Sunday, December 22, 2013

For Auld Lang Syne

This time of year is my favorite and is usually very happy for me. But there are always those moments. Those "Auld Lang Syne" moments that I never seem to be prepared for. Some sadness switch gets flipped in my brain and I go from fa la la LAAAA! to heave crying. The holidays remind me of those who are no longer with me and it makes me miss them more. And every year, it seems there's someone else to cry for at Christmas.

It’s just me? Never mind. Pay no attention to that lady in the white minivan, crying at the stoplight. She’ll be fine as soon as she changes the radio station. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Predictor: Just How Crazy Will Mommy Be?

A couple of years ago, I discovered the Halloween to Holidays Death Spiral. Then there was a crude attempt to apply it to a calendar (that no one could read). Now there's this. This is a predictive tool to help friends, children, partners and husbands figure out just how crazy the mommy in their life will be during this harrowing time.

I shouldn't say all mommies. Some mommies have their schmidt together and spend the month of December joyfully baking nut and gluten-free cookies while singing carols and stroking their children's hair.

To those women, I salute you. I commend you. And I urge you to click away now because this predictor will probably only annoy you. For everyone else, read and enjoy.

(To enlarge the image, click on it)

(c) Mommyland Blogs 2013

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Halloween to Holidays Death Spiral

I originally wrote this post in 2010. Apparently my life has not really changed at all in the past 3 years. My kids are bigger and more self-sufficient so I was under the false impression that, I would re-read this post and be all - I was so adorable and flustered with my tiny little kids.


That's right, Ricky Gervais. It's funny. It's hilarious. Go on and laugh. At me. At my expense. Because I just figured out that it doesn't matter how old my kids are or what stage of the parenting cycle in which I find myself. I will remain a jackass who is forever frenetically flapping about.

Welcome to the Death Spiral, my sisters. It is upon us.


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Inches and Seconds and Luck

Last week, something really scary happened to me -- or nearly happened.  A tiny child came within a whisker’s breadth of losing his life. He is fine - no harm to anyone. Except perhaps the shattered nerves of the two mothers who saw it happen.

I was picking up my youngest from pre-school. I started the car and did my usual check. Are you buckled, small person? Affirmative. Then I checked my mirrors and looked over my shoulder before I put the car in reverse and started to back out. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Horrifying Conversations with Mini: Dinner with Judy

Last Saturday, was crazy. There was a ton of kid stuff scheduled throughout the day, starting at 8:30 am and going until the evening.  Why are weekends so nuts now?

It was 7:00pm by the time my whole family was finally in one place. Everyone was exhausted and starving and we just did not have the energy to pull dinner together. The Cap'n gallantly offered to take us all out to dinner.

It was so nice of him but we really should have just ordered pizza or eaten PB&J's. Because we forgot Rule of Parenting #312: When children are exhausted and starving, the last place they should ever be is a restaurant.

Friday, September 13, 2013

What Happens to Lydia if You Have an Argument With Her

I hate arguing with people. I mean, I barely ever argue with anyone, I'm a grown up. I bicker with my kids and husband but that doesn't really count. On the rare occasion when I have a disagreement with another adult, I'm a total wreck. 

My nerves frizzle and I get all jumpy and snappish, like a machete-wielding sex offender in a hockey mask is about to jump out from behind a tree at any moment. I'm distracted and upset and walking this weird line between trying to hide how I feel and wanting to let it all out.

Mostly everyone in my life right now (thank you, God) is understanding and patient. And these people are all there on purpose. They know if I do something hurtful that it's not on purpose. They feel comfortable calling me out if I'm being somewhat turdish and forgive me when I behave badly. But of course, we have misunderstandings and hurt feelings sometimes. And that leads to conflict and badness and stomach aches and everything horrible.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Swype Part 2: Electric Boogaloo

Remember last fall when I shared with you all the horrible things my stupid phone does to embarrass me when I try to text people? Well it still happens all the time. And not just texting. It's when I try to type ANYTHING with my phone. Because apparently, I will never learn. Also, my phone is gross and needs to get it's mind out of the gutter. 

Warning: if you're mature or an actual grown up, you probably will not be very impressed with this post. You should probably go read the Wall Street Journal right now. For everyone else, proceed.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Horrifying Conversations with Mini: Who Is the Smartest?

Photo Credit: CreativeOxFoto
Every night, I lie down with my 4 year old Mini for a few minutes to help her fall asleep. Yes, I know. She's four and I still do that. You can stop judging me now.

Every night she wants to talk and I want her to go to sleep. Every night she asks me questions trying to get me to engage and every night I walk that fine line between tuning her out in a calm, zen-filled way and falling completely asleep for the night.

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Mommy Will Lose it Advisory System

This was originally published in May 2010:

In the past 24 hours, I have gotten three phone calls from friends of mine and they all started with the exact same sentence:

"I am about to LOSE MY SCHMIDT."

Oh, I understand. I wish I didn't. My children have been a little challenging lately. And they usually know when they're about to push me over the edge. A couple of times I've actually seen them stop and consider whether or not the naughtiness they are about to engage in will be worth the sh*tstorm they'll get.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Sweet Spot

It hit me like a ton of bricks last week. I was at the community pool, looking around to see what my kids were up to. Then I really looked at them. The big one was playing with her friends, her long arms and legs splashing. The little one was throwing herself off the diving board like a boss. The boy was in the shade, cracking jokes with his buddies. As I sat there drinking lukewarm coffee, I realized - Oh my God. 

Here I am.

Let me backtrack for a second. The day before had been rough. I’d woken up determined that it was going to be great. That I would not go to bed that night, replaying all my parenting mistakes, per usual. And I spent the entire day being a really good mom. I was engaged and understanding. I was firm but kind. I did not yell at anyone or get distracted by my phone. I was like this all day and it was freaking exhausting.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

What Have You Learned So far This Summer?

I looked at the calendar this morning and realized that the summer is now half over and HOW THE HELL DID THAT HAPPEN?! I may have had a small meltdown. Because I had big plans, you guys. I was going to work with my kids every day on math and reading and handwriting and we weren't going to watch too much TV or play too much Minecraft. We were going to spend meaningful! family! time! We were going to learn all the things! It was going to be so awesome and enriching and fun. 

Except no. Because those workbooks are all still empty and none of the new pencils have even been sharpened. So last night at dinner I asked my kids if they've learned anything this summer. They looked at me like I was insane. Or speaking Hungarian. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

In the Mommy Room

You guys know that it's a struggle for me to keep my house clean, right? That it's usually pretty awful, even though I'm really and truly trying? Sigh... I should be embarrassed but I'm starting to think a messy house is like a boob stain for me - part of my personality that really can't be denied. 

When we bought this house in 2011, I was the happiest person on earth. I love this house. It's perfect for us. It's set up so that when you walk in, you pretty much just see one room to your left. It's a living room - or actually more of a sitting room. I decided to call it the Mommy Room. It's where we put everything we own that is nice or worth more than $5 or purchased some place other than Target. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

This is a Masterpiece Except I Can't Understand It

Last week, Mini (my 4 year old) drew this picture. It's apparently a picture of me and her dad at our wedding 16 years ago and we're about to kiss. When she said the word "kiss" she drew it out so that it had about 45 syllables and then she sighed and said: "GWOSS".

Then I took a good look at the picture and I was like "WHAAAA?!?!?"

I posted it on Facebook: "Please note the purple girl playing drums on the left and the yellow man on the right playing what I was assured by the artist is a banjo. Also, she seems to have created some sort of symbol-based language and written a code at the top."

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Horrifying Conversation with Mini: Seltzer Edition

As you know, my four year old daughter Mini is both awesome and horrifying. Here is yet another example of both her ability to be hilarious and my ability to fail as a parent.

Allow me to set the scene. We're eating dinner and Mini asks for a sip of her father's seltzer water. He hands it to her and she takes a big sip and then burps. Then she starts maniacally laughing.

Then everything got weird again.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

It's Only 20 Feet

You know what's crazy? My kids and the car. It takes them 159 years from the time they hear "It's time to go" to when they actually get in the dang van. However, if they hear the ice cream truck then WHOOOOSH! They're out the door, with shoes on, in under 5 seconds. We all know this. It's one of the universal laws of parenting.

But we don't talk much about the other end of this equation. We don't talk about what is required to get kids from the car into the house. It's a problem that ebbs and flows. Sometimes it's not that bad. Then again sometimes I wonder if the three of them are working together to send me to the Nervous Hospital. Because it's only 20 feet, it just shouldn't be that hard. And yet... It is.

So I created a list of 10 rules (more like suggestions, really) to help my kids get from the car into the house without me needing a sedative.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Horrifying Conversations with Mini: Disney World Edition

I took some time off this month to catch up on end of the school year stuff, finish deadlines, and unplug with my family. Thanks to the Capn's crazy travel schedule - that unplugged time took the form of going to Disney World compliments of his frequent flyer miles. YAY!!

It was so much fun, and dare I say it -- almost magical. Except for the daily meltdowns (mine), some sibling fighting (the big kids), and of course - a couple of mortifying conversations with Mini. I will say this, we very much needed time away from the rest of the world as a family and this trip was exactly what we needed to reconnect with each other.

But before you start thinking that I am one of those annoying moms you want to block on Facebook because they post nothing but precious, happy memories from their perfect family vacation, let me share this conversation with Mini:

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Tea Party at Target

Kate originally wrote this post 3 years ago and it's my favorite thing she ever wrote. It's time to share it again. Because as as a parent sometimes I need to be reminded that I am all they have in the world.


I'm sitting in my car in the Target parking lot. Typing this on my phone -- thumb-typing -- before I forget anything. Because I totally will. I'll start the car and drive home or to school or wherever, and then I'll wake up at 2AM thinking, "God dammit, all that funny stuff happened and now it's gone."

Three cars are stalking my parking space. They're gonna be pissed, because I'm gonna be here forever. Thumb typing. And I have a Band-aid on my thumb which means I'm screwing up every word and my automatic spell-checker is making stupid suggestions.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Heartwarming Conversation with Mini: The Hedgehog

Over the past couple of weeks, I've been posting conversations with my 4 year old daughter Mini that have been somewhat horrifying. I'm sure I will continue to post them as she never ceases to surprise me.

Last weekend, for example, she woke me up at 6:00am by poking me repeatedly in the neck and whispering furiously: "Det up. DET UP NOW. Jesus is coming. HURRY UP MAMA, you know he only comes twice a month."

I have no idea what that even means. But Mini is the undisputed queen of being unintentionally hilarious.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Horrifying Conversation with Mini #2: The Baby Duck

Mini says things that are horrifying. She always has. She is one part sweet, adorable cupcake and one part iron-willed anarchist. Now that she is approaching the age where she is required to be civilized, I am attempting to crack down on her more and more. It's not working.

Last Sunday, she was in full spirits.  She did not care what anyone said. She wanted to frolic. It was warm and sunny! Finally!

She wanted to frolic through the Home Depot parking lot. So she unbuckled herself and attempted to throw open the van door while the vehicle was still moving. She really wanted to frolic at the playground adjacent to her brother's Little League field. Is it safe for small children to play there? Out of the vision and the ear shot of their parents? It is not. That was not important to Mini.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Horrifying Conversation with Mini #1: The Ginger Ale

Mini and I have had a series of horrifying conversations recently. I've decided to document them for your amusement. Mini is four and a half. Now that's she's getting bigger I'm doing my best to tame her. It's not working.

Here's what happened:

Mini spied a can of ginger ale in the fridge. Why is there ginger ale in the fridge? I have no idea. Ask her father, he did the shopping that week. We don't usually keep soda in the house. I spent the next five days chasing the kids away from it.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Summer Clothes In, Winter Clothes Out: A Seasonal Fabric Migration

I originally wrote this 3 years ago. BUT IT NEVER CHANGES. Every season the kids need their clothes swapped out and purged and it kicks my haunches without mercy.

I'm currently, I am deep in bowels of laundry hell. I thought some of you could appreciate what it takes to keep our offspring weather appropriate.

xoxo, Lydia

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Sometimes You Feel Like a Nut, Sometimes You're In Preschool

Here's the thing about having a third kid. They're different. They're awesome but they're different. When my first child was in preschool, a sweeter and more innocent flower you could never find. Sure she was tough and stubborn, but she was also protected from all the influences that could warp her precious young mind. She is now nearly 10 years and still gets upset when people say the "s" word. She thinks the "s" word is "stupid".

Mini is now 4. She can drop the F-bomb in front of her dad with aplomb. She is just as much a sweet little muffin as her siblings were. In some ways, she's even more so because she's the baby. But whereas the big kids were singing "The Wheels on the Bus" and watching Caillou, she is hanging out with her older siblings and their friends and as a result - she is a very different kind of four year old.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Parents Magazine Say WHHAAAT?!

Parents Blog Award Finalist
I got an email last week from Parents Magazine telling me that Rants from MommyLand was a finalist in their best blog contest, in the category of "Most Likely to Make You Laugh". First, I was confused by this and was pretty sure it was some sort of mistake. Then I read it again and I realized that not only was it legit but that there were only 5 finalists. I'm going to talk a little more about them later.

As you know, I lost the ability to feel shame about 5 years ago while projectile vomiting in the Five Guys bathroom when I was pregnant with Mini. So it's not like I would be embarrassed to beg you to vote for me.

Friday, February 8, 2013

I'm a dealer. I sell Samoas.

Hello my sweet darlings.

I just got the email that our Girl Scout cookies have arrived. THEY'RE ALMOST HERE. I realized recently (thanks to watching too many cop shows) that I'm don't sell Samoas and Thin Mints. Oh no. I'm actually a dealer. I wrote a whole post about it over at Babble.

Don't believe me? I have proof. I made a table outlining ten reasons I'm totally right.

(Click on the image if you have trouble viewing it.)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

I Am Bad At Kids' Birthday Parties

A couple of months ago, I threw a party for Mini's 4th birthday. I did everything wrong. The good news is, no matter how big a disaster it was from my perspective, she loved it.  She had so much fun, in fact, that recently she's been saying things like: "I need a NEW birfday. Not in November cause dat's too long away. I need da new one to be in 14 days. Thank you."
So that's great, right? But when I tried to describe the party to my friends, they accused me of making it up. But I promise you, it all happened. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A Letter to My Kids Because I'm 40 and That's Old

Not wiser. Just a bigger ass.  Literally.
Hello my very beloved offspring,

Someday when you read this, I will be even more ancient than I am right now. Someday I hope very much to be a crotchety old lady who says wildly inappropriate things and embarrasses you by grabbing your father's keister in the retirement community where we live. But for now, I'm only 40.

Everyone says turning 40 is a really big deal but I have not found that to be so. But upon this occasion (and just in case I drop dead tomorrow), I thought I'd tell you what my perspective on life is at this particular moment. Then when you turn 40 and start wondering "Why don't I feel like a real grown up yet?" you can read this and feel better. Because at least you will realize that your immaturity is in part hereditary. Sorry about that.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Lost Bunny

As I’m writing this my almost three year-old is tucked under his Thomas blanket blissfully napping. Oh, but he wasn't so sweet and cuddly-looking about 30 minutes ago when I tried to put him down for nap. The process involved a lot of sobbing, snot, and boneless tantruming (on his part) and a lot of cajoling and then pleading (on my part).

This is Bunny.
It’s not his fault. Usually his little two year-old body is so wiped out by 1pm that he is happy to collapse in his bed. But this week everything has been messed up. 

We lost Bunny.

It pains me to even type the words. I've had more than my fair share of parenting fails but this one ranks near the top of the list. I swear when I got home from work on Monday that Bunny was sitting on the ottoman and then somewhere between me cooking dinner and scrubbing them and books and pajamas and teeth and wondering when the f@ck dad is getting home, we just lost him. It’s actually kind of impressive, given that our house is only 1,100 square feet and he is not allowed in two of our three bedrooms.

This isn't the first time Bunny has been misplaced. In fact, it’s not unusual for me to tuck my son in at night and for him to then frantically realize Bunny isn't in bed. “WHERE. BUNNY.” he demands. And with that statement I am sprinting out the bedroom door, combing the house for the little blue jacket and fuzzy ears. I usually find Bunny in the last place my son was playing before bed…in the couch cushions where we were reading books or sitting on the potty chair where he watches my son brush his teeth. Though on occasion we have had to really hunt for him. Like that time he was wrapped up in the living room curtains. What was Bunny even doing in there? What game was he playing? Death by fabric suffocation?

Anyway, I couldn't find Bunny anywhere this time. I offered my son a teddy bear as a replacement and he gave me a huge Maude Face and I had to watch his small face crumple up. I promised to spend the whole night looking for him while he slept but I still heard muffled, soft sobs through the door after lights out.

When my husband got home from work soon after he found me looking in all the usual places and he silently started pulling the couches out from the walls. We spent an hour looking. No dice. So I spent the remainder of the week having to remind my son that Bunny was gone. Two year-olds seem to have very selective memory…like he can remember that 6 hours ago I promised him a cookie after dinner but every 20 minutes he looks surprised and exclaims, ‘Oh! I go get my bunny now.” And then he is crushed when he can’t find it. Again.

Even more mystifying was that by Thursday night he stopped asking for Bunny. He was fine to settle into bed with his bear, who has always been second fiddle. So it took only three days for him to move on? Seriously???

I mean, Bunny has been with my son since he was 5 months old. Bunny has been tucked under his baby arm through meals and diaper changes; Bunny has withstood being shoved into our toy fire truck and cooked in our toy kitchen; Bunny has been with him all night, every night, through every fever and head cold, and even through those nights last winter when my son had the croup and he couldn't breathe and we were so scared. Bunny was there.

My baby son and Bunny (awkwardly) napping in 2010
And all along I thought my son needed him because he’s a lot like me. The world scares him a bit. He finds busy, loud places overwhelming, not invigorating. He needs a little extra hug and some extra reassurance to go sit with the other kids on the blanket at Story Time at the library. That was me. He is me. I am him. That’s why I know the reason he even has a lovey is that it helps him manage the world around him…it gives him some safety when he is feeling unsure of himself. Hell, I was so hesitant as a small child that I had two loveys and I needed them both by my side well into Kindergarten. His Dad and Big Sister are fearless. But us timid folks gotta stick together, loveys and all.

So now I have to ask...where's the loyalty, kid? Days later I'm still frantically searching the house and you've just moved on. This morning I was still searching, desperately checking inane locations in the house, like the top cabinet full of cleaners (why would Bunny be there?). I took a moment and realized how crazy I was acting. My son is okay without Bunny, so why am I still looking? I was standing on a chair in the kitchen searching behind the bottle of bleach for a plush toy and I realized that I wasn't really looking for Bunny...I was looking for my baby boy. And all I saw in front of me is an almost-three-year-old who can wash his own hands and get his own cup of water and, oh dear Maude, he doesn't need Bunny anymore and soon he won't need me either.
This motherhood thing really gouges me sometimes. I have bent over backwards the last three years teaching him to stand alone, walk, run, feed himself, make his own choices. And now I feel sad and lonely for my baby who used to need help with things. He used to need me. Siiiiiigh. I have to go find my loveys now.

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2012

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