Thursday, September 30, 2010

We're Experts...or Something

The phone rang earlier today. Kate answered it and all she heard was SCREAMING on the other end.

Lydia: The local news wants to interview us about the recall.
Kate: Whuck!? When?
Lydia: They're coming in an hour.
Kate: Not here. Have you seen my house?
Lydia:  Have you smelled mine?
Kate: I haven't showered, Lydia.
Lydia: Even better. Haha. Suck it Fancy.
Kate: I'm going to my neighbors to beg her to let us use her living room. Oh, and I hate you.

Twenty minutes later:
Lydia: Did you shower?
Kate: From the neck up.
Lydia: You're gross.
Kate: You have something on your boob. [she looks down] Haha. Stupid.

The point is...apparently there were two recalls today. One was about toys; the other was about some football player's cereal. And, you could make donations to a charity he supported by calling the phone number listed on his cereal. But, because typos are *awesome* the toll free telephone number listed was for a naughty phone sex line!

Random Person: Hello! I really love Chad OchoCinco and want to make big donation.
Phone Operator: That's what she said. What are you wearing??
Random Person: Uhhh, yoga pants? I think I need to get off the pho--

Oh, we didn't talk about the cereal. Luckily.



Oh, and Lydia totally didn't have anything on her boob. It was a first.

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010

A Thousand Guesses and A Million Dollars

Happy and Kate have left the two big kids (aka the IHPs) with their dad, Season One, and poor McLovin all alone to go play with GrandMere in New Jersey. *Fancy* New Jersey. Not Lydia New Jersey. I've mentioned this before. I love love love my MIL...together we're like Samantha and Endora, except not magical. But we totally have the hair, and that's all that matters...

[Editor's note:  I resent that.  I am from fancy New Jersey, read my bio.  I am just not fancy myself, that's why I had to leave.  I think they disapprove of boobstains and dirty yoga pants in my hometown.  That's my guess.  Carry on. - Lydia]

There's a couple of things that happen every time we visit.
  1. We drink too much. But that's OK, because we also eat too much, so it absorbs all that extra alcohol. Lydia is giddy about the idea that, not only has she lost eight pounds since the Amish Paradise visit, but that there's a decent chance she's just transferring it all to Kate's ass.
  2. We shop. We take her very fancy *convertible* Mercedes and drive through the ritziest parts of town, so we can park at the far end of the TJ Maxx/Marshall's lot. Three hours later, we come back like a tribe of aboriginal hunters with a fresh kill. We might as well hang our bags from 20 foot long bamboo poles and march them in singing some victory chant and blowing horns made of skulls. I now have a Vivienne Tam dress that WAS $450, marked down to $12.99. And then I tell myself to go Suck It.
  3. We fall asleep at about 8:45pm. We tried to stay up one night, but both of us collapsed on the sofa after about 40 seconds. I woke up three hours later, my face planted in the crevice where the bottom cushion meets the back cushion. In other words, in the one place on the ENTIRE sofa where there is no cushion. But that's fine. I made my own pillow. Out of drool. Oh, that was gross, wasn't it?
So, we show up this time, and the first thing she says is, "You'll never guess what I bought. I was out with my friend Lillian and we drove past this vintage shop and the sign said Closing Down and one rack had a sign that said Everything $1. So we pulled in. It used to be Helen Hayes' favorite shop. So, guess what I bought. You never will. I'll give you a thousand guesses and a million dollars and you still won't get it."

I immediately yell out the answer, like I'm on Family Feud. Which, as I'm doing it, I realize that it's probably not a good idea to think of family feuds when you're in the middle of a guessing game with your mother in law.

"The mummified head of Helen Hayes!"

She almost gasped. "Wow, you're actually really close. We started pulling off the wigs off these ancient mannequins and trying them on. Lillian asked if they were for sale. And, since she's going out of business, she sold them to us. Wanna see it?"


"It's looks a lot like your hair, but it's not fake blonde. It's real blonde."

By this point, I've fallen down. GrandMere is chasing Happy through the house, trying to get him to put on the "real blonde" wig. [Editor's Note: Correct me if I'm wrong here, but no matter the color, or dye job, isn't real hair preferable? It would seem not so much. -Kate] Happy is screaming like it's a giant hairy octopus. And then when I actually put it on to show him it's not scary, he says, "it looks the same."

And then, later during our visit:

"Guess what I joined? I'll give you a thousand guesses and a million dollars."

I slapped the table and yelled, "An island tribe who communicate by blowing conch shells!"

She frowned at me. "No, but again, you're close and that's creepy."

She's joined the Coast Guard Auxiliary. OK. That sounds good. What does the Coast Guard Auxiliary do?

"I don't know everything they do. But they do play Taps at funerals. And, I needed to beef up items for my obituary. So, I figure I'll learn how to play the bugle, and play taps at a few funerals and then we can add that to my obituary to make it more interesting." Then she nodded, sorta enthusiastically. "OH! Guess what I got for Happy?" and she races to the kitchen closet.

Umm, a bugle?

The next thing I hear is spitty, flagellant-y blasts coming from the kitchen. In walks Happy. With. A. Bugle.

"Wow. It is a bugle."  "That's. Super." 

She smiles. She tells Happy he can take it home. She'll just go buy another one. Then they can do a Taps duet. I tell her I finally got one right.

"You did! Good thing I didn't say a thousand guesses and a million dollars." Right. Good thing.

You know, if I put on the wig, I sorta look like the mummified head of Helen Hayes. I think I'm going to put *that* in my obituary.

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Totino's Pizza Stuffers Group K

Totino's Pizza Stuffers Group F

Totino's Pizza Stuffers Group B

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011

Other People's Kids

I love kids. I have loved kids since I was a kid. My brother was born when I was thirteen and my sister when I was seventeen (by the way, this may be the best teen pregnancy prevention strategy in the history of ever). I love babies, I love toddlers, I love preschoolers and big kids and tweeners and teen-agers (provided they don’t live in my house).

But sometimes I come across a kid who is not acting right and I am faced with a dilemma. We’ve written a bunch of open letters to parents about watching their kids at the pool or the playground. And I wrote yesterday how I get all weird and stabby when other grown ups criticize my children, even if it’s only an imagined criticism. Obviously, a teacher or coach or a real problem is exempt from that. I mean, if something is actually wrong – I need to know to about it. But if you’re being a jellyfish and trying to zing me, or you’re a complete stranger with parental hovering issues – please just keep it to yourself.

Let’s be honest though, sometimes you have to say something. I had to speak to a little dude last week at the playground who was waving a ginormous stick at my baby’s head while his mom texted. I used a very nice voice and he complied right away and then gave me a big high five. When his mom looked up I told her: “Your son is a great listener! And what nice manners!”

And my baby picked up the stick and started waving it around. Awesome.

The stick example was too easy, though. Other people’s kids can annoy you, antagonize you or even make you spitting-cherry-pits-moonbat-crazy. Don’t get me started on how badly I wanted to square up on a 5 year old who was an abusive bully to my friend’s son for a year. And no one did anything about it. Not the parents, the school and least of all the kid himself. I know that he was only five, but he was a really mean kid and it made me so angry that he was being allowed to behave so horribly to other children and the only consequences were for the kindergartners that got a stomach ache every time they thought about going to school.

A couple of times, other kids have bullied or picked on my own children and I have had to work really, really hard not to flip out. I had to remind myself that there have been times when it was my kids that were behaving badly. In fact, mine always seem to act up at the worst possible time, too. And the worst, for me, is with friends. Seriously son, you have to pick now to teach Kate's boys how to run screaming through the pews after church? That’s nice.

When there’s an issue with a friend’s kid – it’s just the worst. Because we all know that if the kids can’t get along and play nice, the friendship is going to suffer eventually. At some point someone is going to have say something. It could get weird and judgey. And I get all twitchy and nervous. It’s like being transported to a old episode of 90210 when everyone decides they hate Brenda and I am Brenda.

Actually, I think one thing may be worse than the friend issue. Yesterday, someone left a comment that said: “Be glad you aren't part of a blended family. I would never say anything negative about other people's kids, except when other people's kids live in my house. It is walking a tightrope everyday.” Oh, even YESSER. To the mommies and daddies having to walk that tight-rope every day, I tip my hat. And my t-box.

I decided to write about all of this because last week I flipped out for no good reason. I was being really oversensitive to something that was no big deal. And then a few days later, I quietly smirked at a friend’s kid who is frankly, a lot weirder than mine (and that’s saying something). It made me pause and do some thinking. I have behaved badly when friends said things about my kids. I have said things to friends about their kids when I should have kept my mouth shut. I need to stop being a hypocrite.

Here is my pledge:
  • I will not say negative things about other people’s kids, even when they are being wretched little schmidt-weasels.
  • I will not think less of a kid who is simply doing normal kid things, no matter what. Even if I watch him pick a winner and then eat it. I will merely gag and then hand him a Kleenex.
  • If our kids are being turds to each other, I promise not to take sides. I will recognize that they are both being momentarily awful but are actually really sweet little monkeys.
  • If your kid is mean to my kid, I will still love them and remember that you are a good mom. Please do the same the next time Hawk throws a soda can at your kid’s head or my toddler sets fire to your house.
  • If my children teach yours to say “whore” or yours teach mine a dance routine to “California Gurls”, can we just agree that it’s society’s fault?
  • I will try to keep my mouth shut about unimportant things but please know that this will be really hard for me because I have no filter and also, I’m bad at not talking.
  • Even if your kid smells like feet, if he wants a hug from me, he’s going to get one.
  • If the time comes when I have to say something about your child that I know you won’t like, I will do so as gently as I can. I will not be Simon. I will be Paula. I will be just as crazy and I will hate every second of knowing I’m making you feel bad.
  • If I see your kid being a monster and you struggling to keep it together, I’m not going to jellyfish you. I’m going to do the opposite. I have no idea what that is, but I’m going to do it.
  • I’m going to remind you how amazing your kids are on their worst days and celebrate with you on their best days.
  • I’m going to tell you again and again that all those things that make them difficult to parent will help them be amazing adults. That being stubborn, smart, creative and clever are characteristics you can’t teach.
  • If it involves changing a poopy diaper, I’ll do it. But I might throw up.

Lydia B. Coupon

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Kate and Lydia Have News

Last night on our Facebook page, we let everyone know that something sort of big and cool had happened to us and it meant that we would finally get to tell you who we really are.  Then people started posting comments like: Oprah! Book Deal! Reality TV!  Umm... no.  We're so sorry to disappoint you but we're just not that cool.  Yet. 

Yesterday we found out that a very big and schmancy blog called the Huffington Post was going to let us write for them.  We were pretty surprised because when we found out, it was already up and live on their site.  And it was under our actual names.  With our real bios.  And our pictures.  Gahhhhh!!!!  Before we knew what was happening it was already done.  We were out.  Oh wow.  That is just like us.  We get a break and we muck it up manage it like the professionals we are.  Aw Crap.  Now we can't be spies anymore.

When we found out, we immediately told our husbands.  The Cap'n was like: "Huffington Post?  Lydia, that's a very political website.  You know that, right?  It's a liberal blog."  I was a little concerned when I heard that because as you may remember, I am not good at politics and world events.  I thought Rosie O'Donnell was running for the Senate in Delaware and that Balkie from Perfect Strangers recently gave a very ill-mannered speech at the U.N.  We're just not very political.  We're too busy wiping little people's body fluids and ineffectually folding laundry. 

We are just really, really excited that one of the biggest blogs in the whole, wide world is letting us post some stuff with them so that we can pretend we're fancy.  Would you pretty please go read our post and leave a comment?  Commenst are really important.  And also share it on Facebook and Twitter?  We promise to respond to your comments and to be the most grateful mommy-bloggers in the history of ever.  We need your help to let the Huffington Post people that we have lots of awesome readers and that we wear big girl pants and should be taken seriously.  We know they'll figure out the truth soon enough, so could you help a mommy out?  We would really appreciate your help in making this a success.

Please click here for:
And one more thing!  Even though you're about to learn our real names, in Mommyland we will stay Kate and Lydia.  We like it like that. 

And one more(r) thing! Even though our real names are now out there, we're still not going to be posting pictures of our kids or using their real names (or the names of any members of our families or friends).  They deserve to have their privacy and we know you guys understand and appreciate that.
Thank you all so much for reading these rants and making us feel better when we vent to you or we think we suck at the really important stuff - kids, family, friends and of course, tap dancing.

xo, Kate & Lydia

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010

My Kids and Other People

I have been dealing with people’s reactions to my kids for seven and half years. I’ve been dealing with other people’s kids for a lot longer, but that’s tomorrow’s post. 

I have three little kids that are, in my totally biased opinion, pretty cute. And usually fairly well behaved. With other people.  So normally I get nice comments.  But I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about the way other people interact with your kids. The way they speak to them or about them. I know that I say things that are deprecating about my kids. I feel that I see them clearly, in spite of how much I love them.  I know they're not perfect.  They're not even close, I mean they're mine.  They're actually pretty weird but you know what?  They're perfect for me.

But I don’t appreciate other people yelling at them or telling me about their shortcomings. In fact, it makes me feel all stabby. My reactions are NOT REASONABLE. I know this. I could say: “Hey Kate, Thumbelina is being super bossy today.” And Kate could say: “Yes, she is. More coffee?” And my feelings would be instantly hurt and I’d be sort of catty and tail-lashy about her agreeing with something that I just said. I am clearly weird and unstable.

The majority of the time, everything is groovy. Except when it’s not. That’s just how my family works. We cruise along doing great for weeks at a time (aside from the fact that we can’t seem to go a single day without somebody crying or me yelling and the laundry ever getting done). Then WHAMMY - here comes a phase. Or a problem. Or a growth spurt. Or deciding to not sleep ever again. And everything falls out of sync and you start to feel like: “Whuck? Last week we were pretty good and now I live in the monkey house at the zoo, except it smells worse here and there’s more noise.”

This is always the exact moment when someone feels compelled to comment. A mommy on the playground letting you know that your kids are really very loud, your sister-in-law commenting on your daughter’s weight, your friend unable to meet your eyes as she mentions some fresh horror committed by your child while in her care.

Sigh… It’s not just me, right? This happens to other people? Maybe it’s the timing thing. Maybe when things are running somewhat smoothly you just don’t notice the comments or your mental health and mommy confidence are well fed and able to withstand what feels like needle pokes a week later when things are hairy and scary.

Let’s divide this up into the types of people who may feel the need to comment negatively on your children: strangers, random people you sort of know, family and friends. Let’s start with strangers.

Strangers: I don’t know you. Shut the hell up. Unless someone is bleeding or a 911 call is imminent, keep it to yourself. While you’re telling me that my kid is throwing mulch, your kid is eating it.  I pay attention to my little terror suspects and when I see them being rotten, I take action.  That's what my Mean Mommy voice is for.  Don't make me use it on you.

Random People You Sort Of Know: Here’s where you have to watch out for Perfect Mommy Who Runs The Soccer Team With An Iron Fist. Or the overly competitive snitch from preschool who decided that her little precious with the enormous head was too advanced to play Candy Land with some of the other three year olds. You can’t tell them to suck it (to their faces) so take a lesson from our sisters to the south and just look at them say: “Bless your heart…” From what I gathered during my five years in Alabama, that translates into Yankee as roughly “I hate your ass face.”

Family: Sometimes people in your family feel that their connection to and love for your child is so well established, that they can say anything they want with impunity. It’s your job to put them in their place the very first time this happens. For example: “Say it again, Grandpa. They’ll be your last words. Bye now! Come again soon!”

Friends: This is actually the hardest one for me. Because like I said, I get all weird and stabby when it comes to my kids. I can’t always tell if what’s being said is just normal mom stuff or if I’m so oversensitive that I’m about to be socially awkward again or if I’m actually getting jellyfished. Thankfully, I have purged most of the “friends” in my life who were stingers and zingers and those who remain are true blue awesomeness.  I trust them not to be mean or snitchy.  So, if something rubs me the wrong way, I usually just let it go. Unless I have PMS or am dealing with a bout of Hair Trigger Bitch Syndrome (HTBS). Then I may say something awesome like: "I know I suck at parenting!  Everyone knows that.  Don't rub it in." And maybe a tear squeaks out.  Then I apologize fifty times for over-reacting.  So if this happens to you with one of your friends, you may want to consider reading about my reaction and then doing the complete opposite.

Tomorrow, I deal with the other side of this issue: Other People's Kids.

xo, Lydia

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010

Monday, September 27, 2010

Princess Whuck? - The Funniest F**king Thing I Heard All Day

My five year old son Hawk is really into Star Wars.  Like really, really into Star Wars.  My husband recently showed him and his big sister this totally ridiculous Star Wars spoof called "Hardware Wars" that is about a hundred years old because the Cap'n heard somewhere that George Lucas loved it.  I happen to think its dumb and a waste of a perfectly good six-to-twelve minutes.  The reason that I'm sharing it with you is that Hawk and Thumbelina thought it was awesome, hilarious and supremely clever.  Whatever.  These are the same people who liked Dora.  In "Hardware Wars", the iconic Star Wars characters have different names: Fluke Starbucker, Princess Android, Oggie Ben Doggie, etc.

So after begging me and their father for days to let them watch it again on YouTube and me saying NO, they settled in for a nice, long conversation about how mommy is mean and how "Hardware Wars" is awesome.  At which point Thumbelina said something about how funny Princess Starf*cker was and I dropped my coffee and her father started choking.

Hawk: "Its not Princess Starf*cker, Thumbelina.  It's Fluke Starbucker and Princess Android."
Thumbelina: "Whatever.  Can we please watch it, Mommy?  What's so funny?  Why are you and daddy crying?"

The. End.

And here's Part Two of Hardware Wars...

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010

Weekly News Wrap-Up from Mommyland

Kate and I live in a world where people expect us to know what's going on.  We don't.  Unless Diego and some neutered jaguar decide to throw on a tie and some brill creme and give us the latest global goings-on, we're not going to know anything about it.  So we've decided to put together a little weekly news wrap up of just a couple things. We think this will make you feel better informed, have possible conversations with other people that are not your children AND will give you something witty and clever to say when you go to cocktail parties. Which we never do, so never mind.

Politics: Some lady named O'Donnell won a Senate primary somewhere (Maryland? Delaware? Is there a difference?). This lady is not Rosie O'Donnell, which was what Lydia thought at first until she actually read an article about it because well, Lydia is awkward.  Here's what she learned: Not Rosie is supposed to be like Sarah Palin, so depending on how you feel about her that's either really good or really bad.  Also, she's not a witch.  And she doesn't believe in evolution or masturbation.  But she does hang out with Bill Maher.  Or she used to.  I'm so confused.

World News: This dude is being a dick, again.  Every time he comes to New York he makes us mad.  This time he was at the UN and he did not use his good manners.  Just a little something about how Sepetmber 11th was a big hoax and the we're all a bunch of liars and everyone else in the world hates us.  He's a jackhole who's lucky he made it out of the Big Apple without somebody squaring up on him.  He seemed so much nicer when he was on Perfect Strangers and living with Cousin Larry. 

Oh and we know we're being stupid and picky, but if you're going to have every leader EVER stand in front of the same green marble wall to give speeches, is it too much to ask that the seams aren't visible? Kate really does want to hear what these people are saying but she's way too distracted by the bad marble. Of course, she's also distracted by mirrors. Maybe that's why they all hold something cover the whack marble job.

Election 2010: It seems that there's all this chatter that this guy, John Boehner (R-OH) and please, don't embarass yourself the way Lydia did and call him John BONER, it's pronounced BAY-nor.  [Editor's note: I know how to say it. - Lydia]

He might replace this lady, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA):

as Speaker of the House.

We think there's an easy solution. This guy:

Pop Culture: You may have already heard this but the new Harry Potter movie trailer is out!  Woot!  Also, some 26 year old gajillionaire who invented Facebook was being a damn crybaby because they made a movie about him and he didn't like how he was portrayed.  So he crashed Facebook for a little while so everyone would know what a mature, considerate douchebag he really is. And then he gave $100 million dollars to New Jersey to make their schools better. Oprah gets to announce it.  We hope Snookie is there. After all, she went to high school fairly recently but it seems that (as our pal SRMM would say) her learning fell out.  Maybe it was the bump-its.

Whuck: Katy Perry continues her streak of setting an excellent example for young people except this time did it just with her boobies. In related news, Elmo got to second base.

Hope this helps! We probably just made everything worse.  Seriously, it was not our goal to make everyone who read this as stupid as we are.

xo, Lydia and Kate

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Truth About Today Is...

I think I just needed a Selfy Steam. 

I hope I didn't scare you all too much with today's post.  As much I am sure that I will become the cat lady from the Simpsons eventually, I am not a crazy cat lady yet.  I will begin to acquire cats, plaid lap blankets and clanking bottles of scotch in my early sixties, as God intended.

So I thought I would share with you a few reasons why today does not suck.
  • I spent 20 minutes sitting in the big chair with Mini-mini-me snuggling and hugging my head and hearing her say"happyhappyhappy".
  • I got on the scale today and I lost 1.9 pounds this week, bringing it to a total of 8 pounds lost since my return from Amish Paradise
  • I went on a long walk with my friend and neighbor Mimi and we talked about her and not me and that means I'm less of a selfish a-hole than I thought.
  • Tonight is Friday and I will be having cocktails with the Cap'n.
  • I spoke to my d-bag neighbor today and I think he actually understood me when I said he should stop setting off fireworks at 3am.  It was like those nature shows when scientists make contact with Silverbacks in the wild and teach them sign language.
  • Someone sent me this picture of the crazy cat lady and Eddie Van Halen.  Oh dear.
  • I got some amazing comments and emails today from other mommies and it made me feel so awesome and not like a lumpy furckwad.  Thank you so very, very much.
xo, Lydia

ps: I thought you might enjoy the following song that Kate and I go tappatappatappa to at our weekly tap class.  Enjoy the thought of us shaking our funky stuff in tap shoes to this magnificent song. 

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010

The Truth About Lydia is Not Pretty. Or Clean.

I have been having a rough week.  Do you ever have them?  Where being the Mom makes you wonder how you ever became qualified to become the grown-up in the room?  The truth is that I am totally overwhelmed.  I suck at this job. I not only suck but I suck sweaty monkey balls.  I can't afford to screw this up, these are my kids we're talking about. 

But this isn't new.  Earlier this year I wrote a post called The Truth About Lydia that chronicled some of the schmidt that seems to define my life and my total inability to cope with it.  I have written a couple of other posts about how I am an unfit mother, how I am prone to breakdowns, and how I tend to have really bad mornings that turn into totally sucktastic days.  I also had a whole series of posts that were supposed to document my journey towards self improvement (both in terms of my ass, my hair, and my house) because 2010 was going to be MY YEAR. 

But guess what?  It's September.  Soon the leaves will fall and then it will be Halloween.  Then I'll blink and it will be the Holidays and then the year will be over and what will have changed?  Nothing.  I'm still a giant boobstain.  In yoga pants that are the exact same size.  I still yell at my kids and then feel awful about it.  I still rush around every morning having conniption fits because we are running so effing late.  I still suck.

So here is the real unvarnished truth about Lydia - part deux:
  • I start everything and finish nothing.  The laundry, the 400 scarves I have tried to knit that are only six inches long because they're taking too long, my son's baby book, the diet, the daily exercising, pretty much anything good for me...
  • I average less than seven showers per week.  At the beginning of the year it was five and now its more like six.  Nice.  Especially when you consider that on some days the only time I can take a shower is right before bedtime so I'm nice and fresh for about twenty minutes and then I fall asleep.  And by the morning?  The sleep dirt has made me all grubby and Lydia-y again.
  • If I show up somewhere and I'm clean, everyone is like: "Wow! Lydia, you look awesome!"  And I'm all: "Yes.  That's because I bathed."' 
  • My youngest will be two in a couple of months and she still doesn't consistently sleep through the night.  Maybe once or twice a week she does.  The nights when I can sleep are amazing but they make the nights I can't that much worse.  Maude help me. I had no idea it would go on this long and it has not helped my Hair Trigger Bitch Syndrome (HTBS).  
  • I'm way too hard on my daughter Thumbelina because she is my first born and she's a girl and of all my kids, she is the most like me.  And the older she gets, the more I become aware that this perfect and lovely little person is going to turn out just like me and that is a total parenting failure.  Why can't she be more like her father? Because he's awesome. I can't believe I just said that.
  • Every meaningful adult interaction seems to end up becoming a conversation about me because I'm horrible. Would you like an example?  Someone says: "I'm so tired." and then I say: "So am I! You have no idea because the baby still isn't sleeping and last night I had orange juice after dinner because I think I'm getting a cold but something about the acid in it gave me funny dreams and hey why are you walking away? Crap, I did it again." 
  • My littlest girl is completely obsessed with feminine hygiene products.  Ask Kate, she'll tell you.  If you show my baby a tampon, she gasps with joy, jumps up and down clapping and then says: "OOOHHHHH! I want dat! I want dat POP!" Then throws a tantrum when she's not allowed to unwrap one and shoot it out with the applicator and then carry it around by the string.
  • My cat is bulimic and I am so over cleaning it up.  If it's in the guest room or someplace I don't have to look at it, then I don't always get around to cleaning it right away and that's just gross.  I need help.
  • I think the cat may also have a death wish or maybe he just wishes that I was dead because he is forever writhing around my ankles in the dark or on the stairs and seriously, a neck-breaking fall is imminent. I have no idea which one of us will survive but I'm guessing him.  Because even though he's really old I'm pretty sure he has more than one life left. 
  • I screamed at Hawk yesterday for wiping away his baby sister's tears.  Yah.  I know.  I thought he'd made her cry because he'd been putting his hands all over her face and she hates that.  In fact, she'd bonked herself and he was comforting her.  Mom of the Year!  Me and Dina Lohan tied again!  
  • Thumbelina is a litigator in training.  Every conversation with her is a negotiation.  Or an interrogation.  And I can't win.  And I think she may end up as either Miss Alabama or a Blackwater mercenary for hire.  Possibly both.
  • I don't need anything else to feel guilty about.  Not one more thing.  I wear my guilt like its a backpack filled with chemistry text books that I can never take off.
  • I have had the laundry completely done and the house clean twice in the past year.  And that was to my standards - it was not Aunt Mary clean or anything.  There are people who have that knocked out every single week by the time the kids come home from school on Monday.  How. Do. They. Even. Do. That?
  • I think I hear about half of what people say to me.  Because my mind is constantly buzzing with all the things I should be doing and haven't done and thought were funny and did I return that email?  Maybe my mind isn't as full of buzzy, drunken bees as say... Offspring #1.  But that's not saying much.  I need to focus.  Clear my head.  Maybe do some yoga.  Wait, did I schedule a parent teacher conference?  Crap.  What were you saying?  
  • I have a really, really good friend who lives 45 minutes away and she as may well live on Mars for all that I see her.  I have been waiting for the military to move her somewhere near me for five years and they actually did and we act like she's in Okinawa because I have to drive 45 minutes to get to her house. 
  • Kate just reminded me that this breakdown may have a little something to do with Pissy, Missy and Sissy.  And that they may be visiting me right now.  Kate's a lying a whore.   
  • I just looked at the calendar.  Kate may be right.  Sorry about calling you a whore earlier.  No I'm not. 
  • Awesome.  So now I'm just subject to the whims of hormonal imbalances.  I'm not even crazy like a normal person.  That's just perfect.
  • I was so anxious for school to start and now I miss them so much that every day I can't wait for them to come home and tell me everything.  And they get home and it's a total cluster of tiredness and did you wash you hands and stop bugging your sister and use your manners that I can't wait for bedtime.
  • Thank Maude for Kate because she totally gets that I suck and still likes me anyway.  And knows that even though I am the worst mother in the world, at least I'm trying.  And she always forgives me for my freak-outs and break-downs because she actually values me as more than the person that makes food, drives to t-ball and finds lost binkies. 
Sigh... I feel a little better now.  Thanks for letting me vent.  Maybe I don't suck sweaty monkey balls after all.  Maybe they're just the usual kind.  Besides, its practically next year and next year is going to be awesome.

xo, Lydia   

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010

Thursday, September 23, 2010

My van is *not* disgusting. At least not right now.

Lydia here. I would like to respond to Kate's claims that my van is so gross that a family of five could survive in it during a blizzard.  Maybe they could - but not because of the filth.  Because of the enormous first aid kit and snack stockpile that I keep in there.  So it is not that I am bad at keeping things clean - it's that I'm totally organized.  Stop laughing.  Specifically, I take exception to the following picture.

That being said, you should know a few things:
  • The picture on the right is of a black car.  Not a Big White Tampon. It is not mine.
  • The pictures below are of a white van.  A Big White Ford Tampon that I happily claim as my own.
  • These photos are like an "I Spy" of car related crap (we call it "strack") stashed in random places.  I'm hoping you can't identify too much...
  • The only reason it looks this good is because the nice man with the neck tattoo at Jiffy Lube straightened it up for me and vacuumed it when I got my oil changed last weekend.   
So suck it, Fancy.  My van is spectacular.  At the moment.  See for yourself.

Front seat view:

Backseat view:

See? It's not that bad.  The guy at Jiffy Lube said he's seen worse.  Though he was shaking his head while he said it.  Oh well!  At least he didn't give me The Righteous Sniff

The End.

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010

Top Ten Ways Kate & Lydia are Different

You know the story about how we met. You know that one is Choo and one is Clog. That one is fancy and vain and mostly a snitch and the other one is Lydia. As if these weren't enough reasons for us to never, ever be friends, we've discovered even more.

This just goes to show that just because there's a Lydia in the world who's a hot mess and wears coffee as boob decoration and drives over strollers doesn't mean she can't be BFFs with one of the world's Kates. She just has to lower her standards.

10. Discipline:
Lydia: Children, please stop throwing mulch. There are other children on the other side of this playground equipment, and they could get mulch in their eyes, and that would hurt. [they stop] Thank you for listening and for having such good manners. I'm very proud of you. Can I give you a high five? [they all nod enthusiastically and high five each other] You guys rock! [looks at Kate with Zen-like serenity]
Kate: Hey, kid! Cut it out or I'll come over there and thump your skull for ya. [looks at Lydia with smug satisfaction]

9. Cooking:
Kate: I actually made this awesome pasta with a tomato cream sauce and kielbasa...and garlic bread.
Lydia: We don't use utensils on Friday. Suck on that, Fancy.

8. Timeliness:
Lydia: I'm so sorry we're late. We were ready, sorta, and then the baby stripped and sh*t all over the floor and rubbed it in her hair and I had to put her back in the bath and it got all over my shirt. And then Hawk kicked Thumbelina for trying to hide his LightSaber and I had to get gas and why are you looking at me like that?
Kate: We're on time or my head explodes. [children emphatically and fearfully  nod their heads behind her]

7. Transportation:
Kate: Happy and I got the Volvo detailed today. It's like it's hard to sit in the seats because they're so shiny and oily. We're slipping around all over the place. It's sort of awesome if you don't think about the fact that your ass is covered in WD40 or something. But now, of course, I'll never let them eat in the car ever again.
Lydia: That's nice for you. But, see, we can get caught in a blizzard for eight days and survive because we'll just lick the food that's stuck to the floor of my BWT. I'll miss you when you die in your clean oily car.
Kate: Ummm...It's summer.
Lydia: It's summer right now.

6. Domestic Skills:
Lydia: Downstairs, in our playroom, you can't go three feet of carpet without clean laundry, dirty laundry, laundry I haven't figured out yet, or a place where the murthurfurkin' cat hasn't puked somewhere. How was your day?
Kate: I just got home from work. My house smells like Lysol, the bathrooms sparkle, the laundry is done, folded and put away, and, if that wasn't enough, Nanny made enchiladas before she left. I'm drinking wine on the porte cochere. [audible click] Lydia? Lydia? Snitch.

5. Competitiveness:
Kate: That nasty snitch at school gave me grief today and now I'm just going to lurk in the shadows like some panther and strike when she least expects it. Possibly in the dark. Is that wrong?
Lydia: You're scary. Me? I just spend the rest of my evenings after Nasty Mom Encounters trying to crawl inside a t-box and whimper.
Kate: Mine is much more satisfying.
Lydia: Yes, but mine is legal.

4. Child Rearing:
Lydia: [to the LTSs] I'm so happy! Thumbelina Coupon and Hawk Coupon are home from school! I missed you both so so much!
Kate: [to the IHPs] Why does school have to get out early on Monday?

3. Cursing:
Kate: We had a jar in the house that I had to put money in every time I said a curse word, but I was going broke, so I just started putting fake money in it. [Editor's Note: OK, it's real money. Just from other countries. It might as well be fake, because half of it is from countries that don't even use it anymore. Stupid Euro. - Kate] Now I just scream them all out before I walk in the door. It's like in that movie "27 Dresses" when she loses her schmidt and screams motherf**ker in the alley but it's really at someone's anniversary dinner. But no one's there for me to have to apologize to.
Lydia: I said f**k in front of my kids today. I'm awesome.

2. Values:
Lydia: MiniMiniMe came up to me and said "new shoes" and took off her old ones. She didn't like them anymore because they're not fancy enough.
Kate: Aaaaaaand, I win. Whatever happens from here, I win. Thank you, universe.
Lydia: I hate you. Stop bowing. No one can see you. Stupid.

1. Fashion Choices:
Kate: Oh my Maude. Look at her [lip points to other mom at the park] What's with the short skirt and, is she wearing heels? and she keeps fussing with her hair.
Lydia: Umm, hello. She's looks exactly like you but she's Korean.
Kate: I'm wearing flip flops. That counts.
Lydia: You're wearing *fancy* flip flops. Doesn't count. Spill some coffee on your boob and we'll talk.

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Thank You, Saturn: Funniest F**king Thing I Heard All Day

Lydia and I were driving (OK, racing) through town to make it to the LTSs school before the bell rang. People, fair warning, if you see the BWT -- any BWT -- in your general vicinity, just pull over. Because that snitch was out of her mind to get there.

I was too busy messing with my phone to pay any attention. Because hanging out with her is like being able to rat on your sister all. the. time. [Editor's Note: Bianca was like an angel when we were kids. She never did anything that would get her trouble. Ever. So I've never truly honed my tattletelling skills. Until now. - Kate] Twitter, Facebook. She acts like a jackhole, I get to tell the world. It's. Awesome.

So, she's losing her mind about being a terrible mother "how can I not be there when school gets out? Hawk is going to be soooooo upset. I suck. I just suck."

And then we see this:

That's right. We were basically hanging out of the car to get the picture.

Kate: Haha. That car is talking to you. Stupid.
Lydia: You know when you've had a bad day when a Saturn tells you about it.

The End.

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010

Open Letter(s) to People Who Hate Kids

Dear People Who Hate Kids,

Please rethink your kid-hating status.  We should be friends.  We have more in common than you think.  But you need to chill out just a teeny, weeny bit.  If you can do that and take a few minutes to read this letter, than I promise to do everything I can to socialize my children so that they do not annoy you in public places. 

I met one of you recently, while shopping with my kids.  I know my stroller is big and the aisles are narrow.  But that was no excuse for some skinny whore lady in Michael Kors to demand I get my stroller out of her way and then kick it when I didn't move it fast enough to suit her.  She kicked the stroller with my child in it.  She could have very easily walked around me.  Or waited ten more seconds.  And though I wanted to square up and kick her in the taco that would not have a proportional response or modeling good behavior for my children, who are all too inclined towards kicking people in the junk anyway.  This woman was obviously in the middle of a vintage 1965 snit, had her B on and was not about to move one inch for one more fat suburban mom with her snotty kids and enormous stroller.  But no matter how pissy she was feeling it does not excuse what she did. 

But karma is a snitch because I saw her in the parking lot, getting screamed at by someone she had nearly backed over.  And that someone was large, angry woman who looked like she was in the throes of an even bigger snit then the stroller kicker.  It looked like it might come to blows and my money was on the woman she nearly ran over, who was a raging B is there ever was one - probably with good reason.

Dear Stroller-Kicker with Impulse Control Problems,

Do you think I enjoy shopping with three children?  I would rather get vajazzled than go to Target with all of my kids.  But I need diapers and a wine cube so we are going anyway.  And how about not kicking my stoller with my kid in it?  Or almost committing vehicular homicide in the parking lot because you're in a crappy mood?  Get yourself a t-box and tap it.  Or dial back the caffeine.

xo, Lydia

Just as I was recovering from my experience, I saw on Yahoo headlines this thing about a restaurant in Carolina Beach, NC that posted the following sign:

According to the article, the sign went up and now business is booming.  Don't believe me?  Google it.  I mentioned all this to the Cap'n and he reminded me of an article that was published last spring in the Washington Post that caused a big sensation. It was all about how in certain neighborhoods in the city, there's conflict between families with young children and the urban hipsters, who don't really want to deal with children or strollers or diapers or any of it. 

For example, there are problems between people who bring their kids to play at the park and people who bring their dogs to play at the park. When a parent complained that a dog was jumping on their toddler, they were told to keep their kid in the fenced-in area of the playground. When an urban planner tried to blog about the need for families to get around the city on public transportation, the comments were so virulently nasty about babies and strollers on buses that the blog's moderator had to shut it down. And apparently, the idea that there are people out there who just don't want to deal with kids and feel hostile that they're forced to, is still causing a stir because now some political magazine just a wrote a piece based on the Washington Post article.

So this whole kid-hating thing is now everywhere?

I'll be the first to admit that I have moments where other people's kids make me nutso.  Especially whining and tantrums.  But I am able to tune it out better than most (thanks to a vigorous seven-and-a-half-year desensitization program).  Often I'm also relieved that the tantrum in progress is not being perpetrated by one of my own offspring.  On the rare occasion (bi-annual) when I am able to go out alone with the Cap'n, I am not super thrilled if I have to deal hearing someone else's screaming toddler.  But I only get annoyed if the parents seem not to care that their kiddo is being disruptive.  Sometimes they don't and that is not cool.

Here's a little story to illuminate: When the Cap'n and I were on vacation in Amish Paradise, he stepped out to the hotel's bar to grab us a couple of drinks and bring them back to the room.  It was 10:30 at night and our kids were passed out and snoring.  He stayed at the bar for a little while, watching ESPN and chatting with people and when he returned he told me all about the Jackholes.  They had just driven in from NJ, checked into the hotel, gone to the bar and then let their little kids fall asleep in arm chairs next to the bar while they sat there drinking.  Everyone else there was disgusted and when one of the kids woke up sand started crying, the bartender said something and the parents got all huffy.

Dear Parents From NJ Who Make All of Us Look Bad,

Just in case you wondering, taking your four year old twins to a bar and tucking them into a chairs next to the pool table maybe isn't the nicest way to have a wholesome family vacation.   Next time, why not leave them at their grandparents?  Otherwise they're going to come home from vacation knowing how to hit a combo and asking for whiskey sours.  And yo - I'm from NJ.  Why do you have to have to at like that?  Now we all look like Jackholes.  Way to represent.  If I see you again, I'm getting your kids these shirts.  And yes, mine already have them.

xo, Lydia

If all parents acted like that, I could understand the stroller kicker's behavior a little better.  I also understand that it must be frustrating to deal with other people's noise and taking up too much room and generally being inconsiderate furckwads.  In my neighborhood, the people that are noisy, inconsiderate, take up all the parking, let their pit bulls run around off-leash and set off fireworks at 3 am are all childless and in their twenties.  Does this entitle me to hate all people who are young and don't have kids?  No!  Just the d-bags

And do you not see the irony?  The Michael Kors lady objected to something (a stroller not moving fast enough) so she lost her temper and kicked it.  She nearly hit someone with her car and instead of asking if they were OK, she flew off the handle and started screaming at them.  I think these behaviors could be accurately described as having a tantrum.   So she hates kids but she behaves like a two year old. 

And the parents who have kids and then ignore them, let them run wild, bring them to totally inappropriate places and then complain when people ask them to be responsible and courteous?  Usually, they'll throw out a "You don't get it because you don't have kids" comeback or some such nonsense.  So they act like childless, feckless, twenty-somethings and then pull out the "But I'm a Parent" card when they are confronted.

I don't want to deal with any of these people and I bet you don't either.  The last thing I want is to be one of these jackholes.  See - we have more in common than you think.  Truce?

xo, Lydia

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

SGW: Keep Your Baby Off the Pole

Today's guest writer is Maria.  She is a big time fancy pants lawyer.  She writes about her little girl, Rainbow.  Rainbow is not actually her daughter's name.  Rainbow is her daughter's stripper name derived from the internationally accepted methodology for finding your stripper name.  Here it is:

Name of your first pet + Name of the street you lived on when you were little kid = Your stripper name 

Using this method, my stripper name is Alfreda Greenbriar.  I know, sounds more like a feminist poet than a stripper.  But Hawk's stripper name would Woody Oak View and the Cap'n's would be Suzy Wong Martin.  So, whatever... You be the judge. Oh, and Kate's would be Nikki Allway. Seriously. How *perfect* is that for her? Stupid Kate.

Enjoy the post!  xoxo, Lydia

And thank you, Maria!


Candidly, I should not be on this blog, because it’s by mommies for mommies, and while I do have three humans living in my house who are much shorter than I am, look a little like me, and seem to expect me to provide them with food and clothes from time to time, I don’t think that what I do should be confused with parenting.

Hello. My name is Maria, and I am a full-time lawyer. I don’t know whether I belong in this meeting, to tell you the truth, because I still really enjoy being a lawyer all day every day. But I think I hit bottom this week, and if believing in a higher power can include having R-rated dreams about Jon Hamm, I’m in. [Editor's Note: Uhhh, of course it does. Hello? - Kate] I’d like to tell you about what happened. First help yourself to the coffee on the back table.  And try not to judge me. 

OK, so, on Sunday night I decided to clean out all the school work that my kids brought home at the end of last year, as well as the self-portraits, personal interpretations of Pollacks and Rothkos, and pastels of pumpkins and leaves and flowers and such. This was my first mistake. My kids, who last year were in second grade (boy) and kindergarten (girl), have performed well enough or at least invisibly enough to earn them generally encouraging (sometimes even positive) reviews from their teachers, thus making any foray into the actual substance of their work unnecessary and likely disappointing.

Nonetheless, instead of shoving this stuff into Filene’s bags and being done with it --oh if I could turn back time-- I plucked from the pile a folder called “Writers’ Workshop.” My daughter Rainbow’s name was on it. Basically, the kindergartners were encouraged to try to think in full sentences once a week, guessing at spelling and punctuation. At the beginning of the year this looks like Welsh, but by the end, vowels show up and you can kind of figure out what in the name of Maude they were trying to say.

Anyhoo, turns out that towards the end of the year, the class was asked to answer the question, “What would be interesting to do when you grow up?” Here is Rainbow’s illustration:

Does this look a lot like a blond person hanging onto a bat, with chairs all around? Yeah, I thought so too. And I couldn’t quite figure out what profession or avocation or what have you this might represent. So I read the text:

No you do not need bifocals yet. This says, more or less, “I want to be [sic:see] someone pole dancing. I think it is [sic:in] interesting.” And lucky me, Rainbow confirmed for the teacher that this is exactly what she meant. The teacher wrote “pole” and “dancing” and “interesting” as a very helpful correction/clarification/exercise to produce abject horror. Because I do not want to picture Rainbow telling her kindergarten teacher that that word is supposed to be “pole” and the next one is “dancing.”

So the bat is not a bat, it’s a pole. And the chairs are all around, just like in a strip club . I imagine that if there were a next sentence, it would be something like “And I want to work in a pretty place called Camelot.”

Holy jeebus where did she even get the idea that there is such a thing as pole dancing? Thanks for asking, I asked myself the same thing. I’m pretty sure that it’s the result of an incident about two years ago, when we were all riding the subway in New York on a wholesome family visit. She was spinning around a pole in the middle of the car, sometimes shimmying up and down it, and three sketchy guys at the end of the car were staring at her. Daddy and I were sufficiently creeped and made her stop immediately while shooting death rays with our eyes at the bad men and hissing at her to "STOPNOWFORTHELOVEOFMAUDE".  But later Daddy, thinking he was being funny,  has used the incident to say sometimes to other adults, in front of Rainbow, “She’s going to be our pole dancer!” – ha ha ha. Rainbow, who can’t imagine that Daddy would say something mean or degrading about her, internalized this as a worthy pursuit. And why not? It’s fun. It’s good exercise. There’s always a pole around. (Oh, not in your house? Uh … well only in our basement.  To hold the ceiling up, not for other purposes.)

I do feel really, really bad about this. But how much of this was really my fault? I mean, we’ve got Miley Cyrus dancing around a pole on top of an ice cream truck and that trollop iCarly filming videos in her bedroom. I couldn’t keep Rainbow from being exposed to the rotten, morally bankrupt popular culture any more than I could keep her from staring at “small people” on the Metro. I realize that this was a bad incident, but you know what? I don’t know if this is enough to make me stop lawyering. I give her a lot of quality time and we can handle this our own way.  Pretty sure. 

[Editor's note: I totally understand.  I often wonder if my kids wouldn't be better off if I went back to work.  In fact, Thumbelina recently told me she wants to go to an after school program. Oh yeah. And she thought we were serious when she overheard us telling people she might grow up to be a mercenary. - xo, Lydia] 

Thanks for letting me come to your meeting, but I can control this. I don’t need to quit. All my friends lawyer occasionally in social situations, so why can’t I? No reason at all. I can do this. My kids won’t suffer one bit.

And you can suck it, Chris Rock.

(Chris Rock says a couple of curse words, so turn your volume down of there are shorties around. Or your boss.)

(c) Herding Turtles 2009-2010

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