The sporadic round-up of things I’m doing when I’m not writing…two weeks late because: kids.  I choose to pluralize the word because pets count as children.

Teen Mom…  I will admit that we are former Teen Mom watchers.  Before kids, it was so easy to get sucked into a Saturday marathon of that show.  I’d sit down after mopping (you know, giving the floor time to dry) and think I’d just watch the end of this episode.  But then I’d need to know if Kaitlyn and Tommy were going to stay together, or if Leah was going to get married again, or if Janelle was still with Kiefaaaah…and before I knew it, the sun was setting.  We gave it up after realizing our continued viewership was one of the driving forces behind the 17th season of the show.  Last week while flipping through the channels, Evan paused on MTV for a split second.  It was long enough for me to see that Teen Mom was on, and the cast that we had previously watched!  So we agreed to just watch a few minutes of the show.

While we were watching, I felt the need to adjust the color/tint/brightness on our TV.  Remember the old TVs with knobs, where you could adjust those things?  Bring it back, because today’s TV technology is not equipped to handle the spray tan/skunk hair that seems to be in style from Georgia to Kentucky.

Ladies, this isn't as attractive as you think.




You should also know that I lost a good half an hour of precious napping/reading/blogging time just Google-imaging “bad spray tan.”  If you need a laugh, do that.

The Hunger Games: Craigslist Edition… Let me preface this by saying I’ve never read any of The Hunger Games books, nor have I seen the movies.  But, from what I understand, it’s the story of a contest/battle to the death over something.  Maybe food?  Saving the rain forest?  Not sure, but I needed an example you can relate to, and I know these young adult books are all the rage right now (barf).

Anyway.  Two weeks ago, we finally finished cleaning out the garage.  This is a project that started seven years ago when we bought this house.  That’s what happens when you pack up your existing garage and just move it 20 blocks south.  We had an old entertainment center that was in really good condition, but that I was too lazy to try selling or hauling to a thrift shop.  Enter the Craigslist Curb Alert.  Do you know about the Curb Alert?  If you want to get rid of something super fast, and you’re willing to just give it away, post it there.  People literally sit on their computers all day long waiting for things like foliage, old refrigerators, and 500 pounds of fill dirt to be posted.  Then, they obsessively respond to your posting until you email them back.

Case in point: I posted the entertainment center at about 10am.  At 10:07, I got the first of fifty-seven emails.  By 10:30am, I realized something very important: I had an extreme amount of power.  After reading every email, we decided to determine the winner based on grammar, spelling and punctuation.

Examples of phrases that did not win: “R U still gettin rid of ENT CTR?”, people who chose to type “gunna” in lieu of “going to” or “gonna”, people who responded with “GIVE ME YOUR ADDRESS” (note: I don’t just give out my address to randos, and you’re even less likely to receive it by typing in all caps), and people who emailed more than three times.

The winner composed an email with complete sentences that even featured punctuation.  After Evan spoke with him on the phone, he was awarded the prize…driving from North Fort Myers to mid-Cape to load this beast up in the back of his truck.  By lunch time, my driveway was empty.  It was awesome.

I continued receiving emails in the form of text/broken English for the next two days.  I love Craigslist.

And finally…

The best way to end a weekend, ever…







Here’s your sporadically produced Round-Up. I know you’ve been waiting eagerly for this one, because who doesn’t want to know what I’m doing when I’m not spending my time here, writing? That’s what I thought. So while you’re enjoying that final sugar rush of the holiday season, tree still twinkling in the window, leftovers still fresh in the fridge, enjoy this belated Christmas gift.

The Heathens
You remember The Heathens, right? The little scoundrels we discussed in this post? Well, they got golf clubs for Christmas. ALL OF THEM. How do I know they got golf clubs? Because they were at the park committing arborcide yet again. I’m surprised they weren’t wearing their karate uniforms and shooting paintball guns at squirrels, too.

How squirrels feel about the Heathens.

How squirrels feel about the Heathens.

We have a “no heathen” rule in our house. Miles – and all future sons – are banned from exhibiting any heathen-like behavior. Guess what Mr. and Mrs. Heathen got for Christmas? Matching Lexuses. Lexi? Lexusi? I’m not sure how you pluralize “obnoxious” but that’s what Santa brought them. Mrs. Heathen even got a pink bedazzled license plate cover. Barf.

The Crunch Off
Let me preface this by saying I’m not that crunchy mama, but on a scale of Fig Newton to Mama Earth Arrowroot Cookies, I’d probably fall somewhere in line with a Pepperidge Farms Sausalito (side note: DROOL). Here’s what I’ve learned: No matter how crunchy you think you are, there’s someone crunchier. And if you boast about your crunchiness (which I would never do because I’m lazy, and my buggy probably has some non-organic produce in it because I’m also thrifty) someone is going to out-crunchy you. Before you know it, you’ve entered The Crunch Off. For every cloth diaper you’ve changed, someone else is teaching her kids “elimination communication” (Google it). And for every mama going with elimination communication, some other mama is taking her kid’s poop and adding it to her compost bin outside (Google that, too). And for every mama with a compost bin, there’s another mama using Family Cloth (GOOGLE IT. I DARE YOU. No, don’t…it’s toilet paper you wash. Feeling crunchy?)

Hate your hubby's lumberjack shirt?  PROBLEM SOLVED.

Hate your hubby’s lumberjack shirt? PROBLEM SOLVED.

So, moms of granola and non-granola alike, can we just stop it already with the one-upmanship? It’s so lame and aggravating. Parenting really comes down to one thing: love. Also, feeding them and keeping them clean, but that should be part of the love. As long as you’re loving your kids, and caring for them in the best way for your family, you’re getting an A+ from me. Also, Doritos moms, stop telling the crunchy moms that they’re weird, because it’s not nice. At least we never have to clean orange cheese dust off our furniture.

I think I’ve mentioned before that we are big fans of The Wonder Weeks. At 36 weeks old, Miles is in his sixth phase of mental development, called the “World of Categories.” The book tells you that he’s starting to group things in categories. For example, a picture of a cow, a stuffed cow and a live cow are all in the category of “cows” (yes, I realize that sounds simple, but remember…Miles still eats his toes). Each leap in development has its own challenges. I will brag and say that for the most part, Miles has had very few fussy moments during these leaps. The app gives you a chart with sunshine and rain clouds so you can track where your baby’s mood might be. Miles currently has a picture of a looming black storm cloud with a huge bolt of lightning. Nice thought, huh? Anyway, one of the new things that can begin during this development: NIGHTMARES. So this is what I get for bragging about what a good sleeper my son is…last night, starting at 1:30a and every 90 minutes until 7a, he woke up. Sometimes he would cry, sometimes he would talk, sometimes he would just crawl around his crib and bang on the rails. But there was crying, and he was asleep. Suffice to say, we’re thinking we’ve had our first nightmare. Of course, when Miles woke up this morning you’d think he had 12 hours of beautiful sleep at a Swedish spa, because he was rip-roarin’ and ready to go. I, on the other hand, needed two cups of coffee. Let’s hope tonight is more…peaceful?

EDITED TO ADD:  The “up every 90 minutes” fiasco from last night?  Mystery solved…WE HAVE A TOOTH! HALLELUJAH! I thought this kid would be toothless until being toothless is okay (i.e. when he could wear dentures).

Cheers to the weekend and GLORIOUS NAPS TO BE HAD,

Round-Up: SAHM Edition

Last week, I was on vacation.  Glorious, stress-free, vacation…AT HOME.  I have always wanted to take a full week of vacation time and just sit at home, eating nachos for breakfast, watching Kathy Lee and Hoda, reading Us Weekly and wearing yoga pants with zero intention of actually doing yoga (or any physical activity, for that matter).  Now that we’re parents, a week of time at home gives me a peek into the life of a stay-at-home mom.
I learned a few things in those 7ish days; some of those things are valuable life tools.  And some of those things involve The Wiggles.
Top Ten Things Learned During SAHM Week…
10. You’re an anti-TV parent until you are forced to become a TV parent.  Let me clarify this by saying we are still anti-TV parents; however, when you need 15 minutes to vacuum, take a phone call, find the cat or just poop, well…plopping Miles in the Jumperoo and giving him some PBS was the answer.
9. Your coffee will probably be cold by the time you finish it.  Every morning, I would play with Miles on the floor in the living room and attempt to drink my coffee.  This worked fine, until he noticed my coffee mug.  Once the mug was in his line of sight, it was game over.  He would stop at nothing in his attempts to grab my mug, because suddenly that mug of coffee was more important than anything in the entire universe, ever. 
8. All electrical cords belong to Miles.  I thought I could work on our family Christmas card while Miles was playing with one of his favorite toys (a measuring cup).  He was intently putting his orange monkey under the measuring cup, scooting it over, then picking it up again to see if monkey was still there.  He had no idea I was even in the room.  I quietly plugged in my laptop, and started working.  That was the moment his spidey senses kicked in…realizing an electrical cord was nearby, Miles immediately stopped playing with his cup.  After 10 minutes of attempting to work, I gave up.  A similar situation arose with the vacuum, steam mop, and phone charger.  Some of you may be wondering why electrical cords are so awesome.  Like all awesome toys, you can BEAT THEM ON THE FLOOR AND MAKE NOISE.
7. A majority of children’s programming is frightening, or created by people taking psychotropic drugs.  I thought I’d check out that BabyFirst channel, only to find some terrifying show with three large and incredibly realistic looking mice singing and dancing, with no movement from their mouths.  Just these blank, vacant stares from their beady costume eyes.  

And now you can share in my nightmare.

So that ended up on the “do not watch” list.  Then I tried something called Lazy Town, but found most of the actors had rubber masks or weird hair, and added that to the list as well.  These very strange shows also seemed to lack any educational value.  

Not good role models.  Also, questionable fashion choices.

What made the cut?  The Wiggles, Barney and Friends (YES, THAT IS STILL ON THE AIR!), Sid the Science Guy, Sesame Street and The Chica Show.  Good stuff.

6. A majority of new children’s music is also frightening.  While I am anti-TV, during playtime we do have music going…Miles loves music.  We usually listen to jazz, but I decided to venture into the world of children’s music.  There’s a lot of good stuff out there.  For instance, Caspar Babypants (you can’t make this stuff up) is now in my regular playlist.  He’s like a Jack Johnson for babies, and it is awesomesauce.  

How can you not love this guy?

SERIOUSLY.  He’s awesome.  I would listen to him even if I didn’t have children.

However, when a group called “Preschool Popstars” came on singing a song about a daycare dance party, I decided I did not want my eight month old in da club.  You would also be amazed at the number of adult pop songs (Lady Gaga, Beyonce, etc.) that make it to the children’s station because they are being sung by THE CHIPMUNKS.  This type of torture should be saved for Guantanamo.  Fun fact: These tunes will also make your ears bleed.

Sippin’ on juice.  Just juice.


Yes, I could have made the entire post about this one thing.
It’s like a train wreck, I just can’t turn away from it.

5. You can wear the same clothes five days in a row, and no one will know.  Except the UPS guy.  And maybe the mailman.  Also, employees at Publix, depending on how many times you visit the store.  Fashion be damned, I wore the same yoga pants and Grateful Dead t-shirt ALL. WEEK. LONG.  It was awesome.
4. You get to eat lunch with your kiddo!  Feeding Miles while simultaneously feeding myself is nothing new, but eating lunch at 11am is.  So at 2pm, when I was suddenly hungry in a way that can only be akin to a bear waking from hibernation, I would usually binge on something sensible, like an entire sleeve of Ritz crackers and half a jar of Nutella.  Don’t look at me like that.
3. You finally see why all the other moms won’t stop talking about the blue Wiggle.

 Oh, you think he’s kind of lame?

2. You get to read a book!  And a magazine!  And watch re-runs of SATC!  Miles’ longest nap usually happens around lunch time…two hours of glorious, uninterrupted ME TIME.  Choirs of angels sang the first time I sat down to read. 
1. YOU GET TO TAKE A NAP…EVERY SINGLE DAY!  Oh my gosh, naps.  I haven’t taken a nap since…how old is my son?  That long.  It was awesome.
Besides these learning moments, I also really, really, really enjoyed just getting some downtime with my kiddo.  These are the days that go by quickly, where he seems to still be swaddled one minute and somehow riding a tricycle the next.  It happens that fast.  So having many, many days of “just us” was an incredible, tremendous blessing.  I cried The Ugly Cry three times last week, just sitting there watching him play, because I suddenly realized he was no longer my teeny, tiny little baby.  He’s a big boy.  An amazing, smart, funny, snuggly and loving little guy. 
Dropping him off at school on Monday was like that first day, all over again.  Only this time, Miles eagerly crawled to the basket of toys and immediately began dumping them all over the floor, totally oblivious to the fact that mom was standing there, teary eyed, watching her baby grow up.  I kissed him goodbye; he bopped me on the nose and tried to take my glasses, then he gave me a hug.  A real hug.
I left before my morning at daycare turned into a Publix Thanksgiving commercial.

You cried when the pilgrims were separated at the table, right?
Working parents, if you get the chance to take some vacation and spend it at home with your young ones, I cannot encourage you enough to do it.  In the blink of an eye, kids are off at college, getting married, giving you grandchildren…these days are precious and brief.  Even when you’re tired, distracted, running a hundred miles an hour…stop, and make the most of these days.  You will appreciate these memories so much as your children grow.
Sappy McSapperston,

Early Round-Up

Just boob, no tube…
Remember last week when I told you I was going without TV for a week?  Well, weekdays?  Maybe?  I did it.  Sort of on purpose, sort of not. 
Here’s the reason it wasn’t exactly on purpose…Evan had a couple late nights this week (like, Miles is already in bed asleep late nights).  So, when I’m in Single Parent Status (this is a real thing I refer to at home, just ask my husband) there’s really no time for television.  Once The Short One has hit the hay, I’m washing bottles, prepping food for the next day, herding the small zoo that lives in our home, touching up my nail polish, drinking a glass of wine and going to bed.  But I did appreciate that time in a way, because it helped me to see that my dependency on TV isn’t as severe as I thought it was.
For instance, I have FIVE episodes of Law & Order: SVU sitting there, just waiting to be watched.  Of course I miss Detective Benson, but she’ll be there when I eventually get around to watching it. 
Other than the regular weeknight stuff, what else did I accomplish in my disconnected state?  I got Miles’ baby book caught up to current!  I also mailed some stuff to the IRS that I’d been meaning to send since 2009 for a while, painted my nails, organized our bedroom closet, did eleventy billion loads of laundry and and AND started reading a book; one that was not written by Dr. Seuss, does not have heavy duty cardboard pages perfect for chewing, or pictures!
Side note: IRS, I’m sure you’re in kahootz with the NSA.  If you audit me, you will unleash the wrath of the past eight years I’ve spent learning tax forms for personal and business, single member LLC, S-Corps, carry the 2 and divide by 17.8, wrongformagainlololol.  It’s not easy to have a full-time career and also be a volunteer accountant on the side…now that I’m a mom, I’m not playing around.  If you audit me, I will send that guy from “Taken” after you.  Seriously.  Not really.  Please don’t audit me.
I did watch a teeny, tiny bit of TV: one episode of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, and one episode of Two Broke Girls.  Because I also learned that without TV, I can get extra sleep.  Glorious, beautiful, sleep.
So, DVR…I guess our relationship just went from “it’s complicated” to “I’m just not that into you.”  If it weren’t for The Walking Dead, American Horror Story, Criminal Minds, The New Girl, SVU, Two Broke Girls, Boardwalk Empire, re-runs of Cosby and Roseanne, football, Food Network and Hot in Cleveland, we’d probably never see each other again.  Probably.
Speaking of sleep…
Miles has always been given an A++ with extra gold stars and sunshine for being such an excellent sleeper.  Then, the mindgame of Daylight Savings Time came, along with the 29-30 week growth spurt (which is, coincidentally, when babies learn about separation anxiety).  And now, for the past week, he has woken up every couple hours.  Sometimes he cries, sometimes he lays there and makes noises, sometimes he wants to play. 
Either way, he’s getting a D+ right now as far as I’m concerned.  He isn’t failing yet because his daytime naps are superawesomesunbeams, which is great.  Also, this waking up business makes me grumpy, but has zero effect on The Short One.  In fact, Miles seems to get a super energy burst of smiles from waking up every two hours.  What happens in our adult lives to change this effect?
He’s almost seven months old.  We’ve never had to sleep train, but when faced with the choice of sleep training or crazy training, well…you know what’s up.  Tonight we’re going to go all Ferber Method and see how it goes.  Please pray.  Hard.  Also, send wine.  I don’t know if my heart/mind/mommy guilt can take it.  But I need sleeeeep.
Parents of young kiddos, we follow The Wonder Weeks.  You can download a free app on your phone, and it’s super helpful for knowing what each growth spurt entails, and what skills your child is developing.  This is also how I know that we’re going through the “holy crap my parents can just walk out of the room and leave me here?!” thing at night.
Also, since my post on parenting fail, he has fallen down umpteen times, with minimal crying.  I think the feelings of fear when falling have been replaced with a dogged determination to walk, because he really, really wants to hang out with the cats and they keep finding places to nap that are just out of his reach.  He’s like a little McGyver, moving boxes against the couch to climb up them.  Right now it’s adorable; ask me if I feel the same way when I find him swinging from a ceiling fan one day.
Wow, this is the first update I’ve ever had the pleasure of giving!  Remember this post?  Well guess what…

THERE WILL BE A PART TWO!  Oh yes, there will be.  Evan was called to testify.  It’s awesome, because it gives me some writing material.  It also sucks, because the trial falls on our 8 year wedding anniversary.  Sacrifices, right?