Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

It’s been awhile since I’ve participated in one of Kate Takes 5‘s listography posts, but this one has caught my fancy. As a blogger, I am slightly obsessed with my site’s statistics. How many page hits have I had? What links do people click on from my site? How to people find me? Although I can’t see any identifying information about who clicked on what, I can see how many people came from X site, how many people found me searching for X, how many people voted for me at Top Mommy Blogs or Babble (ahem), etc. So without further ado, I give you:

My Top 5 Keyword Searches of all time (excluding blog name):

  1. Charlie Sheen YoungThis post is really about make-up and aging. Charlie Sheen is a hot ticket in the world of SEO. Using his photo was actually one of my very few deliberate uses of SEO. It works. Generally I choose content over optimization though, SEO be damned!
  2. Terrible Mom – Thank you, thank you very much. Am I psyched that I come up on the top of a Google search of “terrible mom“? Kind of, yeah. If the person searching is a mother feeling inadequate, I am happy to provide a soft landing place for her to realize that she’s not alone – I suck too.
  3. Mom Exposed – this one actually leads people to the same post as #2, but it is an entirely different group of people doing the search. The people typing this into their browser are looking for websites where “moms” actually expose themselves. I get a few other porn searches that lead people to my blog. I think it’s funny that a person seeking porn is so easily diverted by a mommy blog.
  4. Missing Spoons – I guess this is a common problem! But what are people hoping to gain from searching online for their missing spoons?
  5. Annoying Questions – Another common problem I suppose. Again I’m left wondering why people are searching online for this? Do they not have enough annoying questions in their lives? Are they looking for annoying conversation starters? Or are they checking to make sure their children are developmentally annoying enough?
No matter how people find my blog, I’m happy to have you all here. If you like this post, check out the other blogs participating in this week’s Listography.

Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Read Full Post »

Today I was banned from Facebook. Don’t panic! My Facebook rights should be reinstated tomorrow. As this was my first offense, I only got a 24 hour ban. I guess that repeat offenders get banned for good.

So, what did I do that was so wrong? I posted this photo:

Clearly scandalous, no?

My reprimand and subsequent time-out from Facebook has put me through a range of emotions today not dissimilar to the 5 Stages of Grief:

  1. Denial: What? I’m banned? Can’t be. Let me update my status about that. WTF? I can’t update my status?? Can’t be. Let me try again.
  2. AngerWTF? I didn’t do anything wrong! Who is the idiot in charge of this ridiculous process? Did someone actually report this picture as inappropriate? What kind of sick person would think that way? This is not fair! I have something to say about it! But I’ve been muted! ARRRGGGH!
  3. BargainingMaybe I can send an email to someone explaining the misunderstanding. Obviously the carefully crafted rules and regulations regarding offensive or nude photos did not have this photo in mind. There’s been a mistake. We can work this out, surely!
  4. DepressionThere is no way to contact an actual person at Facebook. Figures. What about all the funny stuff that keeps popping in my head? These are gems that are just going to be lost to my own poor memory. What should I do now? Hmmm. I have nothing to do. My life is empty. Wow. I spend a lot of time on Facebook. I’m pathetic.
  5. AcceptanceOK, deep breaths. The rules are there to protect my very own naked children against pervs. Yes, I think banning me for this is an overreaction, but it is what it is. It’s just a day. Do I have a Facebook habit? Sure. But it could be worse. I could be doing meth.
What did I learn about myself today? That I actually grieved the loss of my ability to post on Facebook as ‘Motherhood, WTF?’ for 24 hours. I’m going to go ahead and call this a First-World Problem. My takeaway is that I’m fortunate enough for this to be my biggest problem today.

Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Read Full Post »

Kate from Kate Takes 5 has a weekly link up where she provides a topic for a top 5 list. This week’s topic: inventions that would make my life easier, nay, awesome.

1. A Me-Duplicator

The only time the doctor can see me is the same exact time I have to pick L up? No problem, set the Me-Duplicator to 1 and create one temporary Me to do the less pleasant task. Friends arriving in 15 minutes, the house is a wreck, kids want to play outside and all I want to do is take a shower? Set the Duplicator to 7. Each child gets one Me to play with, and 5 Mes make quick work of the house while I get to relax. Perfect!

2. A pause button

A pause is the perfect solution for a myriad of life’s problems. One push and everyone freezes in time but me. I also reserve the right to tag any individuals I want to unfreeze in the rare instance that I don’t just want to be left alone. Yes, would use this to cheat on game shows.

3. A miracle weight loss pill

Why not have a real, safe alternative to all that eating right and exercising crap? This pill would save countless lives and millions of dollars in healthcare for weight related illnesses. See how magnanimous I am? It also would ensure that I could pull off skinny jeans and bikinis. (Pst, you could too!)

4. Post it notes

Wait, these have been invented already, you say. True. But I would like them to be uninvented so that I can invent them and make gajillions of dollars. I’d also like Harry Potter to be unwritten so I could write it. Oh, hell, throw in Microsoft and we’ll call it a day.

5. An Insta-Transporter

This one has been said before, but it bears repeating. Feel like French food? With a push of a button find yourself at an outdoor Parisian cafe. Stuck in traffic? Use your transporter to instantly find yourself parked in front of your destination. (Yeah, it’s smart enough to know to bring your car with you, but not your house.)

Read Full Post »

Kate from Kate Takes 5 has a weekly link up where she provides a topic for a top 5 list. I always mean to participate in her listography, but for some reason I don’t seem to make it in time. Last week’s topic was Decisions and I’ve been ruminating on the topic for days, and naturally missed my chance to link up to it before the new topic for this week was posted. But it got me thinking a lot about some of the decisions that have shaped my life.

Like everyone else, I’ve made good decisions and bad decisions, hard decisions and easy decisions. Here are a few of the most  influential decisions I’ve made, the good and the bad.

1. Leaving High School

I don’t actually like to admit this often, but I went to boarding school. It was the norm for kids from my middle school to go away to boarding school for high school. (Did that sentence have “school” in it a lot or what?) Anyway, it was not for me. I hated it vehemently. I hated the culture of my school where the hockey team ruled and even the teachers seemed to be divided into cliques. During my junior year we had a parents’ day and I was in a sour mood. My parents asked what was the matter and I rashly lashed out that I hated my school and was miserable. “So what are you going to do about it?” my dad asked me. Huh?

This was the first time I was handed the reigns of my life. I could do something about this? I decided to apply directly to college as a junior, and skip my 4th year of high school entirely. I did not have enough credits and did not take any kind of equivalency exam. I was like any other high school junior. Several of my top choice schools firmly let me know that I need not apply until I graduated like a normal person, but some were open to my application and I was accepted into a handful. Then I had a difficult choice to make: leave my friends and the comfort of the familiar? Separate myself from everyone else on the planet by not having a senior year of high school? I did it. That decision empowered me and at 17 I learned that I was in charge of myself and could drive my own life.

2. Giving Up

I found myself as a previously sheltered 17-year-old in the bigger than big world of Giant University. My dorm my freshman year had over 1600 students. Believing I was a uniquely talented and bright individual, like I had always been told, I applied to a competitive writing course. I submitted my short stories, full of teen angst and trite drama (this was waaaay before Twilight). I was not accepted. I received a letter explaining that I should work on my writing and reapply as an upperclassman.

Devastated, I concluded that I actually had no talent for writing whatsoever. Too humiliated to sign up for any other kind of writing course, I hung up my pen. I decided that my parents were right, writing is a hobby, and I should take a bunch of science courses so I could be employable some day instead. Easy decision to make. Giving it up was so easy. But what if I hadn’t? I could potentially have some fulfilling career instead of a history of random jobs, a Master’s degree I don’t care about, and no idea what I want to be when I grow up.

3. Studying Abroad

Most people consider taking one semester to study abroad or at another university, for a change of pace and fun opportunity. I did it 3 times. I knew that college provided me the unique chance to do this. That one day when I was a grown up saddled with a grown up life I would not be able to spend 3 months in exotic places like Nepal and Kenya, or living outside in snow caves in the Rocky Mountains. I was so fortunate to have these opportunities at my fingertips and I could not pass them up. Each of these experiences left indelible impressions on me and shaped me into the adult I would eventually become. The only hard thing about these decisions was where to go and what to do. Palau or Kenya? That was a tough one.

In my current life as a SAHM to two little kids, it refreshes me to remember my younger self roaming through the streets of Kathmandu; living with a family in a mud and thatch hut in rural Kenya and speaking Swahili expertly; or how strong and hard my exhausted muscles were after digging out another snow cave to spend the night in. These memories are a world apart from my current reality, but it was me, I did it. It reminds me that life is a series of events and stages, that this one is just another stage, and that one day I’ll be looking back on all of this. I had better try to appreciate all it has to offer.

4. Marrying T

This was maybe the easiest decision ever. I’ve suffered more indecision over shoe purchases than whether or not to marry T. From the moment I met him I felt connected to him. We actually almost got hitched after only knowing each other for several months. We faced some inconvenient visa laws and the fact that he’s an alien from far far away land. We had 3 choices: get married, move out of the US, or break up. We call that day “stress day 2000.” In the end we decided to both up and move to far far away land rather than get married for the wrong reasons. So we did. 3 years later, we were back in the US (legally!) and he proposed. Of course I would marry him! I never had cold feet.

5. Kids

Another easy decision to make despite how huge it was. Suddenly one day I felt ready to have a kid. T and I had been married a few years. Our life was fun. But I felt kind of done with it and ready for something new, the next phase. Luckily T was on board and soon we had our gigantic baby L. (He was 10 lbs 3 oz.)

Nothing in the universe was cuter than L when he was 1.5 years old. This was a lucky thing because he was not easy. At all. But he was a bouncing boy full of exuberance, energy and serious cuteness. So cute that I just had to have another. Again, an easy decision that T agreed with. The time was right and having L be an only child was never really in consideration. It amazes me how easy these huge, life changing decisions were to make.

It’s been a fun exercise to look back and think of the biggest decisions I made which brought me to where I am today – steadfastly ignoring my children while they wreck the house so I can selfishly reflect and blog about it.

Read Full Post »

I’ve slipped to #12! Please help me stay in the top 5. Thank you!!

Repost: Help a Girl Out

Have you noticed my requests for votes at the bottom of many of my posts? What’s that all about? I’ll tell you what it’s all about. Top Mommy Blogs is a site that lists (can you guess?) blogs written by moms. There are a number of categories ranging from Multiples to Humor to Adoption to Cooking to Crafts and several blogs within each category. TMB ranks the blogs according to how many votes they receive*. Readers can vote daily by clicking on the Top Mommy Blogs button displayed on their favorite blog(s).

So, what does getting votes do for me? The higher the ranking I have on Top Mommy Blogs, the more exposure to new readers I have. I don’t get any money or rewards or anything, just a stoke to my ego. As a blogger, by definition, I love readers. More readers=more love. Already committed to voting for another blogger? That’s OK. Voting for me doesn’t affect your votes for anyone else. I vote when I visit other blogs.

*The folks over at Top Mommy Blogs have some secret, complex algorithm for averaging votes received. This means that my number of votes can actually fluctuate up and down, which means that my ranking can fluctuate up and down. Let’s say that on a particular day (today, for example) I ask my readers to please vote for me and I get a bunch of votes. But then the next day I don’t get any votes, my ranking may not change despite that one great day of so many votes. Frustrating, right?

Here’s the deal: I will write the best posts I can and in return you’ll click on the TMB button each time you visit my site. Sounds fair, right? To vote you simply need to click on the button over there in my sidebar, or the one below. Your click counts as your vote, and you will be redirected to Top Mommy Blogs. Once at TMB you can look around and find other interesting blogs to read, or simply hit your back button and come right back here.

Thanks for your help!!!

Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Read Full Post »

There is someone out there who likes me enough to put my writing on her blog. This person is JD from Momagement Matters, who I recently got the chance to hang out with at Bloggy Boot Camp. Over post-conference drinks we hatched a plan for me to write a guest post for her blog, which deals with the particular challenges of a working mom. She writes with humor and heart, she’s super cool, and is totally adorable. I guess the last one doesn’t really directly affect her blog, but it’s worth mentioning.

So go check out Momagement Matters, become a fan like I am, and read my post which answers the age-old question: who has it worse SAHMs or WOHMs?

Read Full Post »

This past Saturday I spent the day at Boston Bloggy Bootcamp, sponsored by The SITS Girls. [6 ways to lose 30 lbs in 2 minutes!] I left with my head spinning, full of new information and inspiration. [10 ways to please your man, and get flat abs!] 

I have my work cut out for me:

  1. I should use lists more.
  2. I need to use catchy titles preferably with numbers, Cosmo style.
  3. My blog needs more photos and those photos need good names. [Royal wedding photos!] 
  4. I have to define my brand as a writer, as a blogger, as a person. Once my brand is clear, everything else in life will be simple. Tiffany Romero promised me this, and she’s so awesome (and hot!) that I know she wouldn’t lead me astray. [News! Politics! Sex!]
  5. I need to think about SEO when writing. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and it’s my understanding that I just need to randomly include certain frequently searched words and phrases throughout my posts so people who are searching the web for anything accidentally end up on my site instead. (Have you noticed my subtle implementation?) And putting those words in bold text helps. [Boobs]

All joking aside, I had an amazing day. I learned a ton of technical and practical things that will help me improve my blog. It was empowering and validating to spend a day with so many talented women who really get what it is that I do.

Most fun for me was that I got to meet people I “know” online. I have a little virtual community of bloggers who I read regularly, Tweet with and feel like I have real, if extremely 21st century, relationships with. The whole concept of a friendship with someone I haven’t met sounds weird to most people, but not to anyone who was at the conference. A major highlight for me was meeting Kim from Let Me Start By Saying and JD from Momagement Matters. Whose blogs you should go to immediately.

So what’s in it for you? Awesomeness. If I implement a fraction of what I learned your reading experience at Motherhood, WTF? will be just plain amazing. I did it all for you. Hold on to your hats…

Like this post? Vote for me! Just click on the link below. Thanks for your support!
Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Read Full Post »

With mother’s day coming up I’m sure all of you moms are just like me – anxiously awaiting a day full of pampering and relaxation and piles of gifts. My mother’s day includes (but is not limited to) a decadent brunch after a hearty sleep-in. A mimosa or two and good dark coffee. Then a manicure, pedicure, massage and flowers of course. Some fancy-schmancy chocolates. A few minutes with my happy children who are dressed and clean, and then whisked away. Dinner out in a very fancy restaurant where I have to wear a dress and heels. And I look hot and thin. And the food is amazing and rich but has the nutritional value of celery. And Johnny Depp is there…

Oh, you mean real mother’s day? If I’m lucky I get brown on paper thanks to L’s painting preference of gobbing on all colors, as much as he can until someone takes the paint away. Usually his masterpieces take 3 days to dry and weigh a pound. OK, I’m selling T short; he really is romantic and thoughtful and I’m sure he’ll do something sweet for me. But doesn’t that opening paragraph sound good??

Anyway, in case you’re wondering what to get the mothers in your life, the incomparable Susan over at Divine Secrets of a Domestic Diva came up with a list of excellent gifts to NOT get. For anyone. Ever. (I think my favorite is #8 and I actually do kind of want it.)

Bad Mother’s Day Gifts

Moms this isn’t a list for you, but for those who are buying you gifts. Forward these to your adult children, husbands, boyfriends, partners or whomever else may be purchasing your Mother’s Day gifts.

So what gifts should you avoid? Well, many women (not this Mama) don’t like household items or appliances, so it’s best to avoid them unless you know for sure the recipient Mom is interested in such gifts.  Jewelry and spa days are widely accepted among every mother I know, but keep an eye out for the unusual or unique gifts like the ones below:

1. The Slipper Genie. I love slippers, and I know I just said I don’t mind household appliances (by that I mean Margarita Makers or Blenders for my fruit smoothies Strawberry Daiquiris), but don’t by the Mom’s in your life mops…or in this case any footwear that doubles as a mop.  Go buy her some super soft, comfy slippers she can relax and kick back in, not ones to clean your floor.

2.  Measuring Tape Belt. Most women would love new accessories.  New shoes, scarves, purses, belts, etc. are usually a safe bet. However, most women (especially those who have grown and expelled baby humans from their bodies) prefer not to wear their measurements on their clothing. Any belt that will show the width of a woman’s waist should be avoided. Oh, and if this is a joke, I can almost guarantee she won’t find it funny.

3.  The Cuchini. Have you ever tried to give a person hints through gifts?  For example, my brother bought my Mom a waffle maker one year because he loves waffles and *hint, hint* he wanted her to cook waffles more.  I’ve also bought a coat for my husband, even though he already had one, but it was because the one he was wearing was terrible.  Something that’s beyond terrible, even if the Mom in your life needs it is the Cuchini.  The Cuchini gets rid of camel toe (see photo below). Even if your favorite Mom wears bottoms that are too small, crotch cutting bathing suits, or tiny hot pants, don’t buy her the cuchini.  It’s got to be one of the worst gifts ever.

4. The Wine Holder Necklace. “But Susan, you said jewelry!” This is not what I meant.  I love wine and I love jewelry, but spilling wine is a sin in my book, and this is just absurd.

5. Facial Flex. Does your favorite Mom need and/or want plastic surgery?  Does she have loose droopy skin?  Although I would totally accept Botox as a Mother’s Day gift, you stand a good chance of insulting Mom by giving the gift of a face lift.  Also avoid products that claim to workout facial muscles.  She’ll still have saggy skin and she’ll look like an idiot.

6. Treadmills, Gym Memberships and Shake Weights. Even if the mother in your life complains that she needs to lose weight or get in shape, please do not buy her any kind of weight loss equipment, gym membership or get in shape quick product like the shake weight.  It’s almost always a no, no.

7. Portable Speaker Shoes. Does the Mom in your life love music…and shoes?  Well, look what I found over at Ladies Gadgets…no wait, don’t.

8. Privacy. What Mom doesn’t want a little privacy?  This, however, is not what your Mom is talking about.

9. Rejuvinique Face Mask. Unless your Mom is a serial killer, perhaps your money would be better spent on buying her a facial.

10.  This might belong with the exercise equipment, but it’s so ridiculous and I am personally familiar with this, so I gave it its own number.  My Mom owned this workout VHS.  She never would do the video around us, and I just hope to God we didn’t give it to her as a gift.

So go get that Mama you love some bling, a day at the spa, a gift certificate to her favorite store, but whatever you do, just be good to your Mothers and don’t get them anything on this list…

Read Full Post »

I’ve said it before, and I’ll probably say it again: the best and most surprising part of blogging has been the support, stories and commiseration I get from my readers. Not only am I lucky to have such great commenters, but people also send me emails. Mostly these are people who have longer stories to share or who can particularly relate to a post and want to reach out and let me know. These are (mostly) complete strangers to me and I love that they take the time to send me a line.

I think people who have a challenging L-like kid like to know they’re not alone. It’s nice to know that while I may have screamed at my kid and told him that his favorite superhero doesn’t want to be his friend, other people have done similarly crazy mean slightly less than perfect things. It’s also nice to know that while my kid has locked me out of the house in my underwear, other people’s kids have done worse.

I recently got a long email from a reader I’ll call K. She wanted to let me know that she can relate. Her son, M, is similar to L but a bit older. She also wanted to assure me that it gets better. (Yay!) She told me a story to demonstrate how M had a remarkable gift for pushing limits and driving her crazy.

K was very pregnant with her second child when M began artistically expressing himself with his own poop every morning. K tried every trick in the book (and wrote a few of her own involving tape) to keep M out of his own diaper. But he was determined. (Once again, good traits like determination and perseverance and even creativity suck on a toddler.) Finally she converted his crib into a bed in hopes that he’d just get out of bed in the morning instead of becoming a poop Picasso. It worked. Until one morning, when K was 42 weeks pregnant, (yes, 42!!) and she woke up to the sound of her friend in her house calling her name.

This must be disorienting. Imagine being 42 weeks pregnant first of all. Then you wake up to someone coming up your stairs calling your name. You roll yourself out of bed to find your friend holding your son followed by (can you guess?) a policeman! Apparently M decided not to bother his mom on this particular morning so he just went out for a walk. Poor very-pregnant-K was given a citation and investigated for child neglect, endangerment and abuse. Her house was searched and she had to undergo psychological interviews before she was cleared of any suspicion.

While I wouldn’t want to have gone through that myself, I’m a little jealous that she has such an awesome story. Do you have a crazy story?

Like this post? Vote for me! Just click on the link below. Thanks for your support!
Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Read Full Post »

I found this too funny to resist reposting here. This is an excerpt from Ninja Mom‘s post called Toddlers: Your Mother Always Prayed for This. Something about this list just rings so true and totally encapsulates the living-with-a-toddler experience.

Toddlers exact ancestral revenge in many forms.

  • If your baby is a thumb-sucker (read: self-soother) you’ll rejoice until you one day realize that you can take away the pacifier but the kid carries that thumb everywhere.
  • If your baby is a pacifier baby, you will wait too long to take it away and convincing Susie that the baby ducklings at the pond need all her pacis will elicit the same reaction from her that beating ponies with puppies would.
  • Handing a toddler a broken cookie is like handing her a tantrum grenade.
  • So his shoes are on the wrong feet. Deal with it. You have a bigger battle ahead over the sleeveless top and dirty training pants he insists on wearing to Caregiver and Me Music Class in February.
  • You’re all ready to go to that doctor’s appointment, right? Wrong. Junior took a pit stop in the splash and play fun room otherwise known as the hall bath. And look, your car keys don’t float!
  • Parents of toddlers are to mental health professionals what year-end bonuses are to salesmen.
  • Even if the restaurant does have highchairs and booster seats, resist the urge to dine out with your toddler. You’ve heard the phrase like oil and water? Like IHOP and waddlers.
  • Christ was tested in the desert by Satan. You will be tested in the grocery store by a preschooler. You will discover that you are not Christ.
  • Young children love to play in the bath unless they are actually dirty.
  • Because toddlers throw all their food on the floor, animal shelters are able to unload dogs on young families.

Toddlers, the reason we start college savings plans.

Beating ponies with puppies, hahaha! Who thinks of this stuff? Oh, right, Ninja Mom does.

Read Full Post »

Alicia is the funny and multi-talented blogger from Naps Happen and The Frazzled Foodie. If you haven’t checked out her blogs, do. Her kids are apparently narcoleptic (although she denies this) and she takes pictures of their various naps for (can you guess?) Naps Happen. These aren’t minor league cute nappers, like my kids who are adorable but generally in the vicinity of their beds. This is the majors: sleeping on stairs, buried under couch cushions, sprawled amidst toys on a hardwood floor, face-planted at the table. I defy you to look at these pictures and not crack a smile. With The Frazzled Foodie, she admirably maintains her passion for cooking and shares highly personalized recipes and stories of life as a mom of two (possibly narcoleptic) boys.

Why am I talking about Alicia so much? Because she has written a guest post for me. My first ever guest post! Here she paints a picture of a typical day in the life. This happens to be a WTF day. The kind of day we’ve all had where we wonder, how did I get here? How did this happen to me?

My special room in hell has been reserved. After weeks of poor weather, canceled preschool, and cabin fever, I am desperate to find a place for my four-year-old and my two-year-old to work off some boyish energy. I have brought my children to a McDonald’s Playland.

We are not McDonald’s people. William and Cormac do not ask us for fries or cheeseburgers. They do not know what a happy meal is. Neither of them actually recognizes Ronald McDonald, although I have read that he is more widely known among America’s children than Jesus. What my boys do recognize, however, is a big slide. What they are immediately drawn to is the impressive two-story network of multi-colored tunnels and plexiglass bubbles that fill this greasy-smelling room. Forget the Chicken McNuggets – these boys are ready to rumble.

They are, of course, not the only children who are going crazy for the indoor jungle gym. Roughly ten other children ranging in age from about two to seven are crawling all over the tubing like insects. Their screams echo off the walls of this amazingly acoustic, glassed-in cell like crazed fans at a high school basketball game. Out of the corner of my eye, I see an eleventh child come streaking out of the family bathroom in the corner. His mother chases angrily after him waving a wet wipe and saying something about hand washing.

I seat myself at one of the cleaner tables arrayed in front of the jungle gym, gingerly arranging the Happy Meal I’ve purchased for the boys and putting the straw into my mammoth Diet Coke. I scan the table to ensure I’m not about to rest my elbow in a pool of ketchup. The coast is clear.

William and Cormac have no interest in our Happy Meal, despite the masculine toy it contains: a red truck with stickers you can apply yourself. William has scaled the levels of the jungle gym with impressive speed and is already running back and forth in the tunnels at the uppermost levels, shouting unintelligible messages at me through the clear plastic bubbles that connect the tubes. He looks like an inmate at a hamster farm. Cormac is a little slower, which is understandable considering he is not even supposed to be in the playland until he’s three-years-old. Undeterred by his insufficient stature, he figures out how to shove his foot into the netting that forms the jungle gym walls, vaulting himself up to the next level each time. A woman behind me comments to her companion that she can’t believe that baby is making it all the way to the top. I briefly reconsider my choice to let him play there and wonder if I get an even more special room in hell for parents who let their babies break their necks at McDonald’s.

Most of the parents are hardly paying any attention to their kids, which is why nobody has noticed a four-year-old boy who is lying on the floor under the jungle gym stairs, eating a chicken nugget that was lying on the floor. The two women next to me have babies with them and are gossiping scandalously. Every so often a little girl with pigtails runs up to their table for a sip from her juice box.

An older woman in the corner is one of the few adults focused on the children in the gym. She is laughing at their antics and looks far less stressed-out than the younger parents in the room. Catching my glance, she nods at Cormac, who has managed to take his chocolate milk into the play gym with him and is running back and forth in one of the tunnels. “Just wait until you’re a grandparent,” she says. “It’s much better.” I roll my eyes in appreciation and liken my children to monkeys. She chortles appreciatively and tells me that William is a charmer.

My gaze is drawn to a table across the room. A girl who appears to be about five-years-old has come running to her mother, bawling. One look at her and I can tell why. She has wet herself and the entire crotch and inside legs of her pants are soaked. Her mother pats ridiculously at her legs with a stack of napkins and hastily begins packing up to leave. The girl is inconsolable, as if someone else wet her pants for her, without her permission.

I turn my eyes back to the play gym just in time to see Cormac have his own catastrophe. He runs toward the window of the plexiglass bubble in the center of the play gym and trips. As if it is happening in slow motion, I see his chocolate milk slide down the front of the bubble and leak out the bottom, dripping outside the gym and onto the floor. His lower lip trembles and I see his mouth form the sad words, “Sorry Mamaaaaaa…..” I am aware that nearly every parent in the room is looking at me. I grab a pack of baby wipes from my purse and crawl inside the bubble, uttering soothing words to Cormac and furiously working to wipe up the mess. He is somewhat consoled and exits the bubble with me, where I use another wipe to clean the floor under the gym. I turn to face my audience of parents and theatrically shrug my shoulders. One or two smile sympathetically. The rest are stone-faced.

As I sit down again at my table and hand Cormac a slice of apple from his Happy Meal, William comes running up. He has just come down the slide. “Mommy, my pants and my socks are wet.” With horror, I realize that the slide was the last location used by the girl who had peed herself moments ago. The girl is long gone but her presence is still being felt at the McDonald’s Playland, perhaps by several more children who are about to go down the slide.

Read Full Post »

I don’t really think I suck, and I don’t really think that I’m fucking up my kids (any more than every parent fucks up her kids, anyway). I wrote yesterday’s post immediately after blowing up at L so I was feeling maximally emotional about it. I pounded it out on the keyboard while L screamed for me upstairs and S screamed for me at my feet, while my throat still smarted from my own screaming. I’ve written a few posts in similar situations and they always seem to resonate with other parents.

The first post I wrote in the middle of a bad moment was scary, (read it here). I hit “publish” and then thought, “well, there goes my blog!” certain that revealing my real truth would repel any readers my fledgling blog had acquired. But the opposite thing happened, and it took my blog in a new direction.

I started blogging thinking I’d write wildly funny posts about parenting. It started out that way, but then I ran out of funny and was left with L shitting his pants (it took under a month). So I hit publish and I learned something: it’s one thing to read about a bad parenting moment after the fact, once the writer has regained a cool level head. It’s still nice to read about it, still relatable, but it doesn’t have the same oomph as something written mid-tantrum.

I love the responses I get to my angsty posts. I feel so low and angry and then out of thin cyber air comes tons of support, empathy and others willing to admit that they’ve been there, done that. For that I thank you. I can’t tell you how grateful I am, and how lucky I feel to have this platform and my readers.

So Motherhood, WTF? isn’t the uproariously funny, side-splitting blog I imagined I’d write. Instead it’s much more honest. I’m not always funny. Sometimes I’m pissy, or upset, or bitchy, or angry, or feeling out of control. Sometimes the responsibility of parenting weighs heavily on me, and other times I can see it all as a huge prank the universe plays on us and I’m just waiting for Ashton Kutcher to come out laughing “haha, you should have seen your face!” So, I’ll start another day stealing myself for the former, and hoping my hair looks nice enough for the latter.

Like this post? Vote for me! Just click on the link below. Thanks for your support!
Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Read Full Post »

Have you noticed my requests for votes at the bottom of many of my posts? What’s that all about? I’ll tell you what it’s all about. Top Mommy Blogs is a site that lists (can you guess?) blogs written by moms. There are a number of categories ranging from Multiples to Humor to Adoption to Cooking to Crafts and several blogs within each category. TMB ranks the blogs according to how many votes they receive*. Readers can vote daily by clicking on the Top Mommy Blogs button displayed on their favorite blog(s).

So, what does getting votes do for me? The higher the ranking I have on Top Mommy Blogs, the more exposure to new readers I have. I don’t get any money or rewards or anything, just a stoke to my ego. As a blogger, by definition, I love readers. More readers=more love. Already committed to voting for another blogger? That’s OK. Voting for me doesn’t affect your votes for anyone else. I vote when I visit other blogs.

*The folks over at Top Mommy Blogs have some secret, complex algorithm for averaging votes received. This means that my number of votes can actually fluctuate up and down, which means that my ranking can fluctuate up and down. Let’s say that on a particular day (today, for example) I ask my readers to please vote for me and I get a bunch of votes. But then the next day I don’t get any votes, my ranking may not change despite that one great day of so many votes. Frustrating, right?

So, how do those top 3 bloggers stay in the top 3? I have no idea. Somehow, they’ve committed their readers to voting daily. So here’s the deal: I will write the best posts I can and in return you’ll click on the TMB button each time you visit my site. Sounds fair, right? To vote you simply need to click on the button over there in my sidebar, or the one below. Your click counts as your vote, and you will be redirected to Top Mommy Blogs. Once at TMB you can look around and find other interesting blogs to read, or simply hit your back button and come right back here.

I started the year as #10, but have slipped to #12 over the last couple of days. My goal is to get into the top 5. Thanks for your help!!!

Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Read Full Post »

Blogging has changed the way I live my life. I used to just live it. But now, as I’m living it, I’m thinking if the moment is blog-worthy, and how to phrase it. Can I describe it properly? Is it one of those times when you just had to be there? Or is it something that can be translated into text while still preserving the spirit of the moment? Is it funny? Is it too personal? Is it about someone else who I don’t really have the right to write about? Does it make me look like too bad of a mom??

I try hard to balance my woes as a mother with humor. After all, if life isn’t funny, what is it? Wanting to write funny things helps me see my life through a lens of  comedy, which helps me live it without pouring wine over my breakfast cereal. Actual funniness does not always or even easily follow trying to be funny. But, if I try and try and try and try and try and try to be funny, I may succeed once in awhile. (And I apologize for all the posts where I didn’t.)

There is no better thing for someone who wants to be funny than making people laugh. Success! I can’t tell you how many real-life failures I’ve had – jokes landing on deaf ears, cocktail party guests’ blank stares. I was recently at a party where I’m sure the few people I was talking to misunderstood me and were totally appalled. Didn’t they know I was talking as the train conductor? Those were his thoughts, not mine! And, really, if you think about it, it was funny in context. (This is one of those times when you had to be there.)

Anyway, all of this is a preamble to a huge thank you to Nicole over at Ninja Mom for bestowing me with an award. THANK YOU!

Making readers laugh is really reward in itself (gag). No really, I should have piles of gold. But until those piles arrive at my door, I’ll settle for virtual recognition. The only rule for this award is to pass it on to 7 funny blogs:

These blogs have made me laugh and brightened my day when my day needed brightening. Go check them out for a chuckle.
Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Read Full Post »

Gratitude

I feel like some other blogger. Today I received more than 20 times my normal traffic! I am not a person who gets multiple thousands of hits per day. I owe this tremendous uptick to the good people at WordPress.com, who have impeccable taste.

Thank you, WordPress editors. Thank you, readers. Thank all of you who visited my blog today. I feel overwhelmed and stunned and speechless. (This doesn’t count as speech.) I can’t tell you how much I appreciate all of the comments, support and recognition I received today.

I guess the age-old saying is true: good things come from a squirrel in your pants.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: