When Play Date Snacks Go Wrong

When Play Date Snacks Go Wrong

On Thursday my youngest had a friend over for a play date.  Let’s call him Jack.  Jack has been to our house many times and is a sweet little kid.  He usually comes over, asks for pretzels and juice, and spends several hours entertaining my child and keeping him out of my hair, because let’s be honest, the whole purpose of a play date is for mom to get a little down time.

 During a play date the rules are allow to be broken.  Video games for three hours?  Okay.  An extra cookie at snack time?  What the heck!  As long as they stay in the family room playing nicely, or in the bedroom, it’s all good.  The kids are happy and two moms are very happy.

Then there was Thursday.  Like I said, Jack had been here several times before so I had no reason to expect that today would be any different from any other play date.  I was wrong.

I knew Jack did not like chocolate or too many different sweets.  Luckily we always have a giant container of Costco sized pretzels, Quaker Granola Bars, Annie’s Organic Cheddar Bunnies, and assorted nuts in the house.  Praise be, no one in my family has food allergies, but because no one in my family has food allergies my house is not really “food friendly” for a child who does.

Thirty minutes into Jack’s play date he comes to me and asks me to make him lunch.  Huh?  You mean a snack, right?  No, he wants lunch.  Mom forgot to feed him.  Okay, no problem.  Two PB&J’s coming right up.

Oh no, no peanut butter, he is allergic.  Oh, I did not know that.  But, that’s okay, I have deli turkey and organic cheese.  Two turkey and cheese sandwiches coming up.  NO!  No, no, he doesn’t eat bread or sandwiches of any kind.

Huh, yeah…okay.  Okay, just give me a minute to look here.  I can make a box of Annie’s Mac & Cheese.

No he doesn’t like mac & cheese.

I can’t lie.  At this point I am now starting to get a little annoyed, and I can’t seem to get a straight answer from him just what is his allergy and what is a food dislike.

I offer to microwave him a bean and cheese burrito.  Nope, he doesn’t want that.

I decide to offer up one of my favorite go to foods that are easy to make in a pinch.  How about I scramble you some eggs I ask?

His eyes open wide and a look of horror spreads across his face.  He can’t have eggs and I can’t even cook them while he is in the house because he forgot to bring his inhaler and just the aroma will trigger an attack.

Holy shit!

After several more strike outs he finally settled on string cheese, a banana, and a hand full of pretzels.  Not much of a lunch, but at least he didn’t up in a hospital.

When Jack’s mom came to pick him up I politely asked her to list Jack’s allergies for me and let me know what he CAN eat.  She looked a bit confused and asked why.  That’s when I explained to her the half hour it took to find a suitable lunch her child could eat without having an allergy attack.

She just kind of blinked her eyes and replied, “Oh, he eats pretty much everything at home.  He’s really only allergic to eggs and peanuts.  Sometimes it’s serious but other than that he’s fine.”  I could tell by the look of total bewilderment on her face that she could not figure out what the problem was.

Moms everywhere, if your child has serious food allergies, please feed your child BEFORE taking him to someone else’s house for a three hour play date.  I am perfectly happy to provide a snack.  I am perfectly happy to provide a sandwich and some cut up fruit, but it is not my responsibility to spend a half an hour trying to find something for a child to eat with the real fear that I could kill him if I feed him the wrong thing!!

Was this mom wrong not to feed her child first, or at least warn me that he had all these food sensitivities, or am I being over sensitive?
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When Mom is Temporarily Broken

When Mom is Temporarily Broken

I have often joked that if I were a horse I would have been shot or put out to pasture years ago.  Luckily for me I’m not a horse.  I have rheumatoid arthriti.  I have had it for 22 years in fact. I have been fortunate to have good health insurance and receive the best treatments available.  Most of the time my disease is in remission, with just an occasional flair up.  Still, even when the inflammation and disease is under control often it is the other stuff that really takes its toll on me.

The chronic fatigue is the worst.  Sometimes no matter how much sleep I get it doesn’t matter.  Exercise helps, some, but there are times when doing exercise is really hard because even though my RA is well controlled, the osteoporosis in my feet and knees from two decades of disease is permanent and that pain almost never goes away.  I have had multiple surgeries on my foot trying to piece the bones back together.  This summer I will likely have my first knee surgery.  Sometimes I feel like Humpty Dumpty.

Then there are all those lovely side effects from the meds that allow me to live.  Most days I go about my life and I can almost be oblivious to what is happening inside my body.  You would be amazed what you can get used to and even learn to ignore when it becomes your daily version of normal.

Then there are days like today.  Today is not a good day.  Everything hurts just a little bit worse than usual.  My neck is stiff.  I can feel the heat of the inflammation on my upper back and in my shoulders.  Add to this a lovely headache with a topsy turvy stomach and it makes for a rather unpleasant day.

On a day like today I don’t want to cook.  On a day like today I don’t want to clean.  On a day like today I don’t want to play Uno with AJ when he asks me or read Jigsaw Jones to Casey when he asks.  On a day like today the children have learned that Mommy is temporarily broken and my body just needs some time to fix itself.  AJ is pretty understanding on days like today.  At thirteen he understands that sometimes I have limitations as well as good and bad days.  Its harder for Casey.  At six he doesn’t get why I was able to play with him yesterday but not today when I look just the same.  He doesn’t understand that sometimes a person can be sick on the inside and not look sick on the outside…but he is learning.

Luckily for me my husband picks up the slack and loves to play with the boys.  Still, it is a little sad to watch them all hop on bikes and go for a ride when I haven’t been able to ride a bike for at least a decade.  The boys will ask me to sled down the big hill and I would love to, but I don’t dare.  A wipe out for me isn’t just a laughing matter.  A wipe out for me can mean months of PT or some other serious injury.

Still, I know there are so many people in this world who are so much worse off than I am.  I try hard to focus on my blessings.  I am still able to walk and go about daily life most days, I’m not dying anytime soon (God willing), and they are always improving medical advancements that just might put this Humpty Dumpty back together again.

So today I will let the boys play a few extra video games to keep them busy, microwave a somewhat healthy lunch for them (they made their own cereal for breakfast), and try to take it easy so my body do whatever it is it needs to do to feel better.  But tomorrow?  Tomorrow I will play Uno with AJ and read the next couple of chapter of Jigsaw Jones to Casey. Tomorrow I will stand at the top of the hill and cheer my boys on as they slide down at break neck speeds, because life goes on.

I Gave My Three Year Old Chocolate Laxatives…On Purpose

I Gave My Three Year Old Chocolate Laxatives

I was a little nervous to start potty training my first child.  Sure, changing diapers kind of sucked, but the truth was, they were convenient.  Plus, I was a girl and my child was a boy.  We had different “plumbing” and I wasn’t sure how to go about teaching my son to pee in the potty.  I mean, was I supposed to teach him to pee standing up or sitting down.

Like all first time moms I did what we all do.  I bought a book.  Okay, I bought several books and read them cover to cover.  Eventually I decided to start him out sitting down, this way he could play on the potty for a bit and hopefully something would happen.

Two days later and that idea wasn’t working so well.  Then I had the idea to take him to the bathroom and try to teach him to pee standing up.  I led him to the bathroom, pulled his pants down to his feet, and told him to pee.  He looked at me a little funny and then he did it!  Seriously, he peed standing up the very first time I told him too.

I all but did a somersault I was so excited.  He was dancing up and down and clapping along with me.  From that day on he never peed his pants again.  By day three my child was potty trained to pee in the potty every time.  I was an awesome mom!  I totally rocked!  If peeing was this easy we would have that pooping thing figured out by the end of the week no doubt.

Shockingly, at the end of the week he still wasn’t pooping in the potty.  Every day I would sit him on the potty after meals, after naps, while watching a cartoon and nothing, nada, zip, zilch, zero.

No sooner would I take him off the potty he would hide and poop his pants.

The baby books talked about giving a small reward for using the potty.  Out came the M&M’s.  “Just poop in the potty and you can have a candy,” I would say with forced excitement.  “Okay,” he would reply, eager to get his chocolaty goodness.  Five minutes…ten minutes…fifteen minutes…still he would not poop in the potty.

After a month we gave up on Pull-ups.  Everyone told me that Pull-ups were too much like diapers and he would never learn if he didn’t feel uncomfortable when he had an accident.

So I went to the store and loaded up on training pants and plastic pants.  We still spent large amounts of time sitting on the potty while watching Rollie Polie Olie or The Wiggles.  The bag of M&M’s waited patiently to be eaten.  Plastic pants were horrible.  They leaked and made AJ a sweaty mess.  Still no poop.

No, let me rephrase that, we had plenty of poop, just not in the potty.  Now every day I had the pleasure of removing soiled underpants from him and then dunking them up and down in the toilet trying to get the squished poop out of them before hosing them off in the basement sink where they would collect in a bucket waiting to be washed.  The smell!  Good grief the smell!

After two more months of this I was advised to give up on the training pants and just stick him in little boy underwear.  I was getting desperate.  So I drove to Target and loaded up on cute little Batman and Superman underwear and made a big production of showing them to AJ and getting him excited to finally wear “big boy” underwear.

To make a long story short, the big boy underwear ended up being as useless as the training pants.  Not to mention I was doing load after load of laundry because he was ruining so many outfits every day.

This went on for almost a year.  For the life of me I didn’t know what I had done wrong.  How could a child who mastered peeing in three days be so stubborn about going poop?  He would clench those little butt cheeks for an hour or longer to avoid using the potty.  Once he was free of the potty he would run and hide and poop his pants.

As time passed I was growing beyond desperate.  Preschool was two weeks away!  I was returning to work.  He had to go to preschool!  There was just one little catch.  Children who were not potty trained were not allowed to go to preschool.

Desperate times call for desperate measures.  AJ had turned the potty into a battle of wills.  He was NOT going to use it…period.  Plus, he had some serious butt clenching skills.  He would hold it no matter what.  I needed to find a way for him to not be able to hold it.

An idea took hold in my head.  It was a crazy idea.  One I was sure no one would ever do under normal circumstances.  This was not normal.  This was an emergency.  I went to the bathroom and grabbed the bar of Chocolate Ex-lax.  Yep, that’s right.  Ex-lax.

“AJ, do you want some chocolate?” I asked.  He nodded his little head up and down.  Two little squares were quickly eaten up.  I even gave him some of his M&M’s out of guilt for what I was about to do.

Then, I waited.  I stayed very close so I could be sure not to miss my opportunity.  Two hours later it happened.  One second AJ was playing with a hot wheel cars, the next second his stomach let out a loud gurgle and he jumped up off the floor.  I grabbed him before he could run and hide and tossed his butt onto the potty.  He clenched, his stomach gurgled, he clenched harder, then a fart escaped, he clenched as hard as those little cheeks possibly could, but he was no match against a laxative.  Finally, he dropped a load in the potty and a choir of angels sang hallelujah as a rainbow shot across the sky.

There was praise and rejoicing.  Phone calls were made to grandma and grandpa.   M&M’s were eaten between hugs and kisses.  I wiped his bottom and pulled his pants up.  He watched me put the poop in the big toilet and flush it down.

Fifteen minutes later his tummy gurgled again and back on the potty he went.  He dropped a second load and after that he fear of pooping was gone.  Two little squares of Ex-lax worked better than a year of potty training, and AJ was able to start preschool on time.

What crazy thing have you ever done out of desperation as a parent?  I’m all ears!!

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Husbands and Fathers are Not a Joke

Husbands and Fathers are Not a Joke

Long gone are the days of Jim Anderson from “Father Knows Best,” Ward Cleaver from “Leave it to Beaver,” and even Bill Huxtable from “The Cosby Show.”

For the past twenty years or so the big father figures we’ve been given on television include Hal from “Malcomb in the Middle,” Alan Harper from “Two and a Half Men,” and Phil Dumphy from “Modern Family.”

Cartoons have been portraying dad as an idiot for a long time.  Just think of Homer Simpson, Jimmy Neutron’s father, Timmy Turner’s father, heck, even Cosmo, Timmy’s fairy godfather is an idiot.  In these shows it repeatedly falls to mom to come in and save the day or to stop dad from destroying the entire house or whatever situation he has created.

In cartoons where the children are well behaved or cartoons that are semi-educational, you don’t see any parents at all:  Dora the Explorer, Diego, Max and Ruby, and Charlie and Lola to name a few.

In this constant media driven world that we live in it is sad to me that the modern image of today’s dad is that of a lovable bumbling idiot, a complete tool who tries too hard and usually fails, or of a complete boob who is utterly clueless.  Even worse is that I see this attitude playing out in society.  More and more young women are shying away from marriage, more and more moms go it alone (maybe not by choice but some do).  Husband bashing is alive and well on social media, just check out someecards or rottenecards.

Still, what is the harm if a show, cartoon, or commercial shows dad as a total buffoon?  Many moms were once portrayed as being silly, incompetent and disaster prone back in the day.  We’ve shaken off that image but raising up the image of the modern woman did not require knocking down the image of the modern man.

I know the statistics.  Many moms work outside of the home bringing in their share of finances.  Women still do a greater portion of the housework and child care.  Still, that doesn’t mean men today are getting off at 5:00 and heading to the bar before driving home.  This isn’t Mad Men.  Today men spend twice as much time with their kids than their own fathers, do more chores than ever before and chauffer kids back and forth almost as often as the stereotypical soccer mom.

My own husband coaches our boys’ baseball teams.  When he comes home from work he is the one who gets in the floor with the boys to play Uno or Legos while I fix dinner.  My brother-in-law is up long before the crack of dawn to take his daughter to her skating practice and then cooks an amazing dinner while my sister-in-law works late as a nurse.  I see the other dads on my boys little league teams and at their Boy Scout meetings.  They are there, they are hands on, and they are far from being incompetent.

Not that long ago there were shows that had great “sets” of parents:  The Cosby Show, Family Ties, Little House on the Prairie, Growing Pains, and even Beverly Hills 90210.  These parents weren’t perfect, they had their flaws, they butted heads with their kids, but neither the mom nor the dad was made to look like an idiot episode after episode.

Today’s TV mom is smart, strong, and got it together.  I would love to see some new programs that give our kids, especially my two young and impressionable boys, positive male role models, both husbands and fathers, to look up to and to emulate one day because being a husband and a father is not a joke.

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I Just Want to Pee

I Just Want to Pee

I have noticed lately that I have had several, okay more than several, near misses of almost wetting my pants.  Am I stuck in traffic?  No.  Am I out on the town and can’t find a restroom?  No.  I am inside my own house, and yet I am almost ready to pee my pants several times a week.

That’s crazy, right?  I mean, what the heck, go to the bathroom, shut the door, and take care of business.  Yet, if you are a mom, you know that it is not always that easy.  Here’s an example.

I am standing at the fridge picking out the ingredients for dinner.  My brain politely informs me that I will need to use the bathroom shortly.  Keep selecting ingredients.

Drop ingredients on the counter and run to the basement to see why one of my boys is suddenly screaming.  Separate wrestling boys, comfort the crier, go back up stairs and pick up ingredients that rolled off counter and onto the floor.

As I place the carrots on the counter the washer machine timer goes off.  Duck into the laundry room to put clothes from the washer into the dryer.

Now is a good time to go to the bathroom.  As I turn towards the bathroom I am cut off by the boys who each duck into a bathroom.  Okay, no problem.

I chop onions, peel carrots, and get chicken in the frying pan.  Now I am standing in front of the stove with one skillet and two pots a going.  I really need to go to the bathroom.

Hurry to the bathroom.  Oh sweet Jesus!  What the hell is that?  Never mind, I don’t want to know.  Grab the toilet bowl cleaner and the scrubber and scrub toilet sparkling clean.  Put cleaning items away.

Just as I am about to shut the door my youngest yells out that he needs me.  He is in a panic because he can’t find one of his new Batman Lego’s wings.  Spend five minutes searching the floor and bed.  Eureka, it was stuck between the mattress and the side of the bed.  I’m the hero who just saved the day.

AJ can’t find his iPod.  I tell him exactly where it is.  He says “Its not there.”  I say “Yes it is.”  He counters with a “No its not.”  I march though the house, pick up the iPod that was exactly where I told him it was, he grins sheepishly, and mumbles, “Thanks.”

Oh shit!  Is that smoke.  Crap…I forgot about dinner!!  Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit!!

Run back to the kitchen.  The chicken is black on the bottom and stuck to the pan.  All the water boiled out of the carrots and they are scorched.  Take chicken out of skillet, cut away the burnt parts, save what is left.

Toss out the carrots, they are beyond hope.  Take out second bag of carrots to start all over.  While peeling carrots realize that I am actually doing the potty dance like one of my second graders.

Finally I put the carrot down, race for the bathroom, ignore the oldest as he tries to ask for my help yet again, slam and lock the bathroom door, yank down my pants in total desperation, and breathe a sigh of relief as I FINALLY get to pee mere moments before I had an accident.

Seriously, does this happen to you or am I just completely losing my mind?

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How to Prepare for Snowmageddon

How to Prepare for Snowmageddon

Here in frigid Michigan we just had ourselves a little snowfall (18 inches that fell on top of the 8 inches we received four days earlier) and are now dropping down to -35 below wind chills for the next couple of days.

Something a bit surprising, perhaps even a little shocking happened on Saturday because of the pending storm.  No, the amounts of snow were not shocking.  The bitter arctic cold isn’t all that shocking.  After all, this is Michigan, the land where a 40 degree day means a trip to the Dairy Queen.

No, what was shocking was that people lost their freaking minds!!  What happened to all the storm tested Michiganders that I grew up with?  And who are all these pansies that now live in this state?


On Saturday thousands of people made a run on grocery stores, big box stores, gas stations, heck even the Seven Elevens were cleaned out.  All day Saturday on Facebook, Twitter, the 6:00 news, and even morning radio broadcasts were stories and images of people waiting in line for over an hour to get their “emergency supplies.”  The shoppers who went out just to do their weekly grocery trip were in for a huge shock when they arrived at the markets.

People were grabbing eight gallons of milk at a time.  Fights broke out over bananas.  Seriously!  People were fighting over bananas.  Store clerks were spit on because they ran out of apples.  One Meijer employee reported that at one point the ticket counter at the deli department was 541 customers waiting to be served.

104a 103a

By the end of the night store shelves were completely bare.  Old ladies had their buggies ripped out of their hands.  Stores shut their doors early because they had nothing left to sell and customers were getting angry.

105a 102a

My mind was blown over and over again as I read the next twitter update or Facebook post.  Why is it that if a snow storm comes having bread and milk suddenly become a matter of life and death?  This morning listening to Dave and Chuck the Freak recap the craziness led to this post I am now writing.


Many cracked jokes or insulted the people who were panicking to get the items they needed to be snowed in for a couple of days.  While I agree that some people totally over reacted (are you really going to drink 8 gallons of milk before they spoil), what I found alarming is just how many people are truly unprepared.  All these families didn’t have enough supplies in their house to survive a 24-48 hour period?  In a matter of 10 hours dozens of grocery stores were completely stripped down to the bare shelves.  Fist fights broke out because of bananas.

If you really stop to think about it, this isn’t just a funny story to retell on a radio show or laugh at on Facebook.  This is a glimpse at people in general, and a peek at how fast things would fall apart if something really bad were to happen.

It serves as a lesson, that the best way to be prepared for a snow storm, or a power outage that lasts over a week, or just about anything, is to have what you need on hand, before you need it.  A lot of people went home Saturday night empty handed because by the time they got to the stores all the produce, dairy, and meats were gone.

Right now in your house somewhere you should have a Tupperware filled with just some basics.  Now that it is post Christmas and lot of stores have those giant red tubs with the green lids on clearance.  Get one and toss in:

  • Can Food
  • Crackers
  • Peanut Butter
  • Granola Bars
  • Bags of Nuts
  • A Can Opener
  • Fresh Batteries
  • Flashlight that the kid haven’t broken
  • Candles
  • Weather Radio
  • New Toys from the Dollar Store
  • Coloring Book and Crayons
  • Package of Toilet Paper
  • $50 cash in smaller bills

You can get much more comprehensive lists from a quick Google search for FEMA or check out my post on The Zombie Apocalypse.  Plus you know what you family will and won’t eat or their special needs.  You don’t have to get all this stuff at once either, start picking it up here and there while you’re running errands.  The main thing is just to START.

Also, don’t wait for the last minute.  I admit it.  I went to the market to get bread and milk, as well as eggs, lunch meat, ingredients for a big pot of stew, wine, and a few other items, but I went on Friday and was practically the only person in the store.  I casually purchased my items, filled my gas tank on the way home, and then sat comfortably in my house on Saturday waiting for the snow to start falling.  The news was telling of the coming storm as of Wednesday so its arrival wasn’t that much of a surprise.

Do you have a story to tell from Saturday?  Share it below!
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Apps That Changed My Life!

Apps That Changed My Life

I am relatively new to the world of iPhone.  I have had my phone for exactly one month and now I honestly don’t know how in the world I ever lived without it.  When I say my entire life is on my phone I am so not exaggerating.

At any given moment I am tracking my blog stats, updating the blog’s Facebook page, scanning the blog’s Twitter account, or reading the blogs of all my other mommy friends.  (The Mom Blog Community is amazing to be a part of.)

After that there are the updates to my personal Facebook page, reading emails, whipping out a quick text or two, or three, and of course jamming out to my favorite tunes.

One problem I had with my iPhone in the beginning, though, was sorting through the bazillion apps to figure out which were junk and which ones would honestly rock my world.  Of course I had to have Candy Crush.  I am embarrassed to admit that I am on level 401.  I am such a total addict that a Candy Crush Intervention at this point would be useless.

Still, I kept downloading and deleting app after app looking for the ones that really would make my crazy, busy, insane life easier.  Below is a relatively small list of apps that I use constantly.  The rest really ended up being junk that just wasted valuable memory space on my iPhone:

Cozi cozi 2

I have always been a paper planner kind of a girl, but I don’t live by myself.  Cozi really has changed my life.  One central calendar for EVERYONE!  Cozi is now the home page on the laptop and my son’s laptop.  It is on my phone and my husband’s phone.  It is the homepage of my school computer.  My husband checks it everyday at lunch time at work.  No more missed appointments.  No more double booking multiple activities.

Also it is a central grocery list and a central To Do list.  Add your contacts and you have an automatic address label maker for holiday cards and such.  The free version just gives you the calendar.  Upgrade to get all the bells and whistles.  Trust me; this is the one app worth the upgrade!!

Red LaserRed-Laser-app-image

See something fabulous at the store.  A quick pic of the barcode and in seconds you know that Amazon is selling the same item for $10 less and it qualifies for free shipping.  Or perhaps it is at the store across the street for $20 less.  This free app will help you save money on items you wanted to buy anyway!!  That’s what I call a win.



Retail Me Notretail me not

Your favorite pants from Land’s End just got a tear in them.  You want another pair.  A quick search on Retail Me Not lets you pull up a coupon to save $10 on a $50 purchase.  Whoo hoo!  Pretty much every store you can think of is easily searched for on this free app.

Kids-In-Mindkids in mind

This free movie review app allows you to judge for yourself whether or not a movie is appropriate for your child to view.  This app doesn’t rely on the PG or PG-13 ratings.  Instead they have a scale of 1-10 for three categories:  sex, violence, and profanity.  Furthermore, they actually list step by step any moment in the movie that might prove to be an issue for your child.

This way you are fully informed about the movie contents and can prep you child a head of time if there is one scene that might scare them.


Another free app and this one allows you to scan bar codes in the supermarket and find out what potentially harmful thing might be in the product you are thinking about eating.  I have big time food phobias (beaver anal gland juice and white paint to make food brighter to name a few).  So a quick scan tells me right away what NOT to buy, and then gives me safer alternatives to grab instead.


SleepMachinesleep machine

I have been sleeping to a fan my entire life.  I used to sleep with a 24 inch steel industrial grade fan running in the room.  I lived in a very noisy city neighborhood with people coming and going all night long, cars drag racing down the streets with their giant bass speakers vibrating a one mile diameter.  Without a fan to drown out all that noise I never would have slept because I am an extremely light sleeper.

Now I live in a quiet subdivision surrounded by woods where you can here a pin drop.  I am also married to a great guy who really wants to sleep in absolute silence.  However, after a lifetime of conditioning I still need white noise to sleep.  Just the sound of his breathing is enough to keep me awake at night.  As a compromise I downgraded from a 24 in industrial fan to a 9 inch plastic fan…on low.  But the sound still bothered him.

The SleepMachine app came to the rescue!  My favorites are Thunderstorm combined with Distant Thunder, Air Heater, and White Noise #4.  Bill now has the perfectly silent room he always wanted while I pop in my ear buds and fall asleep to rolling thunder in stereo surround sound.  The app is $1.99 and without a doubt it is the most value I ever got for two bucks.

Not to mention on more than one occasion I went on a vacation and FORGOT to take my fan.  Oh the horror!!  Five days and no sleep for me.  But since I go no where without my phone I will never be white noise free ever again.

If you know of an App that is absolutely amazing and I have yet to discover it please, please, PLEASE share it with me.  I am always looking to make my days run smoother and easier!

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Sometimes I am a Shitty Mom

Sometimes I am a Shitty Mom

I love my kids. They are the world to me. I snap pictures of all their big moments, I read bedtime stories and help with homework daily, and I like to cook things that I know will make them happy.

I try hard to be a good mom, but the truth is I am human. I occasionally just screw up. Plus I admit there are some traditional mommy things that I just don’t do and don’t give a crap about.

• I do not keep my kids’ artwork. I “ooh and ah” when they bring it home. I hang it on the wall for a week or so and then after that when they go to sleep I pitch it into the recycling bin. Sure there are a couple of special things that I have tucked away, but mostly it all goes bye-bye.

• I never kept my children’s baby teeth. I’m sorry, I know lots of moms do but honestly I think that it is creepy! I do have in their baby books an envelope with a snip of hair from their first hair cut but that’s it.

• I always forget to take my kids to the birthday parties they get invited to. We buy a present, wrap it, and then miss the really awesome party at whatever location the parent paid big bucks to rent.

• After a year of unsuccessful potty training for my first born I took drastic action. He mastered peeing in the potty in three days flat. Then spent the next year hiding so he could poop his pants. Preschool was two weeks away. I was desperate. I fed my kid chocolate laxatives so he wouldn’t be able to hold it and have no choice but to poop in the potty. For the record it worked. After 24 hours he never crapped his pants again.

• I really don’t like “playing” with my kids. I’ll help them build a fort in the living room, I’ll help assemble a Lego set, I’ll even let them play with play dough, but I have no desire to join in the fun.

• I don’t feel any guilt for having not breast fed my kids. In fact, I was secretly grateful I couldn’t do it for medical reasons because it meant my husband was able to rotate night feedings with me!

• I swear…often. Not shockingly, so does my kid. A typical conversation in my house. Teen: “Mom, I don’t want to eat this. It tastes like shit.” Me: “Hey, stop cussing.” Teen: “But you do it all the time.” Me: “That’s because I am a grown up. When you turn 18 you can cuss as much as you want, until then, knock it off!”

• I have been known to “accidentally” break or lose toys that are exceptionally annoying.

• I have mastered the art of staring right into my kid’s face and going “uh huh, yeah, oh wow,” and not actually listen to a word they are saying because I have mentally checked out for the day.

• I yell at my kids. I don’t necessarily like the fact that I yell at them, but sometimes I am at the end of my rope and something’s gotta give. Usually at that moment it ends up being my temper and I let it fly, right out of my mouth.

• I wrote a blog describing my son’s crooked penis. That alone will cost me thousands in therapy bills one day.

• I have given up the battle of making my child dress for the weather. After years of arguing on this issue I have decided that if my teenager wants to go to school in a blizzard with minus zero wind chills in sneakers and a hoodie, so be it! I figure a few times freezing his ass off will teach him better than my nagging him can.

• I use the TV and the Wii as a babysitter. I’m sorry but sometimes I have a ton of stuff that HAS to get done. Trying to get work done with two kids under foot is as productive as trying to remove sand from a beach one grain at a time.

• I once forgot to pick my little one up at the bus stop. Luckily the bus driver took him back to the school. He had been at the school for thirty minutes by the time I realized I had forgotten him.

• During cold weather I have been known to let my kid go 4 to 5 days without remembering to give him a bath. In the summer it is easy to remember he needs a bath each night when you can see the rolls of dirt around his limbs. But in the winter I honestly just forget. I mean, he doesn’t look dirty and he doesn’t smell, so it’s good…right?

Feel the need to confess some of your shitty mom moments. Feel free to add them to the comments below.

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The Proper Way to Wipe Your Butt

The Proper Way to Wipe Your Butt

Call it what you will; rear, fanny, derrière, buttocks, ass, arse, backside, bum, buns, can, hindquarters, hind end, keister, posterior, rear end, trunk, the bottom line is everyone has a butt and you are going to spend a good part of your life keeping it clean. Just one quick wipe is not enough. Trust me, I have sons. I wash their underwear. Some of them have been so disgusting that I won’t even put them in my machine, I just toss them away.

I have talked to friends and coworkers about this (I know this will traumatize my boys one day when they read this post when they are older, but since I am going to be paying for therapy bills anyway, I might as well get my money’s worth.) As I was saying, after lengthy discussions with many moms, I have learned that this seems to be a problem for the male species only. Apparently girls are really good butt wipers.

So boys and young men every where please pin this little post for future reference. You will thank me because one day you will have a significant other in your life. Believe me, when your life partner reaches into your pile of dirty clothes to kindly do your laundry, they do not want to stick in their thumb and pull out a brown plum! Double gross!!

So what is a boy to do when they make a poo?

First of all, it is not necessary to sit their and smell your own stink. Poo gas travels and the longer it floats in the bowl, the farther the stink goes. So please do a courtesy flush. Trust me, this is the one time in your life when it is not necessary to save water.

After you are done dropping you log it is time to wipe. My recommendation is 6-8 squares depending on brand and whether it is one or two ply. Be aware that the drain of the toilet does have a maximum diameter so a wad the size of a head of lettuce is going to leave you standing there with an embarrassing predicament.

Another rule of thumb is to keep wiping until the paper comes away clean. If this happens on the second wipe, awesome. If it doesn’t happen until the fourth, oh well. However, because of that maximum drain diameter being smaller than you think you must at all times follow a second simple rule.

Wipe, wipe, flush. Wipe, wipe, flush.

By the time two wads of TP are in the bowl you are already nearing maximum capacity. Again, this is not the time to worry about water usage. If you overflow the bowl at your girlfriends house and suddenly there is a poopie floating across the floor the shame you will experience will far outweigh any water waste guilt you might feel for doing a triple flusher.

Then, before you pull up those boxers, if you are still worried that there might be a little smear in your rear it is time to use the ultimate weapon, the crème de la crème of poop removal tools, the flushable wet wipes. Yes, they are cold since they are sitting on the back of the porcelain thrown, but they are guaranteed to leave your rear end clean and fresh, and save you the terrible shame of having underwear with back tracks.

So remember:

*1. Courtesy Flush.

*2. Wipe until the paper comes away clean.

*3. Wipe, wipe, flush.

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The Practical & Natural Medicine Cabinet

The Practical & Natural Medicine Cabinet

I have a compromised immune system. It is a major side effect of the medications use to treat my Rheumatoid Arthritis. As a result, I catch everything and then take 3-4 times as long as the normal person to recover. Colds almost always turn into bronchial infections or sinus infections. The flu will inevitably turn into walking pneumonia with me. So I am forever trying to boost my immune system with supplements, healthy teas, and plenty of sleep (though I often fail when it comes to the sleep).

Because I get serious infections so often, I end up on antibiotics once or twice a year. I have noticed that lately when I get sick I am getting prescribed stronger and stronger antibiotics because my body has started to build up a tolerance to your basic run of the mill amoxicillin. This means when the day comes that the proverbial super flu finally comes a knocking, I may be in serious trouble.

Because I don’t want my children to develop a resistance to antibiotics I always buy antibiotic free meats and dairy. There have also been some changes to our medicine cabinet that honestly really work for my kids.

Most cough syrups don’t work. Don’t believe me? Ask your pediatrician. Many of them are not safe for children under six. Plus, they are filled with dyes and artificial flavors. So what is a worried mom supposed to do?  Not to mention that what ever I do needs to be simple, straight forward, and be effective.  I don’t have time for bogus products that don’t deliver.

kids_cough_syrup_product11There are now several honey based cough syrups that actually work surprisingly well. I’ll admit I was skeptical. If actual medicine was proving ineffective how was honey going to do the trick? But the honey is thick and soothing on sore throats, and the nighttime version of Zarbees has melatonin in it, an all natural chemical that the body makes at bedtime, which helps little ones to fall asleep soundly so they don’t cough during the night. Genius! (Honey is not safe for children under a year old.)childrens_nt

For sore throats I keep a supply of Burt’s Bees Natural Throat Drops, free of dyes and artificial flavors. The honey pomegranate ones taste pretty good and just like Maty’s and Zarbee’s Cough Syrup, the honey really coats raw throats.

salineWhen it comes to drippy, stuffy noses, Saline Spray is awesome. Small kids really haven’t mastered the art of blowing their noses. Saline helps to break up mucus and thin it out so it is easier and more effective when you blow. It also moisturizes raw and painful nasal passages.

Next is a treatment I bet many of you remember from your own childhood. When I was sick my mom used to slather my chest with Vicks Vapor Rub. Breathing those menthol and eucalyptus vapors really did amazing work in clearing up sinus passages.vapor_rub_product111

Maty’s Soothing Chest Rub works just like Vicks but is free of petroleum jelly or petrochemicals.

pedialyteAnother common illness this time of year is tummy bugs. Besides having a supply of Pedialyte for maintaining fluid and chemical balances, I have learned to keep a supply of Witch Hazel Wipes in the house as well. When an attack of diarrhea happens, children’s behinds get raw and painful really fast making it hard for them to wipe. These wipes sooth a rear end with the very first use.

butt wipes

The last important item in the medicine cabinet is children’s ibuprofen for fevers that go above 101. I have learned not to medicate a fever right away. The truth is a fever is your bodies immune system doing what it is supposed to do, which is fight off foreign invaders. So actually a mild fever is a good thing. So before you dose, check your child’s temperature to make sure it is really necessary.

***I am not a medical professional. I am not pretending to be a medical professional. My advice is not to be taken as treatment for your child’s illness. If your child is sick then consult with your own pediatrician about the products listed on this page. These are just suggestions I have learned from speaking with my children’s pediatrician and doing a little research of my own, as well as watching my own children’s progress while using the natural remedies mentioned in this post. I was not paid by anyone to review these products, I just really like them and they work for my kids.***

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