I Love You To DEATH

I have a Valentine’s Day present for you all. It’s regifted, too.

Last year during the A to Z Challenge, I wrote a post about my first V-Day with my husband. I’m resurrecting that post today, since it’s a more appropriate day to post it.

Sorry I didn’t get chocolate.


Today’s doodle comes from my and my husband’s (well, then boyfriend’s) first Valentine’s Day together. We’d been together for close to a year at the time. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, since we had both talked about our dislike for commercialized holidays, but let’s just say that what happened wasn’t something that crossed my mind.

On Valentine’s Day, I came home from school (I was a junior in college at the time) and went to my room after chatting briefly with my grandmother. I stood next to my computer desk to lean over and turn the tower on, and when I stood up, I noticed someone coming out of my closet out the corner of my eye. I’ve had terrible anxiety for a long time, and someone breaking in and killing me was always something I worried over. It was happening.

Anxiety is a bitch, but my, what it does for one’s imagination.

I let out a blood curdling scream worthy of a second-rate horror movie.

So long Frankenstein face, hello terrified face.

And then my brain registered that it wasn’t a murderous criminal hiding out in my closet — it was my better half.

“That wasn’t the reaction I was hoping for he said,” he told me, handing me the flowers. “Happy Valentine’s Day.”

I felt rather embarrassed over this, but then again, who wouldn’t be freaked out when she notices a man coming out of her closet?

My grandmother popped in about that time, laughing. “I knew that’s what was going to happen when you said you wanted to hide in her closet and surprise her!” she said.

“Well, why didn’t you say that?” he asked.

“Because I thought it would be funny,” she replied.

Gee, thanks. Give me a heart attack all for the sake of your own amusement. I guess she was getting a little payback for all those years of me being a dumb kid and doing the same.

Do you have any stories of where your partner had nothing but the best intentions, but things went wrong in a hurry?

Thanks for joining me for the April A to Z Challenge! If you’re participating, please leave a link in the comments section so I can check out your post.

Want to connect on social media? You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, and Bloglovin.

Hello, Tweendom

My son will turn 11 next week. When he turned 10 last year, he was still in that “little boy” phase. He didn’t look much different than he did when he was in second grade and showed no signs of puberty being close. So, when he announced that he was in his tweens, I chuckled to myself, since he still seemed like a little boy. This year, however, things are very different.

To start off, the boy has shot up 5 inches since this time last year. We have bought so many clothes over the past year, and since he’s still in growth spurt phase (as he has been for the past five months it seems), the jeans we bought him on Black Friday are getting close to being too short. His voice has gotten a little deeper, too. If you compare his school picture to the past three (which all looked almost exactly the same), there’s no doubt that he has left those little boy years behind. And if the growth spurt and everything wasn’t proof enough, then the behavior sure is.

I’ve heard parents complain about the tween years. “They hate us, they think we’re wrong about everything, they’re grumble and complain all the time…” I thought to myself that surely my good-natured little boy would never go down the path of the Dark Side, but you know how the my-kid-will-never works out, right?

The Look has become a fixture in our lives lately.

If pictures below look anything like your life, then you just might be raising a tween. Or a three-year-old.

Just kidding. I see a fair amount of that surliness, but not all the time, of course.

Wish me luck.

What’s new in your world? 

Parenting Advice Series #2: Don’t Screw Up Netflix

Three months ago, I wrote one of my most popular posts — Parenting Advice Series: Freaking Socks. In my decade of parenting, I’ve learned a thing or two, and the most important nugget of wisdom I had to pass on was not to buy your kids cute socks, because they’ll never have anything that matches. You guys were blown away by my insight, and some of you even said that I’m the Bill Gates of the parenting world.

(That is possibly a lie.)

I promised that I’d impart more parenting wisdom, but then I struggled to think of more advice and focused on other things. As I was looking for something to watch on Netflix the other day, I had a thought, and now we have Parenting Advice Series post #2.

Netflix is important. So important, in fact, that it belongs at the bottom of the pyramid of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. You need food, you need shelter, and you need Netflix. And it’s especially important when you become a parent. Fish need water to survive, and parents need Netflix.

Need 30 minutes to cook dinner and your kid isn’t into the arts/blocks/whatever stuff you’ve been doing all day? Then Netflix.

Everyone is sick and you’re going stir crazy? Then Netflix.

You have to rock your infant all night long to keep her asleep — because the moment you lie her down, she wakes up and screams — and you can’t sleep sitting up and need something to help you pass the time? Then Netflix.

(Yeah the last one happened.)

(And, yeah, I’m pretending like this is a perfect world where all of us parents are like “No screen before 120 months old” and limit screens.)

So, yeah, Netflix is importance.

The bad thing about Netflix is that you can really screw it up if you aren’t careful. One of the top rookie mistakes parents make is not creating a profile for their kids on their account. Watch a children’s show on your Netflix profile even once, and this happens:

Oh, no! The recommendation list that was tailored to my personal preferences, because Netflix knows me, has been screwed up.

That’s annoying, but not life-shattering. Here’s what happens when you watch more than one children’s show on Netflix:

Every. Single. Recommendation.

You’ve now entered the eighth circle of parenting hell — the Netflix takeover. From here on out, you’ll have to endure awful kids show after awful kids show, or you’ll have to do the impossible — utilize Netflix’s search function and enter the specific show you’re looking for.

Humans aren’t wired for using Netflix’s search function. It takes too much effort. We want to scroll or click through, dammit.

All right new parents and parents-to-be — as soon as you know you’re expecting or that baby’s head pops out of the birth canal, get that Netflix profile made for him. Don’t let the Netflix takeover happen.

And parents who screwed up like I did and let their Netflix account be taken over — take a hammer to your TV. Or, ya know, delete your old profile and create a new one and watch all the episodes of Parks and Rec, The Office, and Friends you want. (Because we all know that’s what Netflix for adults is really for, anyway — paying the low price of $10 per month to watch the same three or four TV shows.)

Do you feel enlightened now? No? I’ll take mildly amused, then.

What’s some parenting advice you’d like to see me write about? 


If your New Year, New You thing was to read more, then check out my book Don’t Lick That! on Amazon. You can download it for the low price of $2.99. If you’ve already read it and enjoyed it, please take a moment to leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads.

I’m planning another book for this year, and this time, I don’t want to tell just my stories. I want yours. More to come on that later.

New Year’s Resolutions: The Parenting Edition

I’ve made New Year’s resolutions before. I’ve resolved to write in journals, to finish up baby books, to lose weight, and to stop cursing under my breath so much. One year, my husband and I even made a wager for our New Year’s resolutions. If he lost 30 pounds first, then I wouldn’t play Hanson in the car for a month. If I lost it first, then he had to get a tattoo of my choosing. So far, the boys have never been banned in my car, and my husband still hasn’t been inked. So, we aren’t not New Year’s resolutions all-stars.

This year, I’m not resolving to lose weight. I’m not resolving to spend less money on frivolous purchases. I’m also not resolving to curse less. I will make an effort to improve myself, but that’s as much as I’ll say, and I certainly won’t put it down on paper. I am, however, making some parenting resolutions. And these aren’t resolutions like “Spend more time with my kids” because I’m a SAHM and if I spend anymore time with my kids, I just might go insane.

I resolve to take a crap by myself. Before I had kids, I’d never have imagined that anyone would want to join me while I take a crap, but here we are. It’s annoying not to be able to use the bathroom in peace, and it’s super annoying to not to be able to use the bathroom in peace while someone is complaining about me.

I resolve to have less anxiety attacks during the middle of the night. Now, I’m all about making some mental health goals (and I’m thinking about branching out into talking about that sort of stuff on this blog later), but this isn’t your run-of-the-mill anxiety attack. This sort of anxiety attack is caused by kids who crash into my bedroom during the middle of the night and scare me half to death, because my brain always jumps to the worse case scenario when I hear a noise.

I’m thinking that some well-placed barbed wire could keep them away from my bedroom door.

I resolve not stop for a bathroom break when we’re less than a mile from our house. Here’s the deal — my kids are given the opportunity to use the bathroom before they leave the house (or anywhere else). They claim they don’t have to use the bathroom, so we get in the car and leave. As luck would have it, these children have bladder conditions that cause them to have to pee when we’re five minutes away from the house. That ends this year.

We’re gonna solve this medical mystery one way or another, and if we don’t…well, desperate times call for desperate measures.

I resolve to eat a candy bar without sharing. If you’ve watched Lord of the Rings, then do you remember how the second Frodo put the One Ring on his finger that Sauron — who was probably hundreds of miles away — knew immediately and was like “OMG get him!” Well, my kids are like that with junk food. This year, I will consume at least one candy bar or Little Debbie cake while my children are present without giving them any. It may be the most challenging on my list, but it’s happening.

I resolve to wear my bra more. This one almost falls under the typical parenting resolutions umbrella. Almost. Remember the post where I talked about how when I take off my bra that I won’t leave the house and do things for people? Well, this year I resolve to keep my bra on for an extra 30 minutes per day. This is probably the most generous resolution I’ve ever made.

This will still happen, just a little later than normal.

I resolve to give my kids superpowers. I once wrote about having certain superpowers, and one of those superpowers was having enhanced vision. This year, I will no longer be the only person who can find something in my house. They will be able to find the other shoe. They will be able to locate their own homework. And they will be able to find Woody’s cowboy hat (or whatever toy). We’ll start small and have them work on locating items that are three feet or less away, and then we’ll work up to locating items that are in the same room.

What parenting resolutions are you making?

Don’t forget to swing by Becca’s blog and enter the raffle to win a free eBook copy of Don’t Lick That!

Read This Post ASAP As Possible

One of my favorite things about blogging is the ability to connect with people. As someone who is introverted and struggles with social anxiety at times, it can sometimes be hard to make those connections in real life. Blogging, however, is a different story. In the almost two years that I’ve been at this blog, I’ve connected with a number of awesome people. One of those people is Becca, who blogs at With Love, Becca.

Becca is seriously funny, and if you aren’t already following her blog or following her on Facebook, I highly encourage you to do so. If you like laughing, then it’s a no-brainer.

While I was working on  my book, Becca was one of the few people I reached out to for support. Becca didn’t hesitate to help, and she reviewed an early copy of the book and wrote a blurb for it, which you’ll see as soon as you open the cover (or flip to the first page in the eBook). Becca is still supporting me in this endeavor, and this week she is doing so by hosting an eBook giveaway.

Check  out Becca’s blog post for the giveaway here. She writes about the book, and her comments hit me right in the feels.  You can enter directly from the widget on her blog. If you have already read the book, you can still share her post with others (or reblog this) and encourage them to enter. (And if you have read it, don’t forget to leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads!)

Thanks again, Becca. And thanks to everyone else who has been so supportive.

Truth.

(And, yes, the title of this post is a reference to The Office. You can always tell what I’m watching on Netflix based on my references/gifs.)

Catch You On The Flippity-Flip, 2018!

Since I’m often running behind, I’m a little late saying goodbye to 2018. I could have done that yesterday, but I forgot. Lateness and forgetfulness…if I were a New Year’s resolutions sort of person, I’d probably address that. But I’m not, so you can continue expecting tardiness and absentminded stuff from me.

To officially say goodbye to 2018, I’d like to tip my hat to the top five posts from last year. This is based on the number of views for the posts published in 2018.

How To Lose A Mom Friend In 10 Days

In this post: I give you some tips for ditching annoying mom friends. This was my most viewed and most commented on post that was published in 2018 and had over 100 likes.

This post was published last July, and you can find it here.

Parenting Music

In this post: I talk about how the meaning of song lyrics changes after having kids. Also in this post…I make you question my abilities as a mother after showing my son a video for the DMX song Party Up.

This post was also published last July, and you can find it here.

That Time I Went Skiing

In this post: you read about a girl in middle school being clumsy and embarrassing herself by breaking her ass.

This post was published last March, and you can find it here.

Parenting Drinking Game

In this post: it’s pretty self-explanatory — it’s a game that involves drinking, and it’s intended for parents. A word of caution — unless your children are little angels (and don’t tell us if they are, because we’ll be jealous and hate you), then you’ll probably die if you try to play this game.

This post was published last May, and you can find it here.

Parenting Advice: Freaking Socks

In this post: I try my hand at giving out parenting advice, and the biggest thing I could come up with after 10 years of parenting was to advise you guys not to buy your kids matching socks. It was funnier than it sounds.

This post was published last October, and you can find it here. (And I realize that I promised this would be a series, but I never followed through on that. I have a draft, if that counts.)

What I learned from my top 5: y’all like posts that are — at a minimum — borderline inappropriate. You guys especially like posts that encourage you to be a bit assholish. I’ll take this lesson into 2019 and try to give the people what they want.

Which Dorky Mom Doodles post did you really like in 2018? AND, what was your favorite post you published to your own blog in 2018 — share a link!

I [Can’t] Show You The World

Little Man developed an interest in acting last year and got involved with the community playhouse. My husband and I were thrilled to see him so interested in something that wasn’t Fortnite or Transformers. (Both of those are awesome, but variety, yo.) We were talking about the acting thing several weeks ago, and my husband said he wondered who he got his talent from, since it wasn’t from us.

That reminded me of a story from when I was in middle school, because I actually did attempt a couple of plays when I was younger.

Eighth grade wasn’t the best year for me. Aside from constantly being given shit for liking Hanson and breaking my tailbone while skiing, I tried out for the school play. This doesn’t sound like a bad thing — hell, I made an attempt at something and tried to broaden my horizons — but sometimes the good stuff just isn’t enough to outweigh the bad. The bad being me.

Remember this?

The play was Aladdin. The part was Jasmine.

Let me tell you something about myself — I’m either slack or Leslie Knope. There’s no in-between. I’m either not gonna do something at all, or I’m gonna go at it so hard that you may very well question my sanity. I went full Knope for the play. I went over my lines constantly. I practiced in front of the mirror to make sure my facial expressions were on point. When audition day rolled around, I knew every single line. I didn’t have much hope of getting the part, since I was a tall, awkward dork and that didn’t really fit the role, but I was ready.

The time came. I had to audition in front of three people. The first part of the audition went fantastic. I totally nailed the lines, and I impressed the teachers since I had already memorized all of the lines for Jasmine.

And then they asked me to sing.

I knew the I Can Show You the World song, of course. I had practiced singing it many times. I would plug my headphones into my keyboard and play the song while singing. Sometimes I’d sing it in the shower (and if you’ve ever sung in the shower, then you know it isn’t really representative of how you really sing).

Three things were missing from that audition: my keyboard, my headphones, and steam. I assumed they would play the music from the CD player, but that didn’t happen either, so it was just my voice.

You hear about people doing difficult and challenging things all the time. Some people run marathons. Others climb mountains. The truly brave people clean their kids’ car seats. Let me tell you, fully singing that song was probably one of the toughest things I have done, because as soon as I sang the first line and heard what I really sounded like without headphones, steam, or super loud music blaring in the background, I realized how awful I was. The look on the judges’ faces confirmed this.

I don’t know why they didn’t stop me. My voice cracked in spots, I sorta talked some lines of the song, and I can’t imagine that anyone could sound more out of tune than I did. Maybe they wanted to spare my feelings or wanted something to laugh about in the teachers’ lounge later. Or, maybe they were just so taken aback by someone sounding so terrible that they were paralyzed and just couldn’t force their mouths to move to tell me to shut up. It was the sort of audition that American Idol probably would’ve aired.

After I wrapped up the song, I waited for feedback. Wanna know what’s worse than someone looking at you with a horrified look on their face? Silence.

Finally, one of the judges thanked me for auditioning, so I gave a double thumbs up and dashed out of the room.

I did not get the part, of course. I did get another part, but that part had zero singing. I gave the acting thing a try again a year later in high school, but that play also required singing, and after getting fussed at for lip syncing, I let that be my last role.

Oh, yeah — to add insult to injury, when I told my grandmother about the audition, she cackled. “I’m not surprised, because you can’t sing worth a lick!”

What’s something you tried to do where you crashed and burned in a spectacular way?

Having trouble with your New Years resolutions already? Then, if you haven’t read my book “Don’t Lick That!” yet, pop over to Amazon and download a copy to read to ring in the New Year. It won’t help you keep your resolutions, but reading about my mishaps will make you feel better about your own life. 

OMG We’re Boring!

“Did anything funny happen over Christmas?” I asked my husband. After racking my brain, I couldn’t think of anything, but surely that was just my spotty mommy-brain memory. My family doing nothing funny? After going to three different places for Christmas? It couldn’t be.

“I don’t think so,” my husband said.

Next, I asked Little Man. His answer was to write about a funny comment his dad made. Unfortunately, the funny comment was insulting a dish someone at one of the gatherings had prepared, so I didn’t think that would be appropriate. Baby Girl was next.

Okay.

That’s funny,  but in a cute “boy-that’s-freaking-odd” kind of way. (BTW, when I showed her that doodle, she said he was dancing to “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” and that I needed to draw a Do Not Enter road sign dancing next.)

So, nothing super funny happened over the holidays. My banana puddings turned out good, all of the chocolate-dipped treats were good, and my fruit salad — highly difficult dish to prepare — was good. Despite cooking an entire meal on Christmas Eve (and, yes, I want a pat on the back for that), I had no cooking mishaps whatsoever. I did make a funny with a dessert tray I brought to my mother-in-law’s house, but that’s more of a “here’s the picture” deal instead of being doodle-worthy.

Come to think of it, we didn’t even do anything funny with Rufus, our Elf on the Shelf, this year. Usually, we at least make him do something very inappropriate for our (the parents’) pleasure — like the year when he appeared with a “Back Like Cooked Crack” sign — but we didn’t do anything along those lines. He moved most days, but just from spot to spot and not in an over-the-top Pinterest way.

The funniest thing I can think of for this Christmas is Baby Girl’s holiday photos. After taking multiple pictures in multiple places, this was the theme she had going on:

And that’s funny in a “LOL she can’t smile” way…not quite as funny if you were there for the moments that led up to those grumpy faces! (The last three were all at the same place — the church where she goes to preschool. Everything was beautifully decorated and she was dressed up and wearing a ribbon in her hair, so it seemed like the perfect time to try to get pictures for the Christmas card.)

The Dorky family must be losing their touch. But, hey, I created a post and some doodles from almost nothing, so there ya go.

Do you have any Christmas funnies to share?

If you haven’t read my book “Don’t Lick That!” yet, pop over to Amazon and download a copy to read before the year is over. (Nothing happens to the book  when 2018 expires, but we can pretend like something will if that makes you click quicker.) 

Final Day For A Freebie!

If you haven’t downloaded the eBook of Don’t Lick That! yet, head over to Amazon now, because today is the last day for the free promotion. Tomorrow, the price will skyrocket up to the wallet-breaking price of $2.99. (If you don’t have a Kindle, you can download the free Kindle app for your phone to read the book!)

If you enjoy it, don’t forget to leave a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads! Word-of-mouth is crucial for a new author.

And, if you want to record the wacky things your kids do, pick up the journal Times My Kids Weren’t Little Heathens. Aaaaaand, if you have a child who is obsessed with road signs like Baby Girl, I also created a coloring book. (I’m not kidding about the obsession. At Thanksgiving, she said she was thankful for signs. She also put road sign themed everything on her Santa list. I think a post about that may be forthcoming.)

If I don’t put up another post before December 25, then Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays to you and yours!

“I Wanted To Make It Special”

A while back, I wrote about Baby Girl’s tendency to draw on things that aren’t coloring sheets/blank paper. We never had that problem with Little Man. The girl, however, used many things in our house as her canvas. The wall, the floor, the door to her room, etc. were all used for her drawings. She also drew on the table and some of her toys.

And then there are the books.

As a former English major/English teacher/bibliophile, I’m all about the books. With the exception of LEGOs, we have more books than we have of any other item in our home. We have hundreds spread throughout the bookshelves in our house, plus I have a couple of totes full in storage that I don’t have room for inside. Once someone helping clean our house for a holiday party commented that I had too many books (after I had donated some), which wasn’t well-received.

Books are my weakness. I love going to thrift shops and looking for books. Once I found a book by one of my favorite authors — Chris Crutcher — and it was signed. Glorious day! Occasionally I’ll find books that are duplicates of books I already have, but I feel like I have to buy them anyway, because I don’t want them to be neglected and lonely on the shelf.

I completely understand how Frodo felt in “The Lord of the Rings.”

I may have a problem. Aside from making my house a tinderbox of sorts, it’s not the worst problem to have, though.

Kind of went off on a tangent there. Oops.

Our books were often used in Baby Girl’s art. She scribbled in her books, some of our regular books, and even parenting books. One of my discipline books has scribbles in it. (As annoying as her drawing in books was, that one was pretty hilarious.)

She’s four now, though, and aside from accidentally going off of her coloring pages, she had stopped drawing on things she wasn’t supposed to draw on.

Key word in that sentence: had.

Last Saturday, I was taking a nap when my husband came and woke me up. He had the girl in tow.

“She drew in your book,” he told me.

I sighed. “Okay.”

He’s waking me up for this? Ugh. I want sleep. I want to stay nestled in my warm blankets. Leave–

And then my train of complaint thoughts was interrupted.

“Wait — which book?”

My collectible books — including a few that are over 100 years old — are out of her reach, so I knew it couldn’t be those. That left only one book that would be worth waking me up over — my book. The one I’ve been mentioning for the past few months on this blog. My labor of…well, not love, because I didn’t exactly enjoy creating it after the 1000th hour, so just my labor.

Yep, my book.

He handed me the book. Baby Girl was smiling and couldn’t have looked more pleased with herself. Here’s what I found:

Something with blond hair and legs on one page and “Mom” written on the other. She quickly explained/bragged:

Dammit. How freaking sweet is that?

My frustration went away very quickly. She got a big hug for personalizing my book (as well as a warning not to personalize anymore of them, because I want to sell them). Considering that there is actually a story in the book about the little graffiti artist, that will make the book graffiti even funnier when she gets older.

What has warmed your heart lately? 


So, a couple of new book things–

First, I have released companion journals to Don’t Lick That! called Times the Kids Weren’t Little Heathens. You can use them to record funny stories and one-liners from your kids. The journal for parents of multiple kids can be found here and the journal for parents of only kids can be found here.

Second, if you have Amazon, you can download the eBook for FREE starting today through December 22. If you don’t have time to read it now — and I doubt many do, considering the season of chaos is upon us — you can download it to read later. Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays!

(And if you already purchased the book and this doesn’t count as a gift for you, then email me your address and I’ll pull a Wet Bandits and rob your house send you a personalized dorky Christmas card if you want, glitter-free, because I’m cool like that.)