Saturday, December 21, 2013

New Year, New Name

Hey!  Did you know I've moved?  Visit our new deluxe apartment in the sky at:

Hysterically Ever After

Same entertainment, new domain.  Thanks for following!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

I hate you, Pinterest.

Monday morning...I'm doing my usual rundown of the mommy blogs, when I came across a post about the Elf.  You know the one...Elf on the Shelf?  Elf on a Shelf?  Whatever he/she/it is, I know it pops up in my Facebook newsfeed con-stant-ly.  The post was something along the lines of "101 Fun Things to Do with Your Elf!"

Not on the top 101 list.

Tangent: Can I tell you about how much I loathe the elf?  First, he's creepy.  Second, why do we have to scare our children into behaving around Christmas?  The idea of some little elf spying on your kids is frightening to me as an just buy into this garbage?  No.  Stop it with the elf.  You need to acknowledge and encourage your kids' good behavior...not tattle-tale on the bad.  If you only focus on the good, your kids will catch on, and they'll want to continue finding ways to do good.  At least that's the plan in our house.

Back to the list 101 fun things:

'Scuse me...did you say ONE HUNDRED AND ONE?  When does this Elf business start, Labor Day?!

Who has time to sit down and compose 101 fun things to do with an Elf doll?  I'll tell you who:


You know who you are.

I waited a while before joining Pinterest because, let's be honest, I needed another time-suck like I needed another glass of wine (I NEED IT).  So when I'm done spending unnecessary amounts of time on BuzzFeed, celebrity gossip, mommy blogs and Facebook, I can go pin things on boards.  Yay!

I never feel an ounce of inadequacy until I visit my Pinterest account.  Once the boards of recipes, organization tips, sewing patterns, paint colors and DIY everything that I'm absolutely never going to get around to actually DIY-ing pop up, it's like looking at a failed to do list.  That I super failed, big time.

Remember my week of vacay at home?  One of the items on my list for that glorious week was to make my own household cleaners.  Enough with the harsh and dangerous chemicals; we having baking soda, vinegar, and other stuff that these crunchy mamas tell me will clean my oven better than Easy Off, and it's so safe that Miles could drink seven gallons and instead of having to call Poison Control, I would have to call The New York Times because he would have baby super powers from the all natural goodness!  Yes!  I want a super baby! (Editor's note: We already have a super baby.)

There were 31 different recipes for cleaners.  Some of them involved ingredients like lemongrass, essential oils and tears from virgin Alpacas in the Andes (they can only shed these tears during Summer Solstice, otherwise your window cleaner won't work for poop).  Too much work.  In crept the feeling of defeat, before I'd even begun my stupid project.

We bring you gifts that will remove hard water build up from your shower door.

Don't get me started on the kitchen stuff.  I have boards for recipes that use ingredients like cardamom, blood oranges and more virgin Alpaca Summer Solstice tears.  I shop at Publix.  There are days where they don't even have parsley, let alone cactus pear.  Last time I checked, my kitchen wasn't hosting episodes of "Chopped." Also, who has time to cook a meal that has 15 ingredients and requires a fondue pot?  There are nights we're so busy it's just breakfast for dinner...and my husband is always super excited about breakfast for dinner, until I hand him a box of Honey Bunches of Oats and a carton of almond milk.  LOOK HONEY, BREAKFAST!

And do you know about the secret boards?  Oh yes, you can have secret boards, and you can choose who has access.  So for when I really want to pin a project that will never, ever in a million years even get considered to be added to my to do list, I can put it on a secret board.  There are times I laugh as I'm pinning.

I can't drink the Pinterest Kool-Aid.  I don't know when you People of Pinterest have time to crochet sweaters for your parakeets.  

You can seriously Google anything.

Maybe you do it after your kids go to bed.  And maybe I could do that, too...or maybe I'd really just like to take those couple hours to sit on the couch and vegetate.  Or read a book I started six weeks ago.  Or drink some Christmas beer and bitch about Pinterest in a blog.

I have time for painting with sweet potatoes (one of Miles' current fave games) and making pig snorting noises and chasing the kid who's chasing a cat around every single dining room chair.  I have time to live in the chaos and joy that is "new parents."  I have time to relish these moments and days as they come.  I do not have time to Pin. 

Oh, and my DIY cleaning products?  I'm going to call it a half win, because I just ended up throwing away all of the cleaners I had in my cabinets before, and buying half a dozen different products from Seventh Generation.  I had a coupon.  And I'm lazy.  But I feel moderately accomplished, and you can drink our window cleaner. 

So Pinteresting,

Saturday, December 14, 2013

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,

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Things Mom Should Know About Christmas (by Miles Coke)

After a two week hiatus (you missed me, right?) I’m back!  We enjoyed a quiet Thanksgiving, and I was blessed enough to spend an entire week at home with Miles on “staycation” (that word is on my “Do Not Use” list for 2014).  A future post is in the works about my SAHM week, but for now, in the spirit of Christmas, I thought I’d share with you…

Things My Eight Month Old Wants Me to Know About Christmas
As told by Miles Clark Coke

1. I do not want toys.  I do want all of the wrapping paper, tape, bows, ribbons, gift tags and other essential items that encase the toys.  Because in this situation, it’s absolutely not what’s on the inside that counts…it’s what is on the outside.  The pretty, sparkly, carefully wrapped yet must-be-destroyed outside.

2. I do not want your Christmas tree.  You can barricade that tree with whatever you feel is necessary, woman…I’m not interested.  What I do want are those needles.  You know, the ones that you vacuum up five times a day, only to miss half a dozen behind the couch.  Guess what?  I found them.  Guess what else?  THEY WERE DELICIOUS.

3. You cannot hide all of the jingle bells from me.  You can hang the ornaments up high, move the mistletoe before I see it, and open the front door as slowly and quietly as possible to avoid disturbing the jingle bell wreath…but I know they’re there.  I will find them, and because I’m a jingle bell ninja, I will capture them.  Then, I will jingle them incessantly.  They’re A MILLION times better than your car keys.  Then, when I’m done with them, I’ll hide them and you’ll never find them again.  EVER.

4. Taking photos for this year’s Christmas card is my favorite game.  I know I’m winning because you squeal every time I grab your nose right before the camera flashes.  Extra points for blurry arms, drool and grabbing Dad’s beard.  Just give me the jingle bells, and I’ll call a truce. 

4. Anything you drop on the kitchen floor is fair game.  Especially cranberries, chocolate chips and sprinkles.  You’ll probably want to hide the cat food while you’re at it.

5. Thank you for the children’s nativity set.  It was delicious.

6. And thank you for the beautiful Christmas lights.  They were delicious.

7.  Please, try to read “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” to me.  Because you’re going to find out that I also find the book very delicious.