Monday, December 15, 2008

and the "Worst Mother of the Year Award" goes to.......


First, I'd like to thank all the little people that made this award possible, especially God, my parents, and those under 4 feet tall who inhabit my house but never seem to pay rent. (Laughter)

I know a lot of folks thought it would be hard to top my performance in this year's critically acclaimed "Birthday Blues" in which I played a woman so preoccupied with scheduling various family events she completely forgets her daughter's fifth birthday.

But little did you know that in addition to performing in dramas, I'm also part of the comedy team that wrote and directed "Kids is a 4 Letter Word." Audiences laughed and laughed at the scene when the little girl turns to her mommy as she's being tucked in at night and says sweetly "Mommy, you can get the h. e. double-hockey sticks out of my room now." They say never perform with children or animals, and now I certainly know why.

And last but not least, there was my most recent role in the gripping psychological thriller, where two darling children are torn between a truth that could destroy everything they know, and the love of their parents. Did you like the surprise ending when the little girl courageously stands up in front of the whole class and informs her pre-k teacher that in fact, Santa Claus isn't real? It certainly surprised me! Personally, my favorite scene is when I ask her where she heard that and the little girl says "You said so at Grandma's."

So, ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of the cast and crew of mommunism, I'd like to thank the members of the Parenting Academy for this year's "Worst Mother of the Year" Award! Eat your heart out Livia Soprano.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I'm so thankful for all of the amazing experiences my parents gave me growing up.

Road trips are not included on this list.

I remember when I was little, I would be wedged in the back seat of an Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser, where the "vista" consisted of a rectangular magnifying glass above the back seat, which I'm convinced was created to scorch children when they were in the back, and melt the vinyl seats when they weren't. There were no ipods, or dvds, or walkmen, heck, I'm forgetting if we even had a radio. I do remember reading, doing Madlibs and puzzle books with invisible ink. Wooo hoooo. Those were the good ol'days...... NEVER AGAIN.

As soon as I cranked out the second kid I got the kickin' minivan (used of course, I'm still cheap) with the DVD Player in the back. Got my kids carseats with their own cupholders. None child of mine will be forced to, god forbid, hold their cup in their hands if they stop drinking.

Oh, and the DVD player, yeah, the kids have there own headphones so I don't have to listen to whatever it is that I let them watch. Cause really? For a 7 hour car ride, Disney can fill their brains with whatever snot nosed character Owen Wilson has decided to voice that month. Heck, they can watch "Throw Mamma From the Train" for all I care. The videos go on and I don't hear a peep from the wee ones for the whole trip. It's absolutely fabulous.

I also make stops every couple hours, let the kids out to let them play. Unlike my folks, who once refused to pull over because we were making great time so I had to, um "refill" a McDonald's cup while remaing in the back seat. I'm sorry, I love my parents, but where on earth did we actually need to be that couldn't have waited 10 minutes for to hit a gas station rest room.

So as you travel for this holiday dedicated to giving thanks, give your kids a break, give in to whatever makes the long haul go by a little faster, and give up. Your kids will thank you later.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Salvation via Safeway

So, unsure if I've shared this with all 4 of you reading this blog, but Eliza's birthday hovers around Thanksgiving. So much so that we usually do a family party at Thanksgiving dinner and a friend party well after the date, so her school friends will be less likely to still be traveling....

(You see where this is going, don't you?)

So today, at dinner, Eliza tell us that she's like a pink cake for her birthday. Okay, my husband agrees, when we get back from uncle Andy and aunt Kathy's, we'll have your party and he'll make her a pink cake.

No, she says. For my party at school.

Okay, my husband says, he'll make one for her party at school....when we get back from Uncle Andy and Aunt Kathy's......after Thanksgiving.....

Eliza starts to do the lip tremble...

Trying soooooo hard not to cry.....

And then we realize.

Her actual birthday is tomorrow.

Her teachers, who are amazingly wonderful women, knew this, and had assured Eliza that she would be having party at school........ tomorrow. I have FORGOTTEN that 5 years ago I was sitting in the hospital waiting to meet her. I have FORGOTTEN that 5 years ago, I didn't know if I was going to have a boy or a girl and I was sooooo excited that she was a girl, because the only name my husband and I had liked had been a girl's name. I have FORGOTTEN that for exactly 1,825 days, my daughter has thrilled, delighted, amazed and frustrated the h.e.doublehockeysticks out of me.

Thirty minutes and $21.95 worth of sheetcake later, my daughter will have a birthday party at school, tomorrow.

And I will not burn in bad mommy hell for all eternity. (Well I might, but not because of this...)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

C is for cookie

So, Christmas is coming and I have no earthly idea what to get my children. That said, I know what not to get them.

1) Things with small, impossibly sharp parts. -- My husband and I play a game when we walk across the floor barefoot. When you step on something and scream, the other person has to listen to the sound you make and guess what it is that got left out. You'd be amazed. The sound you make when stepping on LEGO is completely different from the sound you make when stepping on Polly Pocket teapot.

2) Things that move on their own accord. My son was presented with a TMX Cookie Monster last year. He opened the box and said, in no uncertain terms "I don't like it." "No, no no", said my sister-in-law, who'd given him the gift, and she proceeded to poke Cookie Monster to show him how it worked. Cookie Monster began to laugh, triggering a fight or flight reflex in my son the likes of which I've never see. He punted Cookie Monster across the room and then ran for his life. Cookie Monster hit the wall and then fell on the floor, while still in spasms. I don't know if he was laughing, but I sure as heck was.

3) Things that make noise for no apparent reason. My folks got my son a dumptruck. Not just any dumptruck. A dumptruck with lots of buttons that make it beep and dump and do all manner of trucky things. All of which are annoying, but really quite cool for a toy. And then there's one button, that plays a cheap Metallica rip-off riff. My son LOOOOOOVE that button. And I can't accidently leave it "out in the rain", he'd be heartbroken. My parents think this is as funny as I found TMX Cookie Monster.

This list goes on, but I've got to get to bed. I'll tell all two of you the rest of the list later.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Give it away now...

I may, at some point, have mentioned that I'm the cheapest human being alive. This quality has served me pretty well in life, and kept me out of a lot of trouble. But I've come to realize that I'm probably not giving like I should be. I have friends who give of themselves seemingly without limit. On mission work in impoverished countries, to homes where families of sick children stay, to hospice care centers, to children with nowhere to go. They give every day, pushing themselves to give more of their time, money and energy to make the world a better place.

I'm pretty sure I'm not one of those people, but that doesn't mean I can't do something, perhaps a small thing to try and make a difference.

Two things in particular have caught my eye this year. One is, a micro-lending site that empowers individuals in cash-strapped countries to make a better life for themselves. Not only do you have the power to radically change someone's life, but the return on investment is currently around 98%, practically unheard of in lending. So, it's entirely likely that after your money is used to buy a pig in Peru, it will be returned to you, so then you can send it to help someone build a home for their family in Cambodia, and then again and again and again. It's like the cash version of karma. I'm going to sit down with the kids and pick out a couple of folks. Unsure if they'll understand the true power of money when they're this young, but this seems like a good way to start that journey.

Another thing that appeals for a completely different reason is Operation Christmas Child, where you fill a shoebox with nice little Christmas presents and for $7, it goes to "the neediest children regardless of nationality, political background or religious beliefs." The organization is very religious, and I'm not, but anybody who does something that fantastic for children in need will get my support. We learned about this program from Chic-fil-a, and have two shoeboxes sitting here, waiting to be filled and sent off. It makes me cry just thinking about it.

So, here's to creating a better world. One cheapskate at a time.

I'm cheap with time, with money, I'm the cheapest human being alive, I'm all for

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


So, because I'm cheap and somewhat health concious, I don't buy treats or sweets. The kids tend to bring enough candy through the door that there's usually something in the house that'll serve as the occasional bribe.

But once a year, round about this time, I begin to dream of Reeses and Baby Ruths. Paydays if I can find them, peanut M&Ms and York Peppermint patties. At some point in my childhood, I think I got left on an Oldsmobile dashboard with some chocolate and it melted into my DNA. I love it. It makes me whole.

So round about this time, I have to figure out a way to buy the candy I like, and then not part with it. This year, as in years past, I will tell myself the following choco-lies...

1) We're sure to have hundreds of Trick or Treaters this year.
2) Not too many of them will go for the microwave popcorn option I give them
3) Children in the neighborhood will be scarred for life if I run out of candy
4) Extra candy can be frozen and brought out for the occasional treat

With these handy self-deceptions, and a large supply of the suprisingly popular microwave popcorn bags, I'll have a nice stash of "leftover" candy to last me to the next candy-based holiday. 'Cause I wouldn't want any of it to go to waste, or for the kids to eat too much. So I'll just plow through a pound while watching Doctor Who and life will be good.

And, can I just say to all the candy manufactures out there, there's nothing actually fun about a "fun size"d piece of candy. For them to actually be fun, they'd be the size of my head.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Watch your language!

Check out Steven Pinker's facinating discussion of language as a window into human nature. A real treat for language buffs.

Friday, October 24, 2008


While trying to come up with something pithy to subject you to, I was chatting with my sister, who shared with me the following.

A friend of hers has been battling cancer for a couple years and today, the specialists she was seeing have sent her home to spend her last days in hospice care. She's 41, and she's got three little kids at home, who will remember their mother sick, if they remember her at all.

So, if you're reading this, please take a moment and appreciate what you have. Your health, your family, your friends, your intellect, your passions, your talent, your hobbies... whatever thrills you...whatever makes you smile...whatever you'd rather be doing than reading this. Or in my case writing this.

Cheap is the new black

So all of the folks out there buying "green" things are missing a huge point that true mommunists have always known. Cheap has always been the best way to be green.

Every thing I don't buy doesn't need to be shipped, packaged, stored or disposed of AT ALL.

Every thing I buy used (every piece of clothing or toy I've ever purchased for my children) or get hand-me-down is completely re-used until my kids outgrow it and I bring it right back to the fabulous folk at my favorite local thrift store. I've basically leased all of my children's things.

That said, I may be running into a problem with food. For some reason, when I present my children with leftovers repeatedly and they don't eat them night after night, I still somehow I feel as though I've gotten my money's worth. This might be crossing line. Hmmmmmm

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Music for the masses 2

Forgot to post some of my current favorites.

Barenaked Ladies -- Popcorn

Justin Robert -- Airplane of food

Justin Roberts -- Willy was a Whale

Justin Roberts -- Pop Fly

And my all-time favorites, They Might Be Giants

Music for the masses

Unlike mothers in democracies, I do not subject myself to bad music. When my kids were really little, I once had a mother tell me "Oh, just you wait until they make you take them to see the Wiggles in concert!"

I'm sorry? Who's the grown up? Who drives the car? Who has the credit card? That's right, it's ME, which means my kids can't MAKE me do anything. And I'll join Sarah Palin on a moose hunt before I pay money to be annoyed.

On the Wiggles' front, my brother told me that one of the Wiggles was really sick. Me being me of course, I said "Wassa matter? Did da wittle Wiggle have tickelitis?" Nope. Apparently Greg Page (the yellow one) has Orthostatic intolerance and means he may have trouble with walking, balance, speech, and coordination.

I'm such a jerk.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

At 7 AM...

My son woke up screaming for daddy, who'd already left for work. My day went downhill from there.

I tried to help, he kept screaming.
I let him scream, he kept screaming.
I called my husband, he kept screaming.
I put out Honey Nut Cheerios, and all was well.

So, to the folks over at General Mills, I've got no idea what you put in those things, but bless you.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Childhood sucks

Well, to be more specific, my daughter sucks... her thumb. Since I don't know of any adults who suck their thumb, I figured she'd probably kick the habit at some point. Sadly, just went to see the dentist who says she's concerned about my daughter's upper pallate and her front teeth. I've talked to her about it, and she's trying to quit, but the thought of quitting makes her upset, and when she's upset, she sucks her thumb, so it's a bit of a sick-sucking-cycle.

Anyone out there have thoughts that don't end in hysterical sobbing? Something that my daughter could try would be good too.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Loosing my marbles...

Confession time,

Like any good mommunist, the currency in my country is completely useless outside my domain. For being helpful and good, my children earn ....marbles. I make my children work for marbles.

Two for really great behavior and doing things without being asked. One if I only have to ask once. None if we have a run in, and for drop down drag out fights, I take marbles away.

If you save up lots of marbles, you get something special, like a trip to the movies.

They thrill my children so much I'm beginning to think I should take part of my salary in marbles. Or maybe jacks and rubber balls. Either would probably be better in this economy.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Welcome to the Counter-cultural revolution...

Hey there,

I'm unsure exactly when this started happening, but when did parents start treating their children like they were breakable? Or like they were perfect? They're either special, or they have special needs. Why can't our kids just be kids?

So I'm launching a revolution, a let's let our kids get dirty and screw up once in a while. Let's let them fail. Let's let them pick their own clothes and look ridiculous. I'm going to call this movement Mommunism. Why? Cause I'm the mommy and I said so.

I can't actually take credit for any of these ideas, most of them came from my mother, whom I'll be able to quote freely, because the likelyhood of her reading a blog are non-existant.

So, to start my mother had a couple sayings that have brought me great joy over the years, and I'd like to share them with you.

--- Whenever my mother finished introducing her three kids, she'd smile at us and add...
"I had more, but they whined"

--- When my mother didn't want to be disturbed, she'd envoke the "Smoke or Blood" rule, which was that unless there was smoke or blood, she didn't want to be bothered.

-- My mother once came home to a sink full of dishes. She didn't say a word, she just walked over to the sink and started tossing them across the room. Made quite an impact, literally. (She later admitted that she picked her least favorite ones out first)

So please! Let's continue this movement. Please post your favorite mommunist quotes, and share your best kid stories. Because we're the mommies and we said so, that's why.