Someone Ate My Kid’s Waffle

Parents know all too well that the world is full of threats and dangers to our most precious little gifts. Dingos, wells, white vans with no windows… all dangerous. We know this. But sometimes… usually just when you think you’re getting the hang of this parenting thing, you find yourself in a situation that you realize, after it’s too late, that you aren’t prepared for. Panic sets in. You’ve found a new danger zone.

That’s what happened when someone took a bite of my son’s waffle at a restaurant. Nope, you didn’t read that wrong. Someone (I like to think it was a ghost because I don’t think ghosts have spit or diseases) put their mouth on food that wasn’t even on their table.

Before that moment, my greatest fear while dining out alone with my potty-trained kids was that one of them would have to “go potty”, the server would think we left, and throw our food away before we had a chance to eat it. But I now know that’s not the worst thing that can happen.

I was so proud to get my kids potty trained. It’s a milestone lauded by smart people who write books and stuff as evidence of a child’s advancement toward becoming a successful member of society and I taught my kids how to do that. I think the logic is infant, potty-trained child, Harvard attendant, cardio thoracic surgeon, successful at life. However, no one talks about the cons.

For example: once my kids are officially potty training, it’s super inconvenient for me. There’s no safety net. If they have an “accident”, that means dirty poop pants. That means that I get to put clean clothes on them and wash the dirty pee or poop clothes. Sometimes this could happen more than 4 times a day. It’s expensive and time consuming. And frustrating.

Also, my kids learned that if they said the magic words, “I need to go potty”, I would drop EVERYTHING and take them to the nearest restroom. They were in complete control. The moment we walked into a store or restaurant, guess what they said… I once asked my daughter, “do you really need to go potty or do you just want to check out the restroom?” She replied, “I just want to check out the restroom.” At least she was honest.

Then, this one day… it was a Saturday. My hubs was on call so he was spending his morning at the hospital. I decided to take the kiddos to get breakfast at a fancy sit-down restaurant. We ordered. Kids were coloring. The world was at peace. Then it happened. “Mommy, I gotta go potty.” Ok. I got this. I found our server and told him that we were going to the restroom. We’re safe.

After what felt like 5 years, my son did his bid-naz and we made our way back to our table where our food was already waiting. We sat down and my son said, “Mommy, who bit my waffle?” Um… what? I looked over. There it was. As clear as day. A bite mark. I surveyed the room. What fuq’n weirdo took a bite of my son’s waffle? Everyone’s a suspect. What do I do? Call the FBI? No. I’m too conflict adverse.

I packed up my children, declared I would NOT pay for that waffle, and we left. Because WHAT THA FUQ.

So, to all my friends out there about to be parents for the first time or about to embark on potty training for the first time, beware of venturing out to restaurants without backup. Not saying don’t do it. Just saying keep your guard up. And maybe ask the server to keep your food safe in the kitchen until you return?

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Why We Wine

Adults Know All

When I was a kid dreaming of becoming the famous person that I am, all the grown ups around me seemed to have life figured out. They had it together. Bills paid, scheduled car maintenance, starched clothes that looked professional and well-planned, mortgages, taxes, family organizational skills… all the adults were killin it as far as I could tell. All of them. {Except the guy that owned the store that we all knew was a cover for his weed business. But that guy served a different purpose.} I always assumed that there was some magical age where I would start wearing matching socks and get regular oil changes. I’ve since learned that there is no magical age. Turns out, grown ups in the ‘90’s were just really good at faking it (wink, wink).

Reality Bites

Based on my juvenile observations, adulthood wasn’t supposed to be chaotic and overwhelming. Finding love was never supposed to lead to heartache. Parenthood isn’t supposed to feel impossible. BUT IT IS, IT DID, AND IT DOES! Let me tell you a little secret if you haven’t discovered it for yourself already: the grown up world is rotten with the stench of reality. A reality that would be much more palatable if it weren’t falsely presented as perfection to us as kids through TV and movies, leaving songs such as “Purple Rain”, “You Outta Know”, and “Here I Go Again” my only hint as to the truth of reality. [And, I don’t know about you, but I thought “Secret Agent Man” by Johnny Rivers was really a song about a secret Asian man, and that’s just ONE example, so you can understand the messages of song were lost on me.]

For example: Walt Disney is a lying arsehole. I’ve never met a guy who would attempt to slay a dragon for my honor. I HAVE, however, met a few guys who would named their man hose “Dragon”. If Sleeping Beauty (AKA, the princess I most identify with) met a guy that her family warned her against, who lied and manipulated his way into her heart, knocked her up, then left her for someone younger and more ethnically diverse, I’d say he was describing my first marriage. It would be a warning to all little girls to look out for liars. And it would be useful. But that’s not what he did. So I thought all guys were protective and chivalrous… turns out, some of them are… noooooot.

Also, whoever wrote the Brady Bunch is a lying arsehole. Families don’t resolve their differences in 30 minutes or less. I didn’t know that and didn’t understand why my sister and I were still arguing after 31 minutes. I have one family member who has been holding a grudge against me for YEARS. But, then again, we don’t have Alice with her quick quips to help us see the light of reason.

Additionally, the guy who started Pinterest: AN ABSOLUTE ARSEHOLE. Pinterest is the sole reason women everywhere feel inadequate upon seeing our results after trying to bake from scratch the impossible candy-filled unicorn mirror glazed cake. And don’t get me started on the homemade charcoal mask that takes the top 6 layers of your face off. Could we get a social media platform that bakes the cake for us? Cuz that would be great. Oh, wait. Hey, Uber Eats! How you doin’?

The last example provided in this super-impactful, news-worthy, and vividly-made point: the male creator of Wonder Woman is a lying arsehole. When I run around in the same outfit as Wonder Woman, no cool music plays, I don’t gain any super human fighting skills, and people threaten to call the police. Also, I’m still waiting on my magic lasso, which, by the way, has yet to even SHIP! I bet it doesn’t even work.

All these realizations have culminated into a big let down. You know how you felt when you learned that Santa, the Easter Bunny, AND the Tooth Fairy were all made up? Yeah, like that. I feel like that every. single. day.

It’s Fine

Because reality has been a bit different than I imagined, I’ve found ways to cope with the misalignment of expectations. For example: “It’s fine.” I say that a lot. It’s such a versatile phrase! Shat goes south but I’m trying to convince myself that it’s survivable- “it’s fine”. My husband picks a restaurant I don’t really want to go to because he’s super healthy and I just want fried chicken bathed in honey mustard and chocolate lava cake with vanilla ice cream for dessert but I don’t want to disagree because I’m a hopeless co-dependent AND I want to pretend like PMS isn’t ruling my life right now- “it’s fine”. My son strings gum out of his mouth and then wraps it around his neck before I can stop him- “it’s fine”. My daughter makes muffins and dumps half of the batter on the floor and now the dogs are “cleaning up the chocolate chips”- “it’s fine”. My dog gets scared by a passing dump truck and poo’s on the floor minutes before our house warming party… you guessed it! But sometimes “it’s fine” doesn’t work.

Now What?

We don’t have to go very far to hear what we’re doing wrong. We don’t exercise enough. We exercise too much. We shouldn’t dress like a school marm. We should really dress more conservatively. Have a career. Don’t work so much. Let your kids sleep in your bed. Don’t. You’ll kill them with your fat rolls. Don’t hug your kids too much… they’ll spoil. Discipline your kids, but not THAT way. Count calories, count fat grams, count carbs, eat carbs, don’t eat carbs, kale is all you should eat, and cauliflower is pizza now. Take meds to manage the stress, don’t take meds to manage the stress. I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO ANYMORE! Who does? Who can tell me what to do cuz I have no fuq’n clue.

We are doing our best some days just to keep everything going. Relationships, careers, parenthood, expectations pile up like the unfolded laundry mountain and it’s easy to find yourself crying in a closet firmly grasping a bottle of champagne (hey, at least I keep it classy). But what if we were all more honest and forgiving with each other? What if we stopped hiding behind the fake perfection of staged social media pictures and smiles and showed what it’s REALLY like to be a grownup so that maybe it’ll be a little easier for those who will go through this stage of life after us? What if by sharing the hardships we all learn how normal it is to cry in the closet, go on mini-vacations to Target, or hide from our kids in the bathroom for just one moment of peace so that the next new mommy who comes along doesn’t think she’s doing EVERYTHING wrong?

You’re Enough

What’s rare to hear is what we’re doing RIGHT. Have you ever received a genuine and sincere compliment that has stuck with you all day, maybe for years? How great is that feeling?! What if we did more of that instead of breaking each other down so that we could feel superior for one second? We are more prepared for any journey when someone who’s already traveled that path tells us what to look out for. What if we did that for each other more often?

Yes, life is hard. Some good, some bad, some stupid… But there’s so much humor and beauty and good in the imperfect. If you ask me, that’s where the stories are. So, grab a glass of wine and accept the chaos. And maybe snap of picture of it. #whywomenwine We’ll swap war stories.

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The Stress of Summer Break

My kids are officially out for summer but I refuse to call it a “break”.  My husband and I both work so any time school is out we are scrambling to find reliable, safe, fun child care for our 2 kids.

The childcare options that working parents have are limited and expensive.  Remember that time Twinkies were discontinued and everyone was going crazy trying to stock up?  Yeah, it’s like that.  And trying to navigate all of the options to find the one that’s right for your family is no less stressful than trying to find a life partner.  All you need is one bad date to realize that you didn’t REALLY mean you were “up for anything”.

You can choose from day camps, overnight camps, baby sitters.  Do you need full day coverage?  Good luck!  My favorites are the “full day” camps that start at 9 am and end at 4 pm.  It’s cool… my boss likes paying me for an 8-hour workday when I can only really work for 6. (Please read that with the level of sarcasm with a tinge of anger that would make George Carlin proud).

It was easy when they just went to daycare.  No decisions to make, no change in routine.  But then it happened.  My daughter said the magic words, “I’m too old for this”.  We knew we needed to find an option that she would be excited about.  All kids deserve to have the type of summer they look forward to!  So we saved up, talked to friends who had gone through the same thing, and planned ahead (something I never do).

Last year we were so excited.  We got ourselves a NANNY (ok, really a babysitter but I feel fancier when I say NANNY!)!  Finally, our rising first grader and rising fourth grader could stay up late, sleep in, go swimming whenever they wanted, have play dates with friends, HAVE A REAL SUMMER BREAK!

But our hopes for the type of summer that my husband and I grew up experiencing were crushed in the most wretched way when I discovered just a few weeks into summer that the babysitter physically assaulted my son!  NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!  We VETTED HER!  She seemed nice, had references, was just graduating from high school and going to college.  She was supposed to be FUN!  Not SATAN!

Ugh… there goes us EVER trusting a nanny/babysitter.  Back to square one.  The promise of a fun summer was replaced with waking the kids up before Jesus wakes up (you know, the “unGodly hour”), to get them dressed and ready so my hubs and I could take turns dropping them off at the local YMCA.  It was the only place that checked all of the boxes: close by, fun activities, won’t beat my kids, extended hours (that’s what “they” call “true” full day camps).

It turned out ok.  A few lice outbreaks but nothing that couldn’t be remedied.  We decided to stick with what works so that’s where we went back to this year.  And to my surprise, the kids were actually EXCITED!  They had friends that they already knew, they had fun, they were exhausted… #yay!

All of this to say, if you see a working parent out and about and it’s summer, buy them a coffee and give them a hug.  They’re prolly a little defeated.  And broke.

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The Funniest Journey Ever

I’m not a sentimental person. I don’t like to feel feelings that might make me cry, even happy cry. So I keep myself too busy to reflect. But right now, as I hide in the bathroom from my kids, I have nothing else to do… unless I want to referee another bout of “which kid offended the other first”. Which I do not.

When I think about it, 2017 has been a milestone year. It didn’t happen on purpose. I didn’t set out to do something impactful for myself. I just took a step. And that step led to another step. And before I knew it, I was in it to win it. Fulfilling a dream.

As long as I can remember I’ve loved to make people laugh. My biggest idols have been comedians. But I never ever never ever ever thought I could make people I don’t know laugh on purpose on a stage. It was just a dream. Something I admired other people for doing.

Some of you may not know… I don’t often mention it (I think I’ve only mentioned it 60 times today to my family), but about 6-and-a-half years ago I decided that I hate my job. Then I discovered Etsy and decided that if other people can quit their day job and sell random shat on a website, I can, too. And I can stay home with my babies and never have to wear dress pants again. But after 2 years and only making $36 I realized that I’m not good at making jewelry. Cuz I have absolutely no jewelry-making skills. But one thing it DID do was awaken my need for a creative outlet. And it was like an addiction. I had to have that release.

In 2015 I started blogging. When I looked back at all the things I’d gone through with my first marriage and raising a baby by myself while working full time and paying off debt that wasn’t mine, I thought maybe I had something to say. Maybe by writing about my situation with laughter and sarcasm I could give hope to a single mom or, even better, let women everywhere know that they don’t have to stay in a bad situation out of fear of failure. Whether it’s a job or a marriage or even a friendship, if it’s bad, get out. I promise it’ll be better than ok.

But after about a year it wasn’t enough. I wanted more of a connection to the people I was reaching out to. I didn’t want to STOP blogging. I wanted MORE. Then one day someone randomly asked me about my blog and why I started it. After going through the story I blurted out, “my next goal is stand up. By the end of the year”. What? It was DECEMBER! I didn’t consult ME about that. Well, now that I’ve said it I gotta do it. I didn’t make my goal by the end of that year… but it started the series of events that would lead me there.

I thought about it. The more I thought about it the more I wanted it. It was starting to move from dream to possible. Then I started writing. I researched the science of a joke. What makes people laugh. How to establish a setup and a punchline. The more I wrote the more it became my calling.

Eventually I searched for open mics. There was one right by my house. I reached out to the owner of the bar and he gave me the time/date. The following Tuesday I bathed my kids, put them to bed, kissed my hubs and I showed up. To a bar. I’d never been to before. By myself.

So here I was… a married woman, in a bar alone. I’d never been to a bar alone before. It was awkward. I was glued to my phone waiting for start time: 8 pm. I sent my friend, MC, a text, “I’m at a bar. By myself. WTF.” Next thing I know she’s on her way to hang with me so I wasn’t alone. She drove an hour so I wouldn’t be by myself. And I will love her forever for that.

Eventually 8:15 came and went. No comedy show… 8:30… no show… I was afraid I got the date wrong. Or maybe it was cancelled and I didn’t know. First rule of open mic club: The start time is a soft suggestion. MC showed up and shortly after the comedians started. Once I saw that they were all “normal” people, my dream became real. It was attainable. We all have to start somewhere.

I did the same thing 4 weeks in a row. I showed up and watched. And then, on April 25th, 2017 I did it.

Have you ever had a moment in life that seemed so surreal it felt like you floated through it? It was beyond words. I didn’t bomb. I wasn’t great but I held my own. Honestly, if I had bombed it wouldn’t have swayed me. I knew the moment I held the mic that I was where I was supposed to be.

Laughter has always been my escape. Life can be pretty shitty. It just can. But then something funny happens and for a moment, it’s all forgotten. If I can give that gift to just one person, I’ve done what I came to do.

2018 can be your year. It can be epic. It can start a journey that lasts the rest of your life. All you have to do is take a step toward something wonderfully terrifying and unreachable. What will your step be?

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Back to School Advice for Parents

Well my Pretties, school has officially begun for us here in lovely Atlanta, Georgia. So many emotions flood my brain this time of year: pride, nostalgia, confusion…

‘How are my babies old enough to go to school… alone… without mommy to make sure they’re ok? Maybe I should just shadow them’.

Then my husband reminds me that I’m being creepy and says he will not bail me out of jail this time if I get arrested again for public weirdness. Fair enough.  He wins… for now.

If we’re being honest, from one Pretty to another, there is one more emotion that tries to find its way into my brain during this time of year.  That would be the feeling of… wait for it… inadequacy. 

Schools give us parents plenty of opportunities to compare ourselves to other parents or just adults in general: Open House, Parent-Teacher conferences, class parties, Wednesdays… You get the picture.

The next time you’re in a PTA meeting or at a school picnic, just sit back and observe for a minute. You’ll notice a hoard of parents who know they’re being watched by other parents and by school administrators. They are members of the hoard doing their best to be at their best.(Isn’t that what a group of parents is called? A hoard? Not sure, maybe I watch too much The Walking Dead but I’m going with it).

And then there is me, dazed and standing in a corner, remembering the full day I lived in the hour it took me to get my kids up and ready for school as I question whether or not I remembered to brush my teeth before I left the house and wonder how this mystery stain appeared on my shirt while I was in the car.  It certainly wasn’t on my shirt when I left the house.  Impossible.  I think. 

At first I was very intimidated by the hoard. Everyone seemed to have it together.  I started to psych myself out.  Just to pain a picture, here are things that would go through my head while at my kids’ school:

  1. “That woman has deodorant stains on her shirt. How did she have time to put on deodorant?”
  2. “That mom is so patient with her kid. I would have lost my shat by now. Seriously, how many times is she going to let her kid smack her in the fupa?”
  3. “Wait, that kid has a fully cooked meal packed in his lunch box. You can do that? Is his mom an alien? Probably. Oh well. Bella seems to like her Lunchables. And all the sodium is drying out her skin quite nicely.”

I always try to look for the positive.

But as I went to more and more events at the school and started forming my posse of “pretty” moms (and by “pretty”, I mean ‘my kid threw a 15 minute tantrum this morning because the sun was shining in the window so she went to school without her teeth brushed and shorts from yesterday.  Sometimes I have sucky mom-skills… but at least I’m pretty!’) I started to see that some of the parents who seemed to have it together the most, really were just barely hanging on. The more I opened up, the more I was joined in a chorus of desperation, self-doubt, exhaustion, and alcohol.

So, to the moms of kids starting school for the first time this year, I have a message for you and some advice. 

First the message: you’re doing just fine. Better than that- if you’re not on drugs, your kids are bathed semi-regularly, fed almost every day, and not serial killers, I’d say you’re better than just fine. Breathe, smile, and go. It’s going to be ok.

Now for the advice: I’ve been a mom of school-aged kids for 4 years. I’d like to bestow upon you some lessons-learned. Let me help you by sharing what not to say out loud at a PTA meeting, or really any school function. Don’t think that these things aren’t happening around you. Just know that it’s not OK to say them out loud. Kind of like Fight Club. Don’t talk about it. Anyway, here we go:

The Top 10 Things You Don’t Say at PTA Meetings:

  1. Dang, I spilled my drink. Does anyone have some Chardonnay they can spare? I’m not picky about the brand.
  2. My daughter says you treat her like everyone else in the class. Is there a specific reason you hate her?
  3. I would appreciate it if you could dumb-down the homework. I’m having to Google way too much and I’m losing what little credibility I had left with my kids.
  4. Could you please point me to the bathroom? I need a quick smoke.
  5. I don’t do name tags.
  6. Is there a VIP section?
  7. Ewe, gross! This Thanksgiving food is nasty. Is this what you guys normally eat? Honey, I’m packing your lunch from now on. Is your lunchbox big enough for Lunchables?
  8. Don’t you know who I am?
  9. I would volunteer to help but I don’t like other people’s kids.
  10. Can I bum a Xanax from the school nurse?

This is just a starter list. I’m sure I’ll have a follow up list soon. Let me get a few school visits under my belt this year. Best of luck to all of the precious littles starting school this year. And Mommies, hold your head high. You got this. Daddies, buy lots of wine. Trust me. #happywifehappylife  Stay Pretty, ma friends.

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This One Time I Tried Krav Maga

Krav Maga

Ok, friends, I have a confession to make. I’m not as badass as I thought I was. This confession has been difficult for me to accept but it’s time I hang it out to dry; air it out for all to see.

The manner in which I discovered that my spirit animal is not, in fact, a Great White Shark was a bit crushing. For my ego, at least. A few months ago I saw an ad on Facebook providing a discount at a local Krav Maga studio. I immediately paid $40 (yes, I selected the “Go Big or Go Home” package (that’s what she said) because I knew that this was my calling). I prepared my acceptance speech as I was sure to take home the award for Best Krav Maga Person Ever, packed my bag, and headed out for my first ever class.  Also, I was preeeetty sure they’d ask me to teach my own class by the end of today’s class, which I was fully prepared to do, if the money was right.

A little history: I’ve been athletic in one form or another most of my life. I work out, know my way around a weight room, and, in my mind, can drop any 400-pound potential attacker with my pinky finger. Ok, that last part might be a tiny stretch. I might need my thumb. (That’s what she said.) Anyway, I was confident.

I walked in and signed the attendance list and waiver. The first fifteen minutes or so was “warm-up”. It was pretty intense but nothing I couldn’t handle. In my mind I sarcastically shouted “NEEEEXT!” and looked around the room in a patronizing way much like Lloyd Christmas looked at the undercover agent in the bar before he burped. You know, from Dumb & Dumber? No? Let’s just say I was totes ready for whatever came next.

What came next was partner work. Everyone else in the class knew each other and seemed like they already knew which partner they’d pick. And then there was me. Luckily the instructor shook things up a bit and partnered me with someone. A Ukrainian named Tatiana.   Oh-kaaaay? This was my first indication that this might not be the best fit for me. Tatiana was about 15 pounds heavier than me (pure muscle, like the purest and strongest muscle I’ve ever seen) and the look on her face as she approached me was the same look my elementary school PE teacher gave me when my eight-year-old self explained why I would not be performing my forward roll. For the record, it was the ‘80’s and I spent too much time fluffing my feathered bangs with Aquanet to risk them falling for a “forward roll”.

Anyway, the instructor gave the order for one partner to put on gloves and the other to get the mitt. I got the gloves first. Then she started calling out moves. The punches I nailed with the precision of Caitlyn Jenner’s pee stream after wacking off his peenie. Got it in the bowl but kinda all over the place. “Ok, I can do this. Wait, which one did she just call? Daaam I’m lost. Cross, hook, elbow, elbow, what? Oh, I like that girl’s shirt. I wonder wher- Huh? Dang, time to switch. Wait, how did everyone get their gloves off so fast?? Oh Dear Lord Baby Jesus mine are stuck.”

Then it was Tatiana’s turn for the gloves. “I should get a break. I think I just stand here with the mitt and do nothing… good I can kind of chill out and- OUCH!!!!! Damn! Does she have fists of iron? Why does she hate me?” All things running through my head in the first 5 seconds. Didn’t get much better from there. But I did learn a valuable lesson:

I don’t need an AncestryDNA test to uncover that I don’t have the DNA of a Doberman Pinscher. I have the DNA of a cute, tiny little squirrel. Not even the flying kind. Just a normal, run of the mill squirrel. Isn’t that a devastating blow?!

I haven’t been back. I was so sore after that first class that I couldn’t move for about a week so by the time it wore off and I was able to function again, the excitement wore off. Now I’m just too busy. I have my family, my comedy, my hair needs a good washin’. I got stuff that needs me. I could use that $40 back but that’s ok. We’ll call it even.  In the meantime I’ll stick to running.

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The Best List of Favorite Things EVER!

Every once in awhile products (or just stuffs in general) come along that make me swoon. Whether they’re time savers, money savers, youth savers, or sanity savers, I take notice and shout from the rooftop how much I love them. Well, today my computer is my rooftop and this post is my shout.

#1

Time Saver Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish.

Yes, I’m still in love. This little beauty is, for me, both a money saver and a time saver. I hate paying money for something I can do myself. So for around $14 USD I can get a bottle of color and a bottle of the essential top coat instead of spending $20 a pop at the salon. Do I still paint my nails like a 2 year old hopped up on Red Dye #40? Yes. But I just paint before the shower or run a cotton swab dipped in polish remover around the messed up part (AKA my whole hand) and it’s like a pro did it. Bam. Plus, it dries in around 2 minutes in natural light so I have less of a chance of messing it up when my ADD kicks in.

#2

Beauty Saver Beauty Counter Charcoal Mask

Y’all, for real. Getchusum. Send my friend Jennifer an email at hashtagsaferbeauty@gmail.com and she’ll hook you up. This stuff is amaze. In fact, I need to call her, too. I’m out. One of the things I love about all things Beauty Counter is that their reps can tell you every ingredient in their products. They are big on knowing what you put in and on your body and who can argue with that?? It’s a one-stop-shop for skincare AND makeup which is great.  Plus, since everything is a la carte, you won’t end up with another bottle of toner to add to the four you haven’t used yet when all you need is cleanser.

#3

Youth Saver Rodan + Fields Redefine Acute Care strips

These little strips look like they may whiten your teeth but don’t be deceived. They are WAY better than that. Buy a box and you’ll look younger than your toddler in no time. Just peel off the back, stick it on your forehead or crows feet, press it down real good, and let it do the work. After a few weeks you’ll realize that those lines have packed their bags and moved on to that biatch Tiffi down the street. Or her bestie who tried Botox and got her face temporarily paralyzed. Not you. Cuz you called my friend Mitzi (heck, just email her at mymoorhead@gmail.com) and she hooked you up with Acute Care strips. You’re welcome.

#4

Sanity Saver AND Money Saver Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling purchased from Costco

Now, in a pinch I’ll purchase this bottle from Mars if need be. This wine is my JAM! I always have a least one bottle ready for me in the event of an emergency (please read “emergency” as any time of my life). However, if I can get it from Costco, I spend $9 on a bottle. NINE DOLLARS. My local grocery store is $10 on a good day. One glass at a restaurant is $8 at best. So, for one dollar more than a glass, I can purchase a bottle from Costco. Plus, I love Costco. It’s the only place in the world I can go for spring water and leave with a printer, a set of new tires, a 5 gallon bottle of Champagne, and lobster tails. And enough cookies to feed my kids’ entire school.

#5

All my favorite things rolled into one: Comedian Red Squirrel

Ok, this lady is HER-LARIOUS. Google her name and watch what videos pop up. She’s gaining popularity with her being on tour with Southern Mama Darren Knight and rightfully so. It’s always refreshing to see someone doing well who is genuinely funny and nice. Follow her on Facebook for even more funny stuff. If you have a chance to see her in person, DO IT.

#6

Time Saver and Beauty Saver Dry Shampoo

OMG if I were on a deserted island and could only have one thing with me, I wouldn’t need this because I’d have super sexy beach hair.  But I’m not so I rely very heavily on my dry shampoo so that I can go four days- ok, ok, five days without washing my hair.  It’s the biggest time saver AND I always get hair compliments after I use it.  My fave brands are Bumble & Bumble and Aveda.  Bumble & Bumble has tinted shampoo so I don’t look like I have crack sprinkled in my blackish hair BUT Aveda smells delicious AND non-aerosol so it won’t give me bald spots from the blast.  Ladies, if you are one who HAS to wash your hair everyday, give dry shampoo a try.

Ok, that’s it. That’s all I have right now. Everything listed above is truly my fave. No one paid me to write this. But if they want, that’s cool. I can always use a new shirt that doesn’t have dried baby puke on it from nine years ago.  (Just kidding. Kind of.) If you have any awesome things to add to the list, let me know in the comments!

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Selfie Instructions for Guys

Ever seen someone who looks like something else? Maybe a person looks like a shark or a meerkat or an owl… Well, I recently had one of those encounters. Kind of.

The other day I saw a guy whose head & neck looked like a penis. An uncircumcised penis. Normally I wouldn’t embellish upon something that a person can’t help, but this guy’s hair cut emphasized the similarity so I feel like he’s embracing it. Which means it’s fair game for me. And I haven’t been able to forget it since. He was like a walking dick pic and who would I be if I kept that information to myself???

I feel like I should take this opportunity to share with men how we, women, feel about dick pics. Well, at least how I would feel if I received one. I’ve had too many friends tell me that this is an epidemic for those dating online and I think there needs to be some guidance on the topic. Luckily, I’m happily married and he doesn’t feel the need to remind me what it looks like when we aren’t physically in the same room together. But if he is quietly contemplating it, here’s the deal:

Guys, it’s not a compliment for someone to tell you that you look like a penis. I feel like that needs to be made clear. Boys are always trying to get anyone and everyone to look at their penises! I’ve had the chance to watch how this plays out with Roman and learned that it essentially begins at birth. He’s constantly saying, “Look at my penis!” as he runs butt-ass naked through our living room which, by the way, has 8 floor to ceiling windows. #werethebestneighbors.  I had to resort to telling him that the dog might think it’s a worm and bite it if he doesn’t put underwear on…

Don’t get me wrong: I appreciate a good penis as much as any hetero woman or gay man. But, let’s be honest, they were built for function. Like a furnace. A furnace is essential to the comfort of a home. It should be well built, in the typical furnace shape, placed in an inconspicuous location, and big enough to do the job. But if everything is “normal”, no one needs to know about it before inspection time and it stays behind a closet door in the basement and everyone is happy.

Guys- don’t lead with your furnace!

Let me put it into perspective. Imagine you’re looking for a house. A “forever home”. You go to the real estate app, you put in your requirements. And there it is. The perfect house. You scroll through the pictures. Outside of the house, front porch, furnace… WTF! That’s odd and out of place. Or maybe you see an online listing with just one picture. You love the outside of that house. Below the picture is the number for the listing agent and the promise of more information. You call the number. You have a lovely conversation and arrange a showing. Five minutes later you get a text. It’s the agent! And he’s sent you a picture of the furnace. Uh…

But that’s what you guys do!

Now, if you have an unfortunate micro-penie or it’s shaped like a teardrop, maybe list that in your disclosure. That way, potential buyers know upfront what they’re getting into. If not, we’re good.

Slight tangent alert: is there any type of penis disclosures for people who “court”? Like the Duggars? Cuz if I’ve saved myself for marriage, which I totally did (shut up), and I chose a husband with a teardrop-shaped micropenie, which I discover on my wedding night when it’s too late… I’d be pissed.

I can’t think of any instance when I was dating that I thought to myself “I’m gonna pop my foot up here on the counter and take a pic of my vag and send it to this guy. That’ll hook him for sure.” Because God knew what he was doing when he put lady and man parts where he did. Obviously, it was the 11th hour on the 6th day and he was tired and over this thing so he just clopped some leftover clay together and stuck it on.

I don’t think God intended for us to put our faces down there & stare at it when he settled on the design. Eve said, “Hey, Adam, sorry about that whole tree/snake thing. How can I make it up to you?” And Adam said, “Weeeeeeell….” And God said, “facepalm””. Guys don’t care how weird their penises look. They just like them because they do cool things with it and think that women should be just as intrigued.

But they look like something my kids bring home from art class. Like the clay sculpture of a narwhal my daughter brought home when she was in kindergarten. By the time I saw it the horn was missing, it was kinda wonky, but she yelled, “LOOK! Look at my masterpiece!” She was so proud so I bragged on it. Then she said, “Take a picture!” So I did. And I posted it to Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat cuz it looked like a penis. And everyone hit the “wow” emoji because they were hilariously appalled by it.

You guys are so proud of your penises. “Honey! Come here! Look at my dick! It looks like a narwhal when I flex it! Look! It’s dancing! Take a picture!” Why? Women don’t do that. Women don’t say, “Hey, babe, look! My vag looks like that clam we saw on Nat Geo. Look. And when I flex it looks like it’s trying to close its shell. Look! Take a picture.” No! Women don’t do that! Because, for the most part, we don’t wanna take a picture to commemorate something that isn’t beautiful. And to qualify as beautiful, it almost always involves sparkle either literally or figuratively. Does it sparkle guys? No? Then chances are, it isn’t attractive. Functionality isn’t enough!

It’s why we have the bedazzler- to beautify the functional things in the world. Trucker hats- bedazzle ’em. Blue jeans- more rhinestones please. Our vages… That’s right, guys. It’s called a Vajazzle in honor of the marriage between the bedazzle and the vagina. Like all great unions, Kimye to commemorate Kim & Kanye, TomKat to commemorate Tom Cruise and Katie- never mind. Not a good example. Brangelina to- ok, this isn’t working out the way I meant it to. Anyway, it’s a thing.

For those of you who don’t know, the Vajazzle is another way for us women to pamper ourselves under the guise of doing it for you when you complain about another $50 spent at the salon. If a man manipulates a situation to his benefit, he’s a sociopath. If a woman does it, she’s just good at being a woman. We’re pros at this. We will swear it’s for you. “How DARE you suggest that I WANT to spend $50 to lay on a table for an hour while I get GLUE poured on my lady parts with sparkly rhinestones meticulously placed in gorgeous, intricate designs. How DARE you! I do this for YOU.” No we don’t. This is totally for us. Because guys don’t understand the beauty that is the sparkle.

Is $50 too much to spend to put some party in our pants? Absolutely. Will that stop us? No. You had us at “-azzle”. Women love to sparkle. Then we come home, go to the bathroom to check out the results and yell, “Honey! Come here! Look at my vag, it sparkles! Look! If I flex, look! It looks like a disco ball! Take a picture.”

Just kidding. That never happens.

 

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How Homework Made Me Stupid

Homework. That eight-letter compound word has become synonymous with Hell for me. Growing up I always thought that once I was out of school I’d be done with it. Homework was but a temporary evil to get through so that I could get my degree and move on with my life. Oh how wrong was I.

When I was in school, I don’t remember having homework until maybe 2nd or 3rd grade. Maybe I did, I don’t know. But kindergarten for me was half-days. Your parents could sign you up for morning or afternoon. Sprinkled into the strenuous 4 hour day was also naptime and recess. {And we wondered why Japanese students were so much smarter.}

So, you could imagine my confusion when we registered Bella for kindergarten and she was EVALUATED for sight words, math skills, and reading… uh… isn’t this where she learns her alphabet? Cuz that’s what we’ve killed. Test her on that.

Then the HOMEWORK. WHAT??? I naïvely assumed that the homework was something she should be able to complete on her own. I would be there to make sure she was focused (by the way, not my strong point either) but the work was something she could work through. I was wrong. That’s when I came to the realization that homework isn’t for the kids. It’s for the parents. Like some covert CIA program to ensure parents don’t get stupid.

Bella: “Mommy, I don’t know how to do this problem. It’s for math.”

Me: “Oh, heck yes. Math I can do! ‘Deconstruct the number 10’. Deconstruct? What’s that mean, Bella? Did your teacher show you how to do this?

Bella: “Yes, but I don’t really understand. You can help me, right, Mommy?”

Me: “Uh, sure! Yes! I can help you, baby girl. Let me just find my computer.” (As I quickly pull up Google and define ‘deconstruction’ as it relates to math.)

Obviously, homework is created to provide validation to my children that, no, Mommy DOESN’T know everything and should, as a result, be constantly questioned anytime she states anything as fact.

Bella (or Roman at this point): “Can I have a root beer?”

Me: “No, you’ve already had one. You’ve also had a cupcake, rice krispy treat, and 5 Girl Scout cookies. You don’t need that much sugar. It’s bad for you.”

My kid: “Well… you couldn’t even help me deconstruct the number 10 last night so… maybe we should ask Google about the sugar thing, just to be sure.”

Fuq you, homework. Fuq you.

Another thing I want to point out is the strain that homework puts on my marriage. I would love to know how many divorces are attributed to disputes that began related to homework.

Nothing will start a marital spat in my home quicker than either my husband or me incorrectly instructing one of the kids in an effort to help and the other spouse catching the mistake.

“No, that’s not the correct conjugation of the verb.”

“Um, YOU asked me to help.”

And so it begins. Next thing you know it’s World War III in our kitchen. Fuq you, homework. Fuq you. I didn’t know I was supposed to add, “through incorrect homework instruction and correct” to my wedding vows.

By now, Bella’s got the homework thing down for the most part. The biggest issue we have with her is getting her to turn it in. Roman, however, is just getting in the swing. Most days look like this:

 

Hopefully these are growing pains that will get better. All I know is that I didn’t sign up for this shat. I’m frustrated. But at least I’m pretty.

Anyone have any tricks to make homework easier?

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How to Survive Your First Parental Experience with Stitches

The Incident

I hit the parent jackpot. One beautiful, dainty little girl and one headstrong, full-throttle little boy. Perfect. From the outside it seems like it should be all rainbows and unicorns (with some fart jokes sprinkled in) where everyone is always 100% healthy and happy. But that façade collapsed last week with one phone call.

It was inevitable, the call I received. It was one of the ladies from the after-school program, “Mrs. Benefield, Roman has fallen and hit his head. I wanted to let you know. It’s pretty bad.”

Me, not fully grasping what I’m being told, stupidly ask, “I need to come get him?”

To which she patiently explains, “yes, he has a gash on his head.”

She let me speak to him. He sounded ok. I told him he was my brave little man and I’d be on my way to get him not really knowing what I would see.

Now, let me defend my stupid question by explaining that sometimes we get panicked phone calls that aren’t really emergencies. The ladies that run the after-school program double as the cafeteria workers. They’re super sweet grandmother-types who err on the side of caution. Like if caution were to look at someone and say, “whoa, they’re cautious” it would be describing these women. We’ve had some false alarms. But we’ve also had some situations with Roman that have caused him to have permanent bumps and scars on his forehead. Nothing that has required medical attention aside from my husband (who is a medical professional) putting his skin back together with glue, but still there have been “situations” to give the sweet lunch ladies some credit.

Once I arrived at the school, I walked in to pick him up and saw him sitting on the table with an audience of kids and lunch ladies surrounding him. He had a rag with ice in it against his forehead. He pulled the rag away and immediately my eyes go to the culprit of the drama. The little boy I sent to school perfectly intact now had about a half-inch gash on his forehead above his eye. But, surprisingly, it didn’t seem as bad as the last incident at school that involved the metal part of the door lock going into his head. It wasn’t even bleeding anymore.

Next, I took a picture and sent it to my husband and much to my surprise he told me to take him to urgent care. Like now. He knew it needed stitches. What? I mean, ok. Maybe overreacting a little but he’s the one with a medical degree so…

Roman needs stitches… apparently
The Fix

We pulled into the children’s urgent care and I got him checked in. He and my daughter were running around playing and laughing and- STOP!!!!! His head started to bleed. I grabbed a tissue to wipe away the blood and a clear liquid flowed out of the wound. Ok, stitches, I get it. I totally get it. I will never secretly question my husband’s medical direction ever again. Ever. But for that moment I was just trying not to puke or pass out or provide any indication to my sweet, brave little man that his head was kinda gnarly and he’d need to get stitched up like a teddy bear that fell victim to the family dog.

For Bella’s part, she was the perfect big sister. She was patient and loving and said anything she could think of to help ease his anxiety when he thought he might get a shot or the other dreaded “s” word… STITCHES. Some of her words may have done more damage than help but she was trying so hard to put him at ease.

As a side note, let me just say that taking him to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s urgent care center was the BEST decision. They knew immediately he needed stitches. But instead of saying the “s” word, (which would have flipped him the fuq out) everyone referred to them as “magic thread” that would make his head go back together. I think Bella was intrigued by the possibility of seeing magic thread at work as well. She’d been watching a Netflix show about this very subject of magic with a fairy princess and her pet unicorn sprinkled in so she was pretty sure it was a real thing and played right along, helping to seal the validity in Roman’s mind of the claims of magic being made by these nurses.

The nurse numbed his head with numbing cream and after about 30 minutes we were called back to get the “magic threads”.

A doctor, a nurse, and a medical assistant walk into a bar… just kidding. They all worked on my Roman to sew him back together. The result was beautiful. Five stitches in all. Afterward I asked Roman if he realized he just got stitches. He started to tear up and say that he was scared to get stitches. However, once he understood that it was over and he ALREADY had them, he was proud. The highlight of the situation was this little dialogue:

ME: Roman! You just got stitches, man! Chicks dig men with scars, just sayin’.

Bella: Yeah, Roman! Girls love boys with injuries!

Ever the little momma to her little brother… and he was so brave and proud of his braveness.

Here’s the final result!

All stitched up! Thank God for Dad and his guidance!
So, in conclusion, that was my first (and hopefully last) experience with stitches. Anyone else have a similar experience?

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