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I Just Want To Pee Alone on Evening Magazine

You got that right. If you read that title above it sounds like I want to pee alone on a TV show. No. It’s the book is on a TV show!!

Reporter Kim Holcomb and cameraman Howard from KING 5 news came to my house to tape a segment for local television. They were awesome and funny and Kim wore a super cute polka dot blouse. She did. When I opened my front door for her and cameraman Howard, I said, “Oh my gosh, you look so cute!” I hope Kim knew I meant her blouse, and Howard didn’t think I was flirting with him. Hmm… I never thought of that.

They wanted natural home stuff. You know, life as it is every day. I got to empty and load the dishwasher and Owen and James kicked the soccer ball. Emma was on the lap top and I did lots of ‘typing at my computer’ shots. I offered to scoop the cat box, but that didn’t make for such great TV. Hey- they wanted real, so I offered real.

I’m so glad I got a manicure that week with all those typing shots.

It was a gorgeous sunny day. But don’t let that fool you. No. Cameraman Howard closed the blinds then added these giant lights on stands. Apparently natural isn’t always good enough for television.

Then Kim shared with me that she’s interviewed Daniel Craig twice. Twice. Her impression of him- polite, but doesn’t enjoy press junkets. Not very personable. Okay, I can understand that.

Not everyone can be so giggly and sweet like me.

Seriously. I giggle the entire piece, you’ll hear. Also, I don’t always end my sentences. It’s a habit I have. I can’t seem to finish my thoughts with words or something.

And for the record- I don’t want Gwyneth to play me in the movie version. That was sarcasm that Kim didn’t pick up on. I want Amy Poehler or Kristen Wiig to play me in the movie version.

Mostly, what’s important about this TV piece is, you need to buy the book. (on Amazon, see my side bar)  And you need to tell your friends to buy the book.

What good would media promotion be for a book if you didn’t buy it?

Some notes; My house looks cleaner on television than it is in real life. I have too many mugs that don’t all fit in my cupboards, that’s why I have to stack them. I didn’t realize I had a double chin until I saw it on TV. Also, special mention needs to be made that isn’t in the video, Jen from People I Want To Punch in the Throat is the band leader of all this craziness. Without her, we wouldn’t have the book.

So enjoy the clip.


Parenting: Illustrated with Crappy Pictures is now in a really non-crappy book

Do you know the blog, Parenting: Illustrated with Crappy Pictures? If you don’t, you need to.

Here’s why:

It’s funny

She nails the parenting stuff to a ‘T’

The pictures really aren’t that crappy (okay, maybe a little), but make everything more funny.

 

Her book comes out this week and I was thrilled that I received an early-bird copy to get to read. Oh my goodness- I snorted out loud! My husband wondered what I was reading. He thought it might be that I was re-reading I Just Want to Pee Alone. True- I snorted at that too, but this time, it was Crappy Pictures I was laughing at.

Here’s some of my favorite highlights-from the Chapter- The 50 Crappy Laws of Parenting

Law #10- “After a long car drive during which you hoped they would nap, they fall asleep a mile from your destination.”

Law #39- “They only spike a fever after the sun goes down and the doctor’s office is closed.”

Law #44- “The baby will fall asleep on you, but only when you have to pee. Very badly.”

Amber has asked her readers what they want her to do in the event her book gets on a best seller list. Like a challenge, per se to encourage people to buy the book.

Here’s some of her kids’ suggestions. By the way- she has two boys they are called Crappy Boy and Crappy Baby-

Here’s one idea

 

I think this is a good one though-

 

My vote is that she takes a real picture of her face and let’s us see her non-crappy self! But going to Disneyland is a good 2nd choice.

I’m giving away a copy of her book to one of you!!

And… wait for it- a copy of I JUST WANT TO PEE ALONE as well!

Yay- everyone is happy. By the way, she wrote a review of our book here that you can read. And low and behold, she graced us with some of her fine artwork. I just love it!

 

Here’s what you have to do:

Enter according to the Rafflecopter instructions, it gives you all kinds of chances to win.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can always buy the book as well!

I can’t please everyone

“Get a hobby.”

“Get a job.”

“Clean your house more often.”

“Let down your hair and blow off steam.”

“You should go out with your girl friends.”

“Why do you go out so much?”

“Pay attention to your kids more.”

If I did nothing but look after my house all day, people would think I’m weird and need a hobby. If I just sat around and did a hobby all day, people would think I needed to work more. It’s called balance people. I do what works for my family. Not yours.

Why are people so judgey? I didn’t ask your opinion. Okay, I just did about the judgey question, but before that. Why do people judge my parenting based on how often I’m on the internet? Shouldn’t they judge my parenting based on my kids themselves?

I’m a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom). It’s a lame term. I don’t just stay home. Sometimes I do. Sometimes all I can do is wait for the kids to leave the house for the school bus so I can watch Sherlock on Netflix or Downton Abbey. I make myself lattes and eat baked goods and am in clear denial as to the amount of work I actually have to get done. It’s a coping mechanism.

Then there’s some days I leave the house around 9 am and don’t get home until 7:30 or 8 at night. Between errands, appointments, volunteering and taking the kids to their activities, I am non-stop.

On a really good day, I’ll throw in some laundry between errands and empty the dishwasher. On a fabulous day, I’ll prepare a dinner that is nutritious AND delicious. Whoa.

So if you’re wondering, no, I don’t spend my whole day on Facebook. Or my blog.

I blog when I can, usually after the kids go to bed. Or when they’ve left for school.

Why am I even telling you this? Because there’s bloggers and moms and dads out there who seem to share their opinions freely about how horrible us blogging, Instagraming, Facebooking, and Pinteresting moms are. And I’m tired of it.

I’m pretty sure my kids are totally fine while I sit here next to them and I’m on my computer. Or wait in the carpool line on my phone. And when they were younger, how many times did I hear, “mommy watch this!” and for the one millionth time I was shown how they could spin and forward roll. Or burp. I didn’t miss any milestones of my children’s development because I was on the internet. My children are not maladjusted because I don’t give them every breathing, waking second of my attention. No, in fact. They are independent beings that know how to wipe their own ass. (Most of the time.)

Now with the book, I Just Want to Pee Alone out and kicking book selling butt- I want to be clear that I am in support of other moms who share their candid tales of parenting and motherhood, pregnancy and post-partum, and not just do it honestly, but hilariously! The kind of stories you laugh so hard at over a Girls Night Out when someone shares the story of how they gave birth, that you pee your pants, or spew your cosmo out your nose. Don’t all moms pretty much share their birth stories?

Then there’s my marriage. If I make a few jokes about McSweetie, can we not jump to conclusions that I must be a nightmare to live with? Can we not think my marriage must be miserable and my husband so pussy whipped, he doesn’t know what hit him? If I was a stand-up comic and did this piece about how husbands can behave like children, there would be a lot of women who agree with me. Or husbands that agree with me about their spouse being childlike. But put it in a blog, and all of a sudden, I’m Dr. Phil and I need to stop giving marital advice and stop emasculating my husband. Trust me, a list about how my husband doesn’t pick up his underwear, doesn’t emasculate him.

He admits to his foibles. He knows he can be lazy around the house. So what? I get something off my chest, a few others laugh about it and tell me they relate, I feel better. Life goes on. We don’t have to psycho analyze it into a marriage crisis, people! I’m actually pretty awesome to be married to. I wash his shorts, make his lattes, encourage him and his career, send him off to heavy metal concerts with his buddies, take care of his mother’s birthday… I’m a pretty damn good wife.

Here let me interview McSweetie on his feelings about this….

Oh, sorry, he was asleep on the couch. I’ll ask him later.

Okay, are we cool? Because I’m a little tired of people getting their knickers in a twist. Just chill the fluff down. I can’t please everyone, so I please me. And my family. Thankyouverymuch.

And if you haven’t yet- buy the damn book!

Reason to Live Friday #32- 54 years and counting

So if there’s any reason for me to get up in the morning (hence the Reason to Live Friday posts in the first place), it’s my dear sweet parents who are rocking 54 years of marriage this week.

That’s right. 54 years. That’s almost 55 years, which is almost 60. Just stop. That’s getting ahead of ourselves.

1959 these two people married in another country, came across the Atlantic on a ship to New York, set up home in Chicago and made a living.

In 1961 they had my brother. Then in 1964 they had my sister. Then there was- two foster kids (who were black and Native American, and this was the 60s folks!), a trans-continental move aboard the Queen Mary to England, a devastating illness for my sister, another move back to the US, then came me in ’72,  then just years of living, thriving, earning a living, health, traveling to Europe to visit family, graduations, sending kids to college, cross-country move in a Ryder truck, weddings, battling cancer (both of them), grand kids, baptisms, two hip replacements and a new knee (all my mom), an emergency heart procedure (my dad) and somewhere in there- 10 cats – not all at the same time, but over the years.

They’ve been busy.

None of my life would be possible without what they’ve made. I’m humbled, grateful, and brought to tears.

This is the bedrock of my family. These two people.

Thank you.

 

Let’s hop on the puberty roller coaster and go for a ride!

Grab your helmets and strap in. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

Emma is almost 13. I will be blogging about this frequently. So just get used to it.

When your child is a toddler you deal with emotional outbursts, jags of fatigue and desperation. Fits of borderline psychotic attempts at expressing one’s individuality through yelling and door slamming.

Well, ten years later- you get to go through it. All. Over. Again.

The sulking. The pouting. The ‘don’t talk to me!’. The “why don’t you understand?”. The “you’re the worst mom ever!”.

Isn’t parenting fun?

I realize my child did not ask to be brought into this world. My husband and I had this fabulous notion of making people and looking forward to how much it would fulfill and enrich our lives. And it has. I wouldn’t trade it for the WORLD. The sun rises and sets on my sweet children. However, it does not change the fact that there are times when I want to drop-kick my daughter into next week when she gets all up in my craw.

The other night I had to practice tremendous restraint. It was her brother’s Cub Scout banquet and we arrived early to help set up. Apparently, this is one of the worst things you can ask your almost 13 year old to help out with. They will give you that look like you’ve grown a horn from the center of your forehead and have asked them to drink the blood of a baby llama.

She forgot her iPod and Kindle. So this meant, she was without Instagram or SnapChat and had to – get this- interact with people actually in the room with her. Oh the horror.

I didn’t realize that she was extremely hungry when we got there. So this contributed to her grumpyness. I know I’m no fun when my blood sugar is plummeting. But folks- it was a banquet. We were 10 minutes from a spaghetti buffet with all the fixins’. She wasn’t going to starve.

Thank GOD the food helped. For about two hours she was pleasant to folks, helped take pictures and only made her brother cry once.

She almost made me cry twice, but hey. I’m tough. When it was over and we were helping clean up, again, we were – THE WORST parents ever. Making her stand around like that, helping to fold and stack chairs… ugh. It’s like coal mining. Such hard work.

I pretty much steered clear from her as best as I could. I think even bed time was tense and there seemed to be a lot of heavy exasperated sighs and drawer slamming. I gave her a short lecture on her stinky behavior and how she was a royal pain in the ass and not at all gracious to us.

While tucking in Owen he asked me why she was being such a butt. Well, he didn’t say that, but let’s just cut to the chase. I told him it’s part of girls growing up. They get moody and emotional and it’s best we stay out of her way.

The next morning, which was Sunday, I had an epiphany. I decided instead of pestering Emma to clean her room and continue to fight with her, I caught her off guard first thing when she woke up. “Hey, guess what?” I announced, “you and I are going to do a little shopping and go see a movie.”

Talk about 180 degree mood switch. Her face lit up. Her mood improved. She was mine again and it felt nice.

Yes, there was one or two instances during our day of where my annoying ‘momness’ seeped through and she needed to make me aware. But on the whole, we had a great time. We laughed, shopped, sang, and at times, almost peed our pants (from the laughing).

As much as I want to force her to comply and make her feel miserable for the way she treats us sometimes, I realize that I probably make the people miserable around me once a month. And I know that one of my favorite things to do is shop for makeup and go see a movie.

For some, maybe it’s go for a bike ride. Maybe it’s get out on the field and run or kick a ball. That’s great. I know that with my girl, usually some sushi and lip gloss helps set her straight.

Am I rewarding her rotten behavior? Not necessarily. I’m keeping her from putting her walls up around herself so high that I might never scale them again. Usually her mood swings come and go. But if I beat a dead horse and only nag her of all the things she’s doing wrong, or all the things she’s NOT doing (i.e. clean her room), I worry that she will shut me out and only want to keep company with her peers.

I also have to remember not to take her behavior personally. She’s not acting against me. She’s struggling within her own feelings.

I’ve always made it clear that I’m her mom first and foremost. But life’s too short to dwell in the low valleys of hormones. I think I kind of found a break-through. If I keep from harping on her, call her on her shit but don’t beat a dead horse with it, but find the stuff we have in common; I think we’ll all survive.

I’ll let you know.

 

 
Buy my book!

10 ways your husband is just another child

Once again Scary Mommy let me contribute. She posted this and I think wives everywhere agree.

 

 

A 2nd place win is not a first place loss

For those of you who have a son in Cub Scouts, or remember your own days of Cub Scouts, you know how much fun and sometimes nerve wracking Pinewood Derby race day can be.

Owen is a two-time champion. I was hoping for a three-peat this year. The first year that he won, was his first year of scouts and taking the whole Derby came as a surprise. Then the following year when he won again and dominated the competition, it was a thrill. This year, I felt somewhat nervous. I wanted him to win. But I didn’t want to be a total hog. What would the other parents think? It’s not like we have some super derby car making system set up. We didn’t buy a car on the derby black market. We don’t have a NOS tank set up under the hood.

I don’t want to be greedy in our derby wins. But I still want. To. Win.

Yes, James obsesses over the car. Checking the axles. Weighing, weighing, adding weights. Weighing again, taking off weights.

The car design is a collaborative process between child and father. Months ago, Owen and James chose the Mario Kart theme this year because they knew it would be popular with the fellow scouts. Not only does Owen want his car to be fast, he wants it to look cool. Duh.

With the help of Grandpa and a saw, the shape of the car is made. Then the sanding starts. Lots of sanding. Owen sands and sands. Then paint. A steady hand with the help of dad to apply some decals comes next.

Once the cars are complete (James always makes one for him to race in the siblings league that he enters for Emma) the graphite and weights are applied.

Regulations require it to not be too heavy, and simple physics prove that it needs to not be too light either. It has to have just enough pull down that track. Of course, aerodynamics play a part in this too.

If ever there was an exercise of science and fun together between father and son, this is it.

Previous years the races were officiated by some well meaning dads who visually eyed the finish line and called the winners. The faster the cars, the harder it got.

When neither dad could agree on the winner for the final last year, James had a picture that proved Owen’s victory. I have never been more on edge, or thrilled over a decision!

This year, the Pack paid for an LED finish line that reads the cars coming over the track and determines the winner.

Again, the photo at the finish line was tight. Emma took it this time. If it weren’t for the LED system at the finish line, I don’t think the picture would’ve determined the winner. It was that. Close.

In the end, Owen’s car came in 2nd. He was stunned at first. But the younger, smaller scout who did win was thrilled. He hugged his dad and their was a collective gasp from his parents, not believing their little 8 year old took the prize.

Did my heart sink a little for Owen? Yes. Did it soar at seeing this family’s victory? Yes. I know the feeling, and watching their joy almost brought tears to my eyes.

Within seconds of victory to the other kid, Owen reached over, shook his hand and congratulated him on the race.

And of course, my heart melted right there.

I was proud of Owen for his grace and sportsmanship.

A win is nice. Yes. But I feel he did win. He showed heart and discipline and tact. And I felt like I won as a parent.

Children need to feel the wins and the losses. If we insulate them from disappointment, which face it, we want so much to do, they will never learn how to navigate their feelings. It’s our job to prepare them for the world, not pave their path in bubble wrap.

Of course, the boys are already talking about what to do next year, which will be his last year for the derby with this pack. I’m not sure who enjoys it more, James or Owen! But I love the dedication and passion and am grateful for the outcomes.

 

 

Reason to Live Friday #31- Stuff the Boy says

Today I give you some Owen snippets. They are gems and he keeps me entertained.

Don’t forget to vote for me in the Circle Of Moms Contest. Thanks!

 

 

 

 

Reasons why I hate family game night

Have a family game night- it’s fun! They said.

No it’s not.

Family game night is a cross between a trip to the gynecologist and refereeing a cock fight in Guadalupe. It’s miserable and feels like it will never end. (Not that I’ve ever refereed any cock fighting or visited any Mexican town called Guadalupe.)

1.) No one can decide on what game to play. “I want Apples to Apples!” Other kid- “We played Apples to Apples last time, let’s do Guesstures!” Mom and dad don’t really want to do either, but drinking games are kind of inappropriate with a 9 and 12 year old.

2.) Dad won’t get off his laptop. Kid- “DAAAAD, you can’t be on Facebook while we’re playing!” Dad- “I’m not, I’m just keeping tabs on the news. I’m totally paying attention to you guys.”  (NOT)

3.) Children won’t put down media devices either. Me- “Daughter (12) it’s time to put away your phone, stop SnapChatting your friends and play. We are doing this for YOU!”  (Guilt trips are totally required on family game night by the way.)

4.) Someone always cries. Usually the youngest because they are losing. Then I start crying because I’m so fed up with everyone.

5.) Someone always leaves the game  pouting and stomping off loudly up the stairs. Again- usually the youngest. Or me.

6.) They decide to play Monopoly. (Just kill me now) Nothing good ever comes of this game and it goes on for a fortnight.

7.) Dad tries to be funny making irrelevant jokes and it turns out to just annoy everyone. Really, it was kind of funny the first time- but the following five, not so much. Give. It. Up.

8.) One sibling accuses the other of cheating. At this point, you don’t really give a shit and you’re hoping it’s almost bed time.

9.) You’re fed up, you announce the game is over and send everyone to bed. Tears and crying commence and you are told you are the meanest mom EVER! Then you feel like the White Witch in Narnia and everyone blames you for spoiling their fun.

10.) No one remembers whose turn it is and when they do they take F O R E V E R to make their move. (Courtesy of Hollow Tree Ventures)

11.) Little hands can’t hold cards for shit. (Thank you Motherhood WTF)

12.) It’s very hard to find a game that spans ALL ages, let alone one where the older kids don’t whine and cry that ‘THIS IS BOOORING” (this confessed to me via You Know It Happens At Your House Too)

13.) The cat lays on top of the game pieces and game board, wiping out all progress and your wine glass is empty. At this point, everything is futile and it’s time to just send everyone to bed. See #9.

14.) Someone decides to play a game of Smell My Finger (written by The Bearded Iris).

15.) Beer pong is just not the same with apple juice.

 

Please do my a favor and vote for me for the Circle of Moms Top 25 Funny Moms contest! CLICK HERE. Please and thank you!

10 Reasons Why Minivans are Cool

I love my minivan. I do. I don’t understand why people diss on them so much. Last year I wrote Mama’s Pimp Wagon  as an ode to my minivan. Maybe I like it so much because it’s a Honda Odyssey that I’ve had for 10 years- DID YOU HEAR THAT HONDA? Yeah, 10 years! Dear God let this not jinx it (knock on wood). It takes me where I need to go, it has heated leather seats, the kids are comfortable. If anyone out there is considering purchasing a minivan- here is why I think they are cool:

  • They rarely get stolen
  • There’s 3 rows of seats. Depending on how many kids you have, you can spread them (the kids) out as far as possible.
  • You can fold the 3rd row seat down very easily and have a picnic back there, or take a spontaneous trip to IKEA and see how many Ulv bookshelves or Torg chairs you can fit.
  • It has 11 cup holders. With 11 cup holders I own the Starbucks drive thru like a boss. Although I’ve never actually ordered 11 drinks at once. But knowing I can, is joy enough.
  • I love pulling up to a valet at some swanky place and handing them the keys and saying, ‘take care of her, she’s my baby’, and then also saying, “don’t mind the cheerios and gold fish crumbs everywhere, or the empty juice boxes, or that subtle but funky puke smell.”
  • You can impress people with your parallel parking skills. Really.
  • At stop lights you can crank up Kidz Bop or Veggie Tales and take on those teeny pecker wagon Preludes with their over-sized mufflers jamming to Li’l Wayne.
  • It’s like having your own party bus, but without the stripper pole and chauffeur.
  • 3 words- Automatic sliding doors. I repeat- Automatic Sliding Doors.
  • It screams commitment and stability. It also screams, we are parents and we have no shame.

 

Buy the book!