Archive for the ‘brain dump’ Category

O’ Christmas Tree? Containing Your Spruce- December 17, 2014

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

o xmas tree

There is a holiday epidemic plaguing the homes of infants and toddlers around the world. This year it hit our home.

Escaping Christmas trees.

Trees are taking their boughs and baubles and getting out of the homes where they are imprisoned. Many trees in the houses of young children say they’re sick of only being decorated 2/3rds of the way down. Their lower thirds remain naked. I can’t blame them. How would you feel if your lower third was bare? I like mine looking just as festive as my top, thank you very much. Why should a Christmas tree be any different?

Other trees feel gypped because the adults in their homes no longer put fine crystal ornaments on them like they used to. Cherished ceramic ornaments remain boxed up, replaced by BPA-free plastic balls. It’s insulting to the trees. If you have to be chopped down and hauled away from your family on the tree farm, you want to be decorated properly. Not haphazardly covered in makeshift toys some rugrat will drool on.

If your tree is artificial, check to see where it was made. China? It’s likely. The National Christmas Tree Association says 85% of artificial trees are made in China. Your tree may be trying to leave your house to get home before the Chinese New Year. It’s just after our New Year and it’s a long journey to your homeland if you’re made of polyvinyl chloride.

The number one way trees try to escape? Toppling over. Trees hope that if they topple over enough that you will get sick of them and drag them to the curb even if it’s just a week before Christmas. Broken ornaments? Water on the carpet? That’s what they want. They want out. It’s a conspiracy. That’s why they make tree stands so lousy.

Yes, you can dispose of an artificial tree on the curb too, although it’s much more rare. AE’s or “artificial escapes” don’t happen too often. Artificial trees are doomed to live in boxes. They want you to throw them out. China, remember?

Solutions For Taming Trees:

How do you prevent your tree from escaping? Fence it in. Check out ours. It’s going NOWHERE! That bad boy is doomed to live in our attic in a musty box 11 months a year! Bwa ha ha! You WILL bring us holiday joy, tree. You will! You live HERE! NOT in China!

Our Christmas tree 2014 in a baby gate

Another option is to tether your tree to the wall like our neighbors did to their fresh cut Fraser Fir after it fell over when the kids were playing with it. They also have a one-year-old at their house.

Christmas tree tethered to the wall

A little known fact is that Christmas trees are afraid of heights. That’s why so few of them grow tall enough to be the tree at Rockefeller Center or at the White House. Funny, I was unable to find a fact from the NCTA to back that up. One family I know exploited their tree’s fear of heights by putting it up on a table. The tree stayed put, not daring to venture down near the family’s toddler.

xmas tree 5

It’s a holiday battle! Keep your trees contained and your little ones safe.

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Elf Rhymes- December 1, 2014

Monday, December 1st, 2014

The year I almost lost our Elf On The Shelf

On the night of the last day of November, that’s when parents suddenly remember.

Tomorrow is December 1st. Thank goodness, the kids’ behavior is the worst!

Christmas will be here really soon. We’ve been using Santa as a threat since June.

Our little friend with the creepy smile hasn’t been here for awhile.

The Thanksgiving holiday has come to an end. It’s time to succumb to a Pinterest trend.

Scrolling through your Facebook feed, you see parents preparing for their children’s greed.

They use a toy as behavior modification, as we all prepare for winter vacation.

The “Elf on the Shelf” is back in suburban homes. Your Instagram will be nothing but those weird little gnomes.

Last night brought intense pre-holiday panic. My child’s excitement for Christmas is manic.

She said, “Mama, my elf comes tomorrow!” as she went to bed. I thought, “Wait, where did we put it?” I smacked my head.

I scoured each closet, every drawer and each box. I found an old bottle opener and some missing socks.

I Facebook messaged my friends like, “Oh shit!” They were like, “Uh oh, girl you better find it!’

I have no idea where my husband tucked it away. Ugh! He’s in Vegas on business til’ Friday!

I started making an elf contingency plan. An elf letter saying “I’m still helping the big man!”

After preschool drop-off I’ll head to Barnes and Noble. That may prevent a meltdown ‘a la Chernobyl.

I gave it one last look in closet junk piles and racks. It was in a box with dry cleaning hangers and an unused Camelback.

My preschooler will not be a disenfranchised douchebag! “My ‘Elf on the Shelf’ is here!” she’ll brag.

Fellow parents! May your holiday tantrums be few and light. Don’t forget to move the damn elf each night.

 

My Santa hat is off to the authors of “Elf on the Shelf” not only for your fortune-making genius merchandising, but for your ability to rhyme that book. This poem, written in “Elf on the Shelf” style, took me for freaking ever. 

tgiving eots

 

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Baby Laughs- November 24, 2014

Monday, November 24th, 2014

Do you ever watch something and you are laughing the loudest? Something that is funnier to you than it is to other people? For some reason you can’t hold it together when you watch it, but everyone else just kind of chuckles? I have a few things that do this to me:

  • Any episode of “30 Rock”
  • Kathleen Madigan’s stand-up
  • Tina Fey’s book “Bossypants”
  • Thinking about when I used to chase my younger sister with a feather duster when we were kids
  • My husband singing “There She Goes” by Six Pence None The Richer

I have to add this character from Saturday Night Live. I first saw the “guy who moves like a baby” sketch last year. This weekend, SNL had another one. Beck Bennett plays the part. I think it cracks me up so much because I spend my days with a one-year-old who does all of these things.

Here you go, a little laughter for your Monday. Enjoy!

 

 

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The Devil’s Baby Batter- November 8, 2014

Saturday, November 8th, 2014

We’re preparing for Henry’s baby dedication tomorrow. For those of other faiths, that’s the Baptist equivalent of a christening/baptism for a baby. I totally meant to do it when he was younger, before his first birthday, but we just joined a new church. Tomorrow we are having a family celebration for the kids’ birthdays after the service.  (They are 4 and 1 this week if you haven’t followed all my nauseating activity on social media.)

First birthday. Baby dedication. I clean the house and feed everyone once. Boom. It’s a beautiful thing. I picked up the cake today. I just posted this on Instagram:

Instagram shot of baptism cake.

FYI, Harris Teeter is our local grocery store. You know, looking at it now, the baker probably just started his name too far over and needed to fill the space. Whatever.

Greyson says, “Um, why did you get a cross cake? You make us look like zealots or something.” I’ll admit. There is a hint of piousness mixed in that icing. I’m not one for Bible beating or forcing my faith through food or any other means. I just got your standard cake from the grocery store bakery under the “Baptism/Christening/Communion” designs.

Charlotte’s cake for her baby dedication was from a specialty bakery and had her monogram on it. Oh, and it must have been made with holy water and had edible gold flecks in the fondant for the outlandish price I paid. Screw that. I’m not buying that again. Poor second child. He gets grocery store cake.

I will say, there are two things I will NOT STAND FOR when it comes to cake.

1. Almond flavoring- Remember how old-school wedding cakes were RUINED by that stuff? Ugh! It makes it taste like Dr. Pepper. Dr. Pepper is the devils brew. Speaking of the devil…

2. Whipped icing- At the bakery they asked me if I wanted whipped or buttercream icing. Why would you even ask me that?! I would never subject my sweet babies to whipped icing on their birthdays. It’s “icing lite.” It’s crap. If I’m eating cake, I want cake, not “cake lite.” Beth Anne said it best, “Whipped icing is the devil’s baby batter.”

So true. Lord knows the devil has no place on my holy rolling cake. Can I get an “Amen?”

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Baby Marks- September 22, 2014

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

Back when I was working full time I would constantly find reminders on my clothing that I wasn’t just an employee, but a mother. My babies made sure they left their mark somewhere. I remember a paci in my blazer pocket, a princess sticker on my leg or spit-up on my blouse. Being the sloppy klutz I am, these were usually after I had already spilled coffee on myself.

I got to thinking about Emily. Emily is my former co-worker on maternity leave after the birth of her first baby. She is soft spoken, kind-hearted and fiercely witty. Emily is an incredibly talented writer and I always enjoyed working with her.

Emily holding Henry when he was just 3 mo. old.

Emily holding Henry when he was just 3 mos. old. I was only back at work a week when I realized my new calling. This was during that week.

 

One morning in the kitchen we were brewing coffee. She was being very polite when she said, “Amy, I was just going to tell you that you have something on your chest right there.” She pointed to my collar bone. I touched something hard but sticky and pulled it off my skin. I looked at my fingers in horror. I held a half-dried, smeared booger. Yep, that’s about right.

I recalled earlier that morning my snot-nosed little girl had smashed her face into me in some traumatic, tearful fit.

Now that I’m part of a yoga pants-clad army of stay-at-home moms, the smears and stains on my clothes are less of a big deal. I think babies want everyone to know, no matter their mama’s job, she’s a mama first. They leave their boogers to prove it. Please tell me I’m not the only one with dried boogers on them.

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