heading in for a day of librarianism.

Okay wait a minute.  Who are THESE people?  And why are they on a beach?  Uh-oh, it looks like fantasy has got in the way of reality again!

Okay wait a minute. Who are THESE people? They’re not going to a bus stop. And why are they on a beach? Uh-oh, it looks like fantasy has got in the way of reality again!

A Typical Morning:  Reality

I forget to set the alarm and stagger out of bed at 7:05 am. The Princess has been up for an hour, waiting for me to get my lazy butt up. (Insomnia the night before?  Say it ain’t so!). I rouse my son out of bed with pleas to shower as quickly as possible because I also have to take one before work.

The Professor dresses himself in a t-shirt that is three sizes two big and athletic shorts with black socks pulled up to the knees.  The Princess is dressed in a bright yellow and white flowered top and red plaid leggings with rainbow striped socks pulled up over the plaid leggings.

My son fights with me again about his cereal-he must have plain Fareway brand Tasteeos without milk and orange juice.  My daughter takes ten minutes to make up her mind about what she wants and then changes her mind after I’ve got it onto the plate.  Meanwhile she has already upset her brother ten times because she won’t quit touching him or quit “almost” touching him with her feet under the table.  He has been spending an inordinate amount of time trying to get his sister to understand the fact that the song “BINGO” is factually inaccurate.

Meanwhile, I hastily make lunches while they eat.  The Princess requests salad with ranch dressing and red grapes on the side.  It may be in a bento box, but it’s not exactly visually appealing.  Probably closer to CraftFail than Pinterest.  The Professor does not like any of the choices I have, because he prefers hot lunch 9 out of 10 times.

After breakfast The Princess wants to wear the sparkly purple flower with the “jewel” in the middle in her hair, because it goes so well with the rest of her outfit.  The Professor doesn’t feel that he needs to wash his glasses because he says he can see just fine.

It’s time to get ready for the bus.  It’s raining for the first time in what, six months?  The kids scramble to get their umbrellas.  The Princess can’t find her jacket, because she has left it at school.  And don’t short black boots go awesome with knee length cropped leggings?  The Professor dons a jacket that is very small instead of the one that fits him.  I find it and make him change, he is unhappy about this.

It’s time to go!  The Professor opens the door and the dog runs away.  After watching the kids walk up to the bus stop, I spend the next little while sitting in the car, waiting for the dog to come into sight so I can open the door and yell “Here boy, want a ride?”

By the time I get back inside, there really isn’t enough time to go to the gym.  And I never did get my shower.  I go to work with my hair in a ponytail and a semi wrinkle free outfit that almost hides my muffin coffee cake top.

This is an outfit we were forced to wear because the other one was too small.  This was not without a fight... It's a good thing she's cute.

This is an outfit we were forced to wear because the other one looked ridiculous. This was not without a fight… It’s a good thing she’s cute.

PS-I’m writing this surrounded by mountains of laundry on all sides, because my housekeeping skills are that good.  It’s like a little fort…

Twisted Mixtape Tuesday: Acoustic Schmamoustic

Jen Kehl

Twisted Mixtape Tuesday is the ultimate music anthology, organized by a weekly theme chosen by Jen Kehl of My Skewed View and cohosted by that very same Jen and Kristi Campbell of Finding Ninee.  This week’s theme is a Free For All, Anything Goes, basically whatever we want to do.  YEAH! 

This week I chose really cool acoustic versions of songs.  Not cover songs, but rather recordings that some artists did in addition to the original song’s release.  I actually like many of these better than the original versions!

The inspiration for this mix comes from a song by Colin Hay, formerly of Men at Work.  You know, the ones who did Land Down Under? I first heard this version of the original Men at Work song on the show Scrubs.  My husband bought the Scrubs soundtrack soon afterwards and this is my favorite song on the CD.  If it was possible to wear out a song, it would have to be this one!

Overkill-Colin Hay

The link to the Scrubs clip is HERE.

The Foo Fighters was not a group I particularly liked when they first came out.  I felt their music was very repetitive.  But over time, they grew on me, not to mention that Dave Grohl is one brilliant dude.  He is on the list of people I would most like to meet.  There are several fantastic acoustic versions of their songs but the one I chose is my favorite.

My Hero-Foo Fighters

Here’s a song that really needs no introduction.  The original is pretty much acoustic, but I love this performance and the explanation of who “Delilah” really is.

Hey There Delilah-Plain White Ts

I couldn’t NOT include the ones who really pushed the back to basics.  There are a lot of great songs in this Unplugged collection, but only a few are acoustics versions of actual Nirvana hits.  This particular song originally was released from In Utero.

All Apologies-Nirvana

I love me some Matchbox Twenty, and Rob Thomas, but I love this version of Unwell even better than the original!

Unwell-Rob Thomas

Interestingly enough, The Other Side (an album that Godsmack released featuring some of their acoustic versions) is not listed in a lot of their discographies.  I got that CD the day it came out.  This is one of several good ones from that album.


Just when I thought I couldn’t adore the Pumpkins any more than I already do, I found this version of 1979.

1979-Smashing Pumpkins

My husband hates Incubus, and I’m not sure why.  I own every album they’ve made.  There’s just something about this group that intrigues me, and I really don’t think they’ve ever made a song I’ve disliked.  This song is a little obvious.  It lends itself perfectly to acoustic guitar.


Lithium is tied with Bring Me To Life as my favorite Evanescence song.  I have heard some really great acoustic versions of their music, but this is one is by far the best!

Lithium-Amy Lee

And then we just have some songs that were great acoustic songs already, with no remaking necessary.  Like this one.  So Axl Rose can sing?  No way!  And then he had to go and ruin it in the end… still a great song though!

Patience-Guns N Roses

I’m sure there are a lot of songs missing here, these were just the ones that I was thinking of.  Throw me out some of your favorites!  Want to participate in Twisted Mixtape Tuesday?  Make your own mix for your free for all, and link it to Jen’s post by clicking the cassettes at the top!