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May 2012
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July 2012

On Getting 611 Comments On The Huffington Post

A few weeks ago, the lovely and talented Lisa Belkin asked if she could republish my "20 Things Nobody Told Me About Little Boys" entry on The Huffington Post. I said sure! And damn! I probably should have spent more than 20 minutes on it. Another 10 minutes and I could have come up with at least 10 more Things Related To Pee, surely. Anyway. I said yes and then promptly forgot all about it. Occasionally I'd remember and go look for it, and eventually assumed it had perhaps appeared briefly and been met with a deafening army of crickets, then promptly pushed back into the morass of the HuffPo archives by the approximately 14 million things that get published there on a daily basis. Not so much. It actually didn't go live until Monday, and Lisa was kind enough to make sure it was treated nicely and highly visible. BOOM! I checked in on my little listicle right after it went live and had a weird reaction of being completely embarrassed, like OMG DON'T LOOK AT IT, NOBODY LOOK AT IT. OR ME. I closed the browser window and basically hid from my own damn blog post all week.... Read more →

The Next Big Thing

We met with a new child psychologist this morning. So I spent last night organizing and re-filing the mountains of old paperwork we've collected over the years. Old evaluations, assessments, treatment plans, progress reports, IEPs, re-evaluations, insurance rejections and appeals and God knows what else. Something old, something new, something photocopied, something blue. (The cup. The cup is blue. The cup is also full of vodka.) Reading through those old files is both oddly inspiring and completely masochistic. On the one hand, how far he's come! The things he says and does! The mind-boggling number of victories, both large and small (and medium and miniscule!), that we've celebrated since that fateful day when I took my non-verbal almost-two-year-old to the pediatrician. When that pediatrician cocked his head to the side and asked, "Does he walk like that a lot? On his toes?" He did it. We helped. I have no doubt that the things we've done and the people we've worked with have absolutely helped. There are miracle workers in that pile of papers. Bona fide. And yet. Ugh. The mistakes are all there too. The consent to discontinue services form I signed for Early Intervention. The progress reports from... Read more →

(Indecent) Anatomy of a Sponsored Post

(This post is a work of hyperbole and wild exaggeration. Any resemblance to actual sponsored posts, living or dead, is purely coincidental. No animals were harmed in the making of this post, but one living room sofa was, kind of.) Step One: You get an email asking if you'd like your site included on a proposal for a sponsored campaign. Please to respond by EOD. (Or more accurately, you FIND an email asking if you'd like your site included on a proposal for a sponsored campaign...usually a few hours after the EOD deadline, dammit.) At this point the campaign is usually very far off ("timeframe is late Septemboctovemberish.") and the topic is impossibly vague and squishy-sounding, like: WRITE A POST ABOUT BEING A MOM. HEALTHY KIDS. RECYCLING. CLEANING PRODUCTS. SKRILLEX. Step Two: You of course reply in the affirmative. Yes! I absolutely have something to say about cheese/identity theft/breakfast cereal/dry-erase markers! Even if you actually don't, it's best to just say yes because 1) 99% of these things go absolutely nowhere and you'll never hear about them again, and 2) Whatever! You totally have until late Septemboctovemberish to think of something anyway. Step Three: Forget about it completely. Be in... Read more →

Things We Broke While On Vacation

1) The shower. Okay, first of all, you need to know something about our Ocean City vacations. We stay for free with Jason's great-aunt and great-uncle, who retired there. Who are very nice and gracious and welcoming, but also COMPLETELY KIND OF TERRIFYING. I mean, first, they're in-laws. Distant in-laws. That's baseline intimidating already. And all my in-laws have this quiet, measured, Germanic stoicism about them, which is the complete opposite of my family. We're a bunch of hand-talking Irish drunks with voice immodulation syndrome. Plus...well, they are very particular and set-in-their-ways and they keep their condo impeccably clean and organized, having mastered the "living in small quarters" thing to an enviable degree. And then we show up. And basically wreak havoc and disaster all over the damn place. Every year the amount of STUFF we have to lug there grows exponentially. Not surprising, given that every other year we seem to show up with a whole new family member in tow. More suitcases, more bags, more toddling towers of childproofing terror. Now with bonus lightsabering pool noodles! They like children, at least. And they especially like babies a whole lot. But they don't particularly like said babies and children... Read more →

Deep Fried Sand Nugget

Sweet. Merciful. Sandy. Crap. Pine-Sol asked me to submit my best household-y tip — you know, like putting clear nail polish on panty hose runs or vinegar in milk when you're like, seven steps into a recipe before you realize you don't have any buttermilk — so I thought I'd go vacation-themed and share one that has been near and dear to my heart (and my kids' butts) quite a bit in the past month. Baby powder, y'all. Buy it, pack it, use it. Do NOT try to de-sand your sweet, gritty little hermit crabs without it. Sand will cling to wet, sunblock-y kids Like sand clings to wet, sunblock-y kids. It will multiply and hide in every possible crevice and thigh-fold, waiting for the perfect moment to come tumbling out in buckets from between their toes. the car, or your bed. Or on your in-law's couch. Powder them up before coming inside and the sand will wipe off with a dry towel or relatively sand-free t-shirt. They may look like ghostly, powder-y refugees from a flour fight when you're done, but it's way easier to get baby powder off the floor or bathtub drain than sand. (I... Read more →

Putt, Putt & Away

We're away AGAIN this week. Visiting family in Ocean City. I know, right? I don't really know what we're thinking, taking all these exhaustifying vacations and creating preshus childhood memories and crap. Speaking of which, the following photo is quite possibly the best representation of life with three children I have ever managed to take. And quite possibly just the greatest photo ever, flat-out: Not to oversell it, or anything. But come on. As sybdix commented (when I posted this on Instagram), this is life with three kids: Carrying one, helping another and trying not to step on the third. Yes, exactly. And any day when you manage to not drop and/or step on anyone is a raging success. The teaching/helping step is optional. Posting this week shall be light yet not-completely-non-existent. (But completely-over-hyphenated-as-per-usual.) I'm taking the week off from Mamapop, but don't let that stop you from reading all the other awesome stuff less-highly-overrated-than-me people are posting. (HYPHENS ARE THE NEW CAPS LOCK!) Oh, and my summer schedule at Alphamom is dropping down to one Advice Smackdown a week. Which is killing me because that column is like, the ONE PLACE ON EARTH where people occasionally seem to listen... Read more →

The (Belated) Obligatory

So you probably thought that since we were en route to Aruba on Ike's first birthday proper, you were going to be spared the excruciatingly boring "Baby's First Cupcake" photo essay, aka Why Do Parents Think It Is Cute To Post Pictures Of Kids With Poop-Colored Schmutz On Their Faces. BISH, PLZ. It's like you don't know me at all. I am a slave to tradition. Or maybe it's just reruns, given that my children are all soo eerily similar-looking that I could probably post pictures of any of them and be all, "Here! It's Baby Ike! Kinda. It's a blondish round boy baby. Gimme a break, I'm tired." Baby Ike's first chocolate cupcake experience started out predictably enough, with great dramatic flourish: Followed quickly with that moment of ZOMG THIS FEELS AMAZING IN MY MOUTHHOLE: And then the aborable scrunchy-face that results when you are unable to just unhinge your entire jaw to cram more cake inside at once: Aaaaand the dawning realization that historically, we enjoyed this ritual at home. Usually sans clothing. Why did we...oh, right. The mess. The terrible, terrible mess. Not to be indelicate, but just BE YE WAY GRATEFUL that you can't see what's... Read more →

Places My Children Insisted They Were Not Tired

At the airport: On the plane: At the dinner table, night #1: At the lunch table, day #2: At the beach: At the beach: At the beach: On the bus back from De Palm Island (home of the water slides): (Not pictured: Ezra, Ike and Mama similarly tanked out in the back row.) At the dinner table, night #3: (TRIFECTA ACHIEVED.) In the crib: In the bed: (More photos at the Amalah's West blog here and here.) Read more →

Kindergarten, Day 180

SHUT UP NAPKIN YOU ARE DRUNK. Noah graduated from kindergarten yesterday. My god. At last year's preschool graduation "ceremony," he threw a fit about the hats and tossed his certificate on the floor in protest just seconds after receiving it. This year, I left with video footage of him holding hands with his classmates while singing a song ("First Grade, First Grade" sung to the tune of "New York, New York"), complete with choreography and a dramatic bow at the end. There are still issues, yes. We are still struggling with some things and will be taking steps this summer to deal with those things (anxiety, attention, self-esteem, etc.), lest anyone reading these last couple entries think I'm like, "ANNNNNNNDDDD CURED! All done, that's that." Noah remains a bit of a tough nut in some respects, but then in others.... Well, he's just another kid in the big ol' general education kindergarten room. And I can't begin to express how happy that makes me. *** And now that the school year is over and this topic has been thoroughly (and hilariously) discussed over on Instagram, I suppose I can finally address the former professional soccer player in the room. Yeah.... Read more →

Brave Little Toaster

Once upon a time, I was the mother of a little boy who was scared of the bathtub. Who was scared of so, so many things. He wanted to be brave. He tried to be brave. But when your brain sends you into fight-or-flight mode over the sound of a nearby lawnmower, or the feel of grass on your bare feet, it's hard to brave. It's hard to try new things when you can't process them, when you can't articulate what you're even afraid of, when you can't work those new things out to their logical conclusion. Even when the logical conclusion is: This is supposed to be fun, dammit. "I know what that is!" he said, pointing at the rental snorkel gear. "It lets you breathe underwater! Can I try it?" Uhh. Okay? Sure. Yes. The thing is, if we'd asked or offered, he probably would have said "NO." And that's okay. We've finally figured out how to sit back and wait for him to ask. To surprise us. And to always say "yes" when he does, even if it scares us, a little. Way to go, Noah. You're officially and for-real the bravest kid I know. BONUS: !... Read more →