The MOM-tourage


I have some ah-mazing mom friends.  These chicks and DADS are funny and talented women and men also treading waters in the sea of parenthood.  I invite them to add their funny stories and mom rants to this page as well as their personal business info.  Let’s bond (and rant) over funny and use each other’s talents!

Please if you do not run a side business still send me your funnies via email or in the comments section.  I started this blog not only to share my crappies but also to provide a release for us all.  Let the bitching and story telling begin!!!




Just Me and My Shadow(s)

Life With Clingy Twins

by Mary Peterson / Carolina Twin Mom

“Please let me potty in peace!”



Some of you who know me or have been reading my fledgling blog are aware of how much I have rhapsodized about the gift of motherhood.  Please understand as you continue to read this post that I am still JUST as grateful for the gift of my delightful children and the following plea to my twins should not reflect on this whatsoever:


Can y’all kindly back the h*#l off – just a smidgen?


Oh, my sweet little sugarplums.  The adoration you have for me is matched tenfold.  So why is it that your version of devotion is so suffocating?


Might it be because I am quite content with enjoying your company from another chair at the kitchen table instead of having to navigate a spoonful of cereal into my mouth by way of over your head?


Do you truly think when I walk into the garage to hunt for the last box of mac and cheese that I have a getaway car waiting for me, never to be seen again?


For the love of all that is holy, why do you find such pleasure in accompanying me to the powder room each and every time nature calls?


Sometimes you watch me step into the laundry room to attend to the never-ending folding of clothes.  Do you think that there is a secret door hidden behind the washer and a one-way train ticket to The Land Without Children?


Why is it that every time I am out of sight, panic bubbles up, consuming you?


So, dear readers, you may be thinking that clingy children problems are universal motherhood complaints of toddlers.  This may be true, but I have to deal with it TIMES TWO.  And mine are 4 years old.  Showing no signs of letting up.


I have bought a little 3 minute egg timer – concrete, visual – to give to my children when I go upstairs so that they know when I will be back.  This, accompanied by a framed photo of Yours Truly.  Then my creaky, over-40-year-old fanny goes dashing up the steps, 2 at a time, heart racing.  All of this so that I can accomplish one small task.  Like brushing my teeth.  By myself.


The most bizarre thing to me is that this over-the-top affection and desire to be with me is limited to our home.  I can drop them off easy-breezy at school and they’ll go skipping in happily.


But heaven forbid I try to take Bob the Dog out solo.  An entourage must accompany me.  They might be stretched out, lounging in their underpants watching the Best Daniel Tiger Episode Ever Created.  But if there is the slightest indication that I may be going for that leash, those children who lallygag in virtually every other circumstance suddenly spring into action.  They are ready to “help” Bob poop.


What’s a mom to do?


As usual, I head to the worldwide web for some answers.  And boy, this is a topic that is definitely not unique to my family.


The web is loaded with the same advice rephrased, much of which I had already tried.  I did find an article simply overflowing with terrific tidbits.  Allow me to share a few that truly resonated with me.


The number one piece of advice?


1.Do not ignore, overtly discourage, or punish clingy behavior.  




In my defense, my exasperation and attempts at cease and desist orders came after countless months of enduring cries of, “Mom-MEE?”  This during fleeting times where I may have had my face concealed by an open refrigerator door.  Or I would be bending down to pick up a toy off the floor, momentarily ducking out of sight behind a couch.  Can you imagine that this would get a big tiresome?  But I digress…..


  1. Be responsive to your child’s needs and feelings.  This seems intuitive, but I really like how Dr. B suggests we approach this one.


When our kids are little, they lack the communication skills to understand how they feel much less be able to explain their feelings.  Dr. B advises us to try to pinpoint the reason for the clinginess and then explain it back to your kid.


Something like this?


“You’re upset that I briefly opened my computer to reply to one of my 9994 unread personal email messages (true story) even though I’ve been actively playing Candy Land with you for the last 4 hours.  I promise to close up the computer and resume playing your (inane) game when the egg timer runs out of sand.”


This is a twofer.  Your kid feels better understood and is learning how to communicate better in the future.  And there is a lovely sense of release for a mom when she can dole out some sarcasm without the worry of backlash.


  1. Increase predictability.  The biggest thing that I gleaned from this advice is to veer away from talking about time in terms of hours or days.  Little kids don’t have the foggiest idea how long a day truly is.


My daughter Caroline is obsessed with talking about her swim lessons – a necessary evil in her life.  It’s seemed to calm her troubled soul a bit to hear that she will have her next swim lesson after “two nighttime sleeps.”


I imagine that she must mentally prepare herself for the horror of donning her tutu swimsuit and practicing “ice cream scoops” in the pool.  (Can you tell that I am struggling to understand the root of her distaste for swim lessons?)


  1. Build autonomy and praise steps toward independence.  Contrary to everything that I remember about being a youngster, most kids do like to have a “job” to do.


My son Will loves being asked to play “Death By String” with our cats.  (This is a game that my sister made up where you take a bunch of string and dump it over your cat’s head.  They love it.)  When I tell him what a help he is in getting the cats’ “ya-yas” out, he beams with pride.


Thank you, Dr. B.  I now have some new tools in my tool belt to hopefully resolve some of this clingy behavior that has defined my existence for the last few years.


Now, will you be able to help me in the not-so-distant future when I will be wistfully lamenting the good old days when my children actually wanted to cling to me?


Have you had to cope with clingy tots?  What helped your little ones gain some independence?

“You will Never understand until you have your own”…….Words I heard hundreds of times before having my little one.

By Stefanie Grolle-Rudolf


I worked in an infant room at a daycare for 2 years, then moved my way up to toddlers for another 2 before moving on to become a nanny of 3 for almost 5 years. When someone would tell me the above little words I would internally laugh and roll my eyes. I had this parenting thing in the Bag! I had changed thousands of diapers before I was 25, and this soon to be Mama was ready for it all. As a nanny you become a stand in parent for the children you care for. You are there to witness the good and the bad, and the kids earn a permanent place in you heart. You become attached and open up your heart to the little ones you care for as if they where your own.


 The Inner thoughts of a Nanny-


When the then 3 year old asked for her 4th helping of Ranch Dressing for 2 chicken nuggets….. “I am NEVER letting my kids eat this, I’m going to make all of their food, its so easy and so much better for them, plus Pinterest has got my back”.


I remember watching the kids fight…… “I will not let my kids act like that”


When their daughter slept in their room ………”I don’t know how they do it!  I need my room and my kid is going to sleep in her crib every night”.


Flash forward a few years…. I’m writing this while my 1 year old eats left over spaghetti in the bathtub, (because that’s the only place she will eat and the only thing in the fridge). She has spent every single night of her entire life making snow angels in the middle of my bed while my husband and I play a game of “who can shove the baby over far enough so they have enough room to sleep for 30 minutes” all night!  My kid’s teacher has me on speed dial because she has to call me every other day to tell me Harper took another bite out of one of her friends.


Boy was I Dreaming! I love my kiddo more than anything in the world, and even want to have more, but I have decided that if I could, I would really like to take back EVERY single eye roll….


You really don’t get it until you have your own. There is nothing anyone can tell you to prepare you for the craziness of children.


Now, when I’m walking my little one through Target and she’s screaming because I wont let her have the box of tampons she wants of the shelf, (why are those things so damn colorful anyways?) and someone gives me the, “I’m embarrassed for you look,” I internally wish quadruplets on them.



Listen. Your kid’s fourth-grade rec basketball game is not the NBA Finals. Please understand this.

By Joe Coach


It seems like we shouldn’t need to go over this, and yet we do. This isn’t how I talk to your kid when I coach their rec team. I’m much nicer to them. Know why? They’re a kid. Your kid is what, 10 years old, 8 years old, maybe just 5 years old? So, when I coach their rec team I do try to help them learn about the sport. But when I correct them I try to sandwich every meaty lesson between two smooth compliments. I notice every time they get it right, and that is when I’m loudest. Most mistakes I just let go. You don’t get that treatment. So listen good.

Your son’s third-grade rec soccer game is not the World Cup. This really shouldn’t need to be explained to you. But let’s review some of the things witnessed recently on the rec field of play.

Your team plays the ball back to your goalie. Goalie plays the ball with his hands. Technically, this is not allowed and should result in a penalty kick. Goalies of course can play the ball with their hands, but not when their team passes it to them.  But forget that. Doesn’t matter what the rule was. You, home team coach, were a jackass.

The, referee, a teenage girl, did not award a penalty kick against you, but just warned your players this was not allowed.  She had the rule correct, and played it exactly right for a rec game for 8-year-olds.  Then you yelled at her. You bickered about the call. You asked her, “do you even play soccer?” If we were picking teams, I’d have taken her over you any day, old man. But that’s beside the point.  Let’s review the ways you screwed up.

First, you had the rule wrong. If you’re going to be a jerk about the rule in front of your friends and neighbors, and those of neighboring communities, at least get it right. Second, even if you had been right, you were wrong. Here are three very important rules you broke: 1) you never argue with the referee, 2) you never argue with the referee in front of your kids, and 3) you never, ever, ever argue with the referee in front of your team. Your team saw that you know. They were watching. More than any other way, that’s how kids learn.  You taught them that was appropriate behavior. Nice work.  And third, and this is a big one which doesn’t even have anything to do with sports: you home team coach, a grown man, yelled at a teenage girl. What-the-fuck?

People, your daughter’s fourth-grade rec soccer game is not the Olympics. The lack of medals and media coverage should have given this away.  Based on how you behaved, I guess not. Away team coach, your team is very good. You told me you’ve been coaching them since kindergarten. When we talked on the phone before the game, I asked if the girls could take a do-over if they messed up a throw-in. You said “Your girls can take one, but mine won’t. I have expectations for my girls.” Ugh. I should have known right then.

Talked to another coach from your community later. His team is pretty good he said, and you beat him 18-0. You put 18 goals on a team of 8-year-old girls playing rec soccer? Why would you do that? Made me think of something else you said when we talked, about how you used to play soccer.  Apparently you didn’t achieve the measure of success you wanted. But listen buddy, whatever void you have is not going to be filled with goals against 8-year-old girls.

Then we played. I had only one sub available for the game. As we watched your team score three goals on us in about as many minutes, she looked up at me with a big smile on her face and said, “oh man, we’re going to get killed.” And it was bad. Our parents cheered if we got past mid-field. “We’re counting it!” they said. As you yelled at your 8-year-old girls for not being better while beating the living tar out my 8-year-old girls I thought to myself, “what kind of parent would subject their kid to this guy?” As the game went on, and your parents cheered just as loud for your fifteenth goal as they did for your first, I realized, “oh, those parents.”

Finally, third-grade rec basketball is not the NCAA finals.  You don’t think you need to be told that? Yes you do.

The referee blew a call. She did. That’s true. But you argued. You bickered. You yelled … at a teenage girl who was probably getting paid 10 bucks or something.  You were such an asshat that two of these teenagers filed a formal complaint against you.  Did you apologize? Nope. You collected letters of support, and tried to litigate it like Nick Saban might defend a football booster.

Serious time here. I know that watching your 5-year-old daughter break out of the herd and nudge the ball into the goal is legitimately more exciting than more exciting than watching Steph Curry hitting three-pointers over two defenders.  I know that watching your 10-year-old son whiff on the ball in the open field leaves a pit in your stomach worse than seeing Grant Hill twist his knee, or seeing your alma mater’s last-second game clinching punt get blocked and returned for a game-losing touchdown.

That’s a little piece of your heart out there. I know. I get it.

But here is the one thing you need to understand: It’s not about you. It’s about your kid. What they need is for you to cheer their successes.  Teach them the rules and the skills.  If you’re unsure about what to say, just tell them you love to watch them play The world will beat them down plenty. They don’t need us to do that. They need us to lift them up. And to show them to lift up each other.

Now don’t pout. Don’t quit going to games. And certainly don’t quit coaching. Your kid needs you. Just don’t be such a fucking jerk.

Joe Coach has coached rec teams which have been undefeated and which have been winless. He loved coaching all of them. He’s not normally very funny, nor does he curse, but tried to step it up in both regards for the benefit of Kristin’s discerning readers.


Natalie (Ozog)Katz- I went to high school with Natalie but we weren’t close friends, just ran in separate circles I suppose.  It wasn’t until she was pregnant with her third son and I was pregnant with my third and fourth daughters that we really started to connect via social media.  Natalie’s a talented chick to say the least.  Check her out at her website  or on Instagram at ozogart. I am always blown away at humans with artistic talent like hers.  Turns out she is a riot, loves herself some vodka and is actually my spirit animal!  I can Facebook message her anytime of day with any chaotic story and she gets it…she is living the male version of my female shit show over in New York.  Natalie just recently made her annual trek across the country from New York to Michigan, and now she is heading back to New York… as she does every year… with her husband and three adorable little boys.  Let us all laugh at her…I mean with her.  Driving cross country with kids is a blast!  Right Natalie!  😉


Queen of The Milk Carton

The trip felt like it was starting out good when all three boys started a nap.  A whopping thirty minutes later 2 year old Isaac awoke pissed off and crying.  Now previously all three boys had been promised giant lollipops, that their grandpa had purchased specifically as a treat for taking car naps.  Lev, age four, repeatedly and happily yelled, “Yeah, lollipops!”  Since Let let the word out in the car, we now had Issac screaming for giant lollipops.


Giving in now with only an hour left in the twelve hour car ride from Michigan to New York, all three kids were covered in stickiness.  I heard myself yelling one of the millions of things that I never thought I would hear myself say, “Don’t lick it and touch yourself!”


An hour after the lollipop excitement had worn off I crawled back into the mini van de-stick-i-tizing it as much as one could while trying not to bump my head driving eighty down the freeway.  Just as I get back into the fron seat my five year old cries out, “I have to pee!”

Sigh.  My husband insists on getting home as fast as we can, which means stopping as little as humanly possible.  This then means that I get to now crawl into the third row of the van, holding an empty Costco milk carton and steady my son as he pees into the jug.

Of COURSE this starts a trend and now my middle son just has to pee.  He pulls his pants down and lines up the milk carton just to giggle and piss me off.

“I don’t really have to pee mom.”


(PS- I will forever crown Natalie as Queen of the Costco Milk Carton.)  Safe travels Katz family!

bat shit crazy


Katie Rexrode- Katie is the mama of three wonderful children and happens to be one of my best friends.  Until her recent move we spent countless hours merging our families and loving on each other’s kids.  I am so grateful for her friendship truly.  As if this wasn’t enough being with Katie is pure entertainment all of the time.  She is witty, hilarious and a riot to be around.

No Need to Get Caught in the Wash

I never shampoo my hair. No, like never. Like how Matthew McConaughey refuses to wear deodorant. Like I could probably have brunette with blonde highlighted dreads if I really wanted.

It started out a bit of a joke. I enjoyed bragging with a laugh to my girlfriends that I didn’t remember the last time I’d washed it. They’d ooo and ahh and say they could never not wash their hair everyday. And I’d scoff and secretly feel pretty darn cool. Finally, my impossibly thick, long hair was paying off.

But I quickly realized just how much I actually hated washing my hair. In fact, dreaded it to the core. Drying it. Brushing it. Curling it. Straightening it. Doing anything at all beyond the easiest, simplest style possible. I started just letting my hair’s mood dictate what that may be – usually a messy braid, a ponytail or a super high bun. Done and done.

Here’s the thing: After I get up, think about exercising, rotate the laundry, make the lunches, fold the laundry, wake up my three kids, yell at them to move faster, feed the kids, wipe the kids, brush my teeth, yell at them to move faster, dress the kids, brush the kids, yell at them to move faster, drop them off at least 5 minutes late – there’s no way I am then tackling this mane. I am too tired and it’s 9 a.m.

When I was working 70 hour plus work weeks, traveling two to three days a week, raising my trio and husband, clearly I had to occasionally well … wash it. I’d push it to maybe three days with help of my best friend, dry shampoo. But now that I am on hiatus from my career, I am also taking a serious vacation from shampoo. I think I may be at two weeks right now as I type this. I honestly have no idea. And I am totally fine with it. It’s up in a cute bun, paired with oversized hoops, mascara, a swipe of liner, a little bit of gloss. Good to go.

Before you crinkle your nose and judge me, just remember I may be judging you right back for wasting your time and energy – frankly, for not being as smart as I am.

Because here’s the secret: The longer you wait to wash your hair, the less greasy it is. Totally true, promise! And it is much better for your hair. So if you can tough out a weekend or so, you may just be halfway to heaven.

Sure, sometimes I feel the teensiest bit guilty when I am yelling at my smelly tween to take a shower and scrub his dirty hair. I may be internally giggling knowing I have no idea when my hair last felt shampoo but as his mother, it is my job to teach him. You know, so people don’t judge … me. Besides, I don’t have to worry about the horrors of junior high any more. I can just spray on another layer of the magic and be on my way.

In my defense, when I do wash my hair, it becomes a frizzy disaster. With each baby I popped out, my hair got curlier. Three babies deep, these follicles got crazy. They say your body changes with pregnancy. It’s true. I got better eye sight, a pouch for a stomach and little orphan Annie hair. No matter what products I buy, what contraptions, what steps I take, when the lights flash on shampoo day I look like the chick on Saturday Night Live from the 1970s. My hair doesn’t calm down until at least day three and by then, I want to ride that out as long as I can. All of the sudden, I’m into next week.

I clearly remember my grandmothers going to the beauty shop once a week or so for a wash and set. Why did that acceptable practice go away? Because truth be told, if I had someone to wash and set my hair weekly you better believe I’d skip my way into the salon. Nowadays, getting a blowout is maybe the most exciting thing to happen to me since … well … ever. My Nana was so put together. She was a precision dresser who read the fashion section of The New York Times religiously. If she only washed her hair weekly, I know I am on the right track – and you should join me.

Do it for yourself. For your hair. For your sanity. If you’re not sure you can, then just do it for me – a fellow overworked, underpaid, mom of too many kids.

Next time you need to shave, (yes, I still shave and wash my body – don’t be gross) throw your hair up in a bun. Resist the urge to wash it.

You and I both know you only have about four minutes before your kid starts pounding on the glass so instead of soaping and conditioning, just stand in the steady stream of hot deliciousness. Spend those last 120 seconds trying to relax. (I like to put my face right in there and just close my eyes.) I promise it will be the best and easiest two minutes of your day. Then when you get out, let your hair down, (or don’t if it works) spray on the dry shampoo, flip and style it whatever way it falls. You are all set. Now go yell at your kids to hurry up.

baked cookies


Sarah Dodds- This chick is hilarious.  I think we met back in preschool and are now both moms of four kids! I think you will all enjoy her humor and outlook on life, I know I do.


I Just Want To Pee In Peace

It was one of those days. I’d like to think that all moms have them. The day when you can actually start smelling yourself because your brood ages 2 months-10 is demanding . And you have to shower because you have to go somewhere. Not just anywhere, but something fun. Fun for them. No good deed goes unpunished.

So this moment presents itself. The baby is sleeping, the 7 year old playing Minecraft, and a moment of perfection where the almost 10 year old is coloring with the 3 year old.  So you lay down the law for the 10 year old. 5 minutes. Just keep her coloring for 5 minutes. On the paper. Not the walls, not the couch, the paper. I’ll be right back.

Isn’t that when all the trouble starts in horror movies? I’ll. Be. Right. Back.

Anyway, you run upstairs, soap yourself up and run through the shower faster than your car goes through the car wash. You turn off the water, about to congratulate yourself on your 3 minute shower (I said I’d be fast) and there’s screaming downstairs. You grab your robe and go to diffuse the situation.

The middle two are sword fighting and have woken the baby. Awesome. So you take a breath. Hey, you’re calm and collected. You got this. You say, “let’s put the swords away and get dressed so we can go see Finding Dory and get some popcorn with Mimi.” Words kids love, right? Nope.

The 3 year old runs into the half bath and locks herself in.

No big deal, there’s a fail safe. Go get the tiny screwdriver (this fail safe you have to insert a small flat head screw driver and turn it to unlock the door). Only when you go to do it, there’s nothing for it to grip because the damn fail safe is broken. BROKEN.

So you talk to three year old to try to coax her out of the bathroom. she’s not strong enough twist the knob. So you keep trying. It won’t work. You’re singing the ABCs and Twinkle Twinkle through the door and slowly losing your mind.

Baby is screaming…put oldest 2 on that mess for now.

No visible hinges, no outside hardware for the knob. So you decide you’ll try to kick the door in. Barefoot, because, well…you’re losing your mind. So you tell tiny to go play with the toilet seat . The. toilet. seat. So you know you won’t kill her by jamming the door open.  Let me tell you, Jean Claude VanDam I am not. I split the door. Twice.  But I was completely unsuccessful in freeing the toddler, and though this was a month ago, my hip, shoulder, and obliques are still screaming at me.  But I digress.

It’s been 15 minutes. So you call your husband, who laughs at you and tells you that he could open it. Awesome, come home then Helpy McHelperson. He can’t. So helpful.

Try to kick down the door again, try to turn a broken screw in a tiny hole. Nothing doing.

You have to call for help. It’s been 20
Minutes.You call the non-emergency number because the Mickey Mouse theme song is being sung in the bathroom very loudly so you have proof of life.I’m sure the dispatch woman is very nice. I am here to tell you, though, that if I’m calling saying I need help, I don’t need you to talk me out of it. Don’t tell me that I should take the hinges off, or that they might break my door down. I’ve tried and failed and now I need the professionals.

Fast forward 5 minutes. I did put clothes on during this time, don’t worry. The giant firetruck shows up with 5 good looking firefighters. (Because they’re FIREFIGHTERS, right?)

Anyway, they all kindof chuckled at me. The one in charge took out his BCBS card and popped the door open. I shit you not, THAT is the movie trick that worked.

(Child was fine-Finding Dory was even cute.)

Helpy McHelperson disassembled the lock that evening. But this is now why I cannot pee alone.


That polka-dot bootie is the bathroom bandit.


Ashley Martinez – Ashley is a stay at home mama for two little guys and a self proclaimed “Geek.”  Her outlook on parenting is refreshing.  Visit her @




Let me start off by saying my kids are amazing and I love them to death…. That being said, I just have to say how much I love watching them. They entertain me. It’s almost like watching some crazy reality show on TV. The things they say and the things they do from day to day, really has me on the floor laughing! Let me go ahead and give you 5 reasons why I laugh AT my kids (and not with them)!


When they get a “boo boo”– Honestly, I think this is the funniest reason of all. Let me go ahead and explain by telling you a little story about what happened a couple weeks ago. My 4 year old had the TINIEST little scratch on one of his toes. My hubby took a look at it and thought that he saw a tiny piece of glass in it. He made the worst mistake by saying it out loud. My son screamed with terror and all of a sudden he decided to become “disabled”. He began limping (the saddest limp you ever saw!) and dragged himself to bed, saying he would never be able to walk again. We got a flashlight and saw it was actually a bit of skin sticking up and not a piece of glass. Instantly a miracle happened right before my eyes. My sons “disability” magically disappeared. (Crazy how that happens!) 🙂


“The Truman Show”– Let me explain. This little incident happened just last night! I was at my computer desk researching for my blog.. All of a sudden, out of nowhere my 2 year old starts screaming. He ran to me and grabbed my leg, motioning me to pick him up while he is drenched in tears and drool. He kept looking over his shoulder at something but I could not for the life of me figure it out! Then I notice on the floor that he had thrown a DVD on the ground. It was “The Truman Show” with Jim Carrey. I picked it up and he screamed in terror…… and that my friends, is a story I will embarrass him with for the rest of his life!


They say the wrong things at the WRONG times-I can’t tell you enough how true this is! I swear my 4 year old loves to humiliate me in public and he doesn’t even know he’s doing it… One of the worst memories I have with this is when we went to Walmart to get him some of his favorite Minecraft toys. I was standing in the aisle while my kids were both in the shopping cart. A large family comes near us to look at the Powers Rangers right next to us. I knelt down to look at a toy on the bottom shelf…. this is when it all happened. (I still cringe and pray he never does this again…) I bumped something on the shelf, and my oldest looks up at me, looks me in the eye and VERY LOUDLY says “Mom! Did you fart?” I don’t think my face could have been any redder. The family just laughed and I couldn’t help but laugh myself…


The confusion of what’s real and fake-Being a Geeky Mama, I can’t help but say that I am addicted to Pokémon GO. This addiction has spread to my oldest son. The only thing is…. He thinks the Pokémon are real. He asked me one night, “Mom? Are Pokémon in my world?” I told him no that it was just a game but I don’t think that ever clicked in his head. (I’m still waiting for this to happen..) Everyday I have to deal with tantrums because he sees the Pokémon on the screen but doesn’t see them in the house… He still thinks he has to physically grab them to catch them. Pokémon GO and I now have a love/hate relationship.


Potty training-My 2 year old is still not potty trained. We all have been trying to teach him but with no luck just yet. Even my oldest brings him in the bathroom to “show” him how its done. My 2 year old definitely tries though. The way he does this? Takes off his diaper, walks over to the toilet, stands on his tip toes (he doesn’t quite reach over the rim just yet) and aggressively grabs himself, trying to pinch and pull what ever is in there. My sons technique is one of a kind and hey, if it works, it works. Just as long as he doesn’t hurt himself..(Plus it makes Mommy roll on the floor laughing, while he is as serious as can be.)

I love my boys but sometimes… they do some crazy things that make me laugh so hard I can’t breath! I hope it never ends because these are the moments we definitely don’t forget.. ever! 🙂

Barrie Bismark- working and blogging mama of three.  She loves her some swearing… which is why I love her!
 Catch up with her at
Why I am An Asshole (according to my kids…)

Why I’m an Asshole (According to my kids)

We all have days where our kids drive us nuts and bring us to the brink of insanity. We all have those days when we love our kids, but don’t really like them. Guess what? We, as parents, drive our kids nuts too! I always knew there would be a day when my kids would hate me. I just didn’t expect it to be so soon. I figured that I would have a good 14 years until they wanted freedom and their raging hormones made them hate me. I didn’t expect to ruin their lives so early on. No one properly prepared me for the drama such simple things could cause. Here are some of the reasons I am an asshole according to my kids.

  • I won’t let the kids play in the construction site across the street.
  • I won’t let them eat candy and granola bars for breakfast. I’m so mean.
  • I made chicken nuggets for dinner. How could I be so stupid.
  • I didn’t make chicken nuggets for dinner. Again…fail.
  • I wouldn’t let her go to school wearing two different shoes (that would be a rain boot and a dress up princess shoe).
  • I wouldn’t let her play with Vaseline and wiped off what she just smeared all over herself and the carpet.I put her cereal in a pink bowl and not the purple bowl. Total asshole.
  • I forgot about “red shirt” day at school. Another life ruined by my stupidity.
  • I won’t let the 8-year-old ride his bike alone around the neighborhood.
  • Because she broke the banana I gave her. Now it’s ruined. Failed again.
  • I asked her to put on her shoes. Asshole.
  • She got wet while running through the sprinkler.
  • Her binky is too “spicy”…what?
  • I looked at her while she was singing.
  • I wouldn’t buy him a pack of old baseball cards from 1991 for $10 at a garage sale. Asshole.
  • I took them out to dinner for pizza. Didn’t know they hated pizza.
  • I signed him up to play basketball because he asked me to. NEWS FLASH! He HATES basketball now…Um. Ok. I’m an asshole.
  • I told her she has to brush her hair.
  • I took them to a parade and it took too long to start. Yep. It’s my fault.
  • I wouldn’t give her a Band Aid for the non-existent “bump” on her leg. Worst mom ever.
  • I couldn’t make her frozen toast. Asshole.
  • I left to go buy HER a birthday present. How could I.
  • Because I said he can’t wear sweatpants to church.  It’s not like I asked him to wear dress slacks. Just jeans and not sweatpants.
  • I told her should cold not have green olives and salami in her bed for a snack at 9:30 p.m. GO TO BED!
  •  I told him he couldn’t pee in the front yard and had to use the toilet. Asshole.

There you have it. Is this enough proof?  I’m a total asshole.

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Two Kids and The Hulk

Three kids, one dog, one cat, one husband, and no quiet.  This is my daily life. Trying to juggle family, work, fun, and a second to myself is not easy. If fact, I’m not convinced it is even possible. Things are hectic and never go according to my plan. I don’t think I even believe in balance at this point in my life.


Children have a way of making us question our own sanity sometimes, and my youngest is quite the test of patience, physical stamina, and a battle of wits. All my kids are challenging in different ways, but my youngest gives us a run for our money we never saw coming. I wouldn’t change a thing if I could, but she is physically and emotionally exhausting. I’m still not sure if it is all her personality, or just simply the fact that she is the third child. All hell broke loose after the third child and we are completely worn out by juggling the ins and outs of daily life with three kids.

Before I had children of my own, I was a big B about other people’s kids. I was Judgey McJudgerson, judging their parenting and judging them for not controlling their kid. A crying child in a restaurant or public place would stress me out to the max and annoy me to no end. I’d think…DO SOMETHING WITH YOUR KID AND MAKE THE SCREAMING STOP! But then…It all changed. Fast forward a few years, and I realized it is just not that easy. I had a kid of my own…then another…and finally, the youngest who has taught me the most.

I am a bit of a control freak, but I have learned a couple of things as I have grown older; you can’t control what happens in life, and you most definitely can’t control a toddler….at least not mine. She is a tiny human being with super-human strength. We refer to her (lovingly of course) as the Hulk. She has been since she was an infant. She can go from precious and sweet to an angry superhuman monster in just seconds. I am no longer strong enough to physically control that beast. She has mastered the genius toddler trick where she either let’s all the tension go out of her body and goes entirely limp, OR she flails about on the ground like a fish out of water. Either way, it is nearly impossible to pick her up. I know this sounds funny, but I have become terrified of her. She physically hurts me time and time again. She bites, scratches, hits, head-butts…in fact, I’m pretty sure she broke my nose with the back of her head. I need full-body protective gear just to be around her…and I am really considering it.

She is the little dictator that controls the Bismark house. You don’t dare mess with that one. She is lucky she is so cute or I would have kicked her out a long time ago! Her meltdowns are an awesome thing. By awesome, I mean, you will be in complete awe and possibly very, very afraid…or laughing your ass off. Sometimes the meltdowns are easy to see coming: you’ve said “no” to eating another granola bar, or you’re trying to make her wear pants in the sandbox, or you put her crackers in the wrong color bowl. Other times, the meltdowns arrive without any warning. Super stealthy meltdowns that you won’t coming at all, but leave you chilled to the bone or physically injured when they do.


Like the time the time just recently when she was so upset that the paper towel roll was empty. She sobbed uncontrollably because “her napkins” were all gone. Another time she asked me to get her strawberries. So, like an asshole, I did. She looked at me like, “why in the hell did you give me these?” She had an all-out, magnitude 10 fit because she didn’t want the strawberries she just asked for 3 seconds ago. She was flailing about on the floor and kicking her legs as if that would do anything to change the situation. I laughed, of course, because it’s just so absurd, which just made the meltdown even worse. Bad idea… and now her head is spinning around. Then, instead of consoling her, I pull out the video camera…I need to document this crazy! With my first two, I would have been stressed and tried to calm her down and worry she would get a concussion from flopping around on the wood floor. But with her, I just let her go and get it out. There is no stopping the rage of the Hulk.


Toddlers seem to know to know your weaknesses and will exploit them, at any given opportunity. Well, truthfully, all my kids know my weaknesses and will exploit them at any given opportunity. They learn that real quick.  They just give you the big-eyed, sweet face and theircuteness whittles away at you until your every last defense is down. Then, when you least expect it, they pounce. You feel bad when they cry. You believe them when they lie. They are just so precious. Then before you know it, they have manipulated bed-time from 7:30PM to somewhere around 11:00PM. They come down every five minutes asking for another hug, a glass of water, saying their tummy hurts, or in our case – to show you a silly face she can make by pulling her eyes down and sticking out her tongue. Over and over again this happens, every single night. You intend on feeding them a nice healthy dinner at the table with the whole family, but instead somehow they end up in front of the TV eating jelly beans and uncooked spaghetti for dinner. They know how to get what they want. Tiny manipulators.

Since the hulk was born, everything has seemed to become more complicated and chaotic. In addition to being nearly braindead and exhausted all of the time, there is always someone who needs something. There is never a moment when everyone in the house is content. In the past, I was so organized and had everything under control. Suddenly, I find myself not being able to think clearly, pay my bills on time, keep up on the household chores, or even remember to get the oil changed in my vehicle (last time it was 10,000 miles over…oops!). I see all these moms who are so put together, planning Pinterest worthy birthday parties, going on trips, going to the beach, having scrapbooks of their kid’s entire lives…whatever it may be. A much as I try to remember these chaotic days are only temporary, and someday I’ll miss them, I’m overwhelmed.

I’ll give you an example of exhaustion. Me picking up my three kids after work. This shit show is quite the sight. First, I get the baby. She usually fights me on leaving the center and I have to chase her around and pick her up to even get out the door. I am holding her in addition to carrying her 10,000 pages of art work, dirty clothes because she got poop on her shorts, and whatever else is to go home with her for the day. We make our way to the car, dropping papers along the way. I carefully have to get her into the car without breaking one of her crackers she grabbed from the snack bucket. If that happens, look out.


Once we get to the car, she stiffens her body so I am unable to get her into her car seat. After much frustration and practice, I have developed a technique to help. I lift her into the car seat and put my elbow between her legs so that her body has to bend and stays in the sitting position. Then, I forcefully put her arms through the car seat straps as quickly as I can. If I’m lucky, she eventually gives in and I get her buckled. By the time I get in the car, I am sweating profusely from the physical strain. I blast the cold air from the AC and hope to cool off before I get to the next stop of my triathlon.


When we arrive at the next location, I have to unload the baby from her car seat and bring her with me because “apparently” it is not acceptable to leave your toddler alone in the car. It’s yet another fight to get her out of the car because she wants to bring her blanket, stuffed animal, snack, and any other magical toy of the day along with her. So before we even get in, I have my hands full. We make the long walk from the parking lot to the door either through the icy snow or sweltering heat or whatever is in-between. All I can do is hope she doesn’t bolt and try to run to the playground (it’s a 50/50 chance). You might say, just hold her and carry her in. Right. You don’t mess with the Hulk.


As soon as I get in and check the kids out on the computer, she bolts yet again… In a flash she runs down the halls searching for her brother and sister. I run after her in my work shoes, trying to avoid slipping and falling on my ass (which has happened, by the way). Once I catch up to her and find the other two, we all head to their lockers and get out all of their stuff for the day; backpacks, art projects, shoes, water bottles, boots, coats, etc. So now I find myself carrying those things in addition to the blanket and fidgeting toddler. We have to walk past a damn water fountain on the way out, so of course she is suddenly dehydrated and needs to get a drink. Hulk wants water, Hulk gets water.


So I set it all down and help her so that her mouth doesn’t touch it. “Ain’t no one got time for bronchitis.” I pick up all the treasured items, and tuck her under my arms because she doesn’t want to leave. She is screaming, kicking, scratching, and biting whatever part of my body she can as we parade our freak show out of the building. By this point I am totally pitting out and sweating again and nearly in tears. People just stare at me and judge me…some laugh at me. Then off to the car we go and where I have to buckle her into the car seat AGAIN using my technique. This happens every single day. No joke, I have had sore muscles in my arms from trying to control the beast while caring all the stuff from the day. Then it’s home to make dinner, homework, baths, and bed. Then we do it all again the next day. I won’t go into those fascinating details…I’ll save that for another post.

Exhausted as I am and as much as I complain, I think each of my three children is wonderful. They are all unique and a blessing in their own way. I love being their mom, even when they aren’t acting like blessings. I don’t need a gentle reminder of how precious they are because I really do know. I love them all dearly and wouldn’t change a thing. Well…maybe I’d be physically stronger so I don’t get my ass kicked by the Hulk. Then why am I telling you all this? Because it is funny and therapeutic for me to talk about it and I just want people to know that I can’t do it all. I try my best to make it work, I try to choose my battles, I try to love the people in my life as much as I possibly can, and I try to find the magic in the mess – but mostly, I’m tired and I am still just trying to figure it all out.


twitter handle: @BismarkBarrie



Top 5 God-Awful Small Talk Topics

Small talk topics

I’ll start by saying it: I dislike small talk. I hate bad/cliche riddled small talk topics.

My daughter is trying to crawl right now. This is awesome and terrifying, it really swings violently between the two. She loves everything that is not a toy. Cords? Love em! Dirty cardboard box, gonna get some chewing in. A zipper on anything, that’s my new toy. My biggest challenge right now is keeping her away from things that will choke/strangle/suffocate her and just plain gross/dunno if that’s bad type stuff.

Also she is getting faster, her army crawl is being perfected. If her coordination improves just a bit I am completely SCREWED. Of course everyone gives me a cliché ”You’ll manage”, “You figure it out”, “You’ll just have to get faster” or some derivative followed by a fake grin and a hollow laugh that’s only there to alert me it was a joke. I grin and bear it, sometimes even throwing out my own fake small talk line. A little part of me dies inside every time.


Which brings me to…


The Top 5 God-Awful Small Talk Topics

(I love High Fidelity)


  1. When at a funeral

    “It’s part of the plan/in a better place/ was meant to be” No.

    small talk topics

  2. After You’ve Marriedsmall talk topics

    Usually if ANYONE sees you within a year of your wedding but they really have nothing to say ,“So…how’s marriage?” After getting married I purposely started making an effort to avoid using this one.

  3. Child on the wayadvice

    “Let me just give you some advice” Uh uh, I didn’t ask. Also, if you’re of a certain age this advice is almost certainly a wives tale or  worse- now proven dangerous.

  1. Do You Know..?

    Comparatively, I work at a large place with 1,500~ other people. “ Do you know Joe Blow?”work“ No, I don’t. It’s pretty big, lot’s of different work areas” tries to move on….. “Are you sure? He’s kind of a big deal” Trust me,I can assure you he really isn’t. In addition, yes I am sure I don’t know him.

  2. I know you don’t care about____ BUT…

NO! You stop right there! Because whatever meaningful or interesting conversation we were about to have is going to be cut short or avoided altogether. Due to : I am going to sidle out of this convo. Pandering is not needed, I can debate or have a conversation with back and forth.  This conversation isn’t that. This conversation propaganda is someone trying to explain why you should care/think like them/you need to know about something (that is not involved with you at all).small talk topicsIt’s certainly happening in a setting where I don’t want to deal with it, a small talk setting….think someone’s birthday/important milestone. If I know you hate guns, I’ll still talk to you. However, I am not going come over and open with “I know you don’t like guns but, this new Gun Freedom Act…”. It is rude at best, always uncomfortable and time wasting for sure.


Pick better small talk topics, for everyone’s sake.

Casey is a working Father/Husband trying to be the Dad his daughter can be proud of. Helping other Dads along the way is a fun bonus and a great side project.




Crystal is a full-time working, potty-mouthed and tempered, home-cooking, thrift-finding thirty-something mom on a budget. She blogs to share her adventures in cooking, love, challenges, parenting and life.

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When my second child arrived, I was excited for a son. But nothing could prepare me for the adventure I was about to embark on.

Someone really should hand out a checklist at the hospital. The nurses all staring at you as you swaddle that little baby and prepare for this new chapter in your life. Congratulations!! Oh, it’s a boy and here is your hand out.  A cheat sheet, of all of the little annoying things that he clearly got from his father’s DNA.

If I was in charge of the checklist, here is what I would include to all new parents of boys:

While great at sports and video games, they have no co-ordination when it comes to hitting the toilet bowl.  There will be pee on the floor, on the toilet seat, on the wall and if you are lucky a drop may make it into the bowl

Boys are always hungry, and without immediate attention this can quickly turn into hangry little monsters.  If you are hungry, they are hungry. If anyone in the house is hungry, they too are hungry, AGAIN!

You may have to remind them daily about the essentials. Did you wash your hands? Did you flush the toilet? Did you use toilet paper? Yes.. Ok! Are you sure because you didn’t flush and I’m not seeing any toilet paper!!!!! Don’t eat that, it fell onto the floor – God knows these floors haven’t been washed in weeks! Oh right, the three second rule. Noooo, it doesn’t apply when we are outside.

Boys get dirty.  Did you take a shower? With water and soap? Ok, I’m just asking. Maybe you should take another shower???

They have no brain to mouth filter. If he thinks, he will say it. I find myself covering his mouth with my hand as soon as I see something out of the ordinary while we are in public.

He doesn’t need instructions. He already knows everything. This is probably a trait he inherited by his father passed down from generation to generation. From tying his shoes to writing and reading – he knows it all!

At the end of the day, I know that this is after all a short phase in life that surely he will outgrow. Soon! Right? I love that crazy, wild and sometimes annoying boy and just when I think he didn’t inherit anything from me I see him scarfing down a few, or 10 bite-sized chocolate bars like a champ!!!!