Vacation Expectations vs. Reality

Another family vacation bites the dust. As I mentioned in another post, we went back to Myrtle Beach and spent several nights at a fun resort. (“Fun resort” means there were water slides and splash pads for the kids and a poolside bar for the parents.) There were no major hiccups while we were away, every day was either overcast or sunny, and Baby Girl’s in-restaurant meltdowns were fewer than in the past. Winning!

Now we’re trying to get back into the swing of things. The luggage is mostly unpacked and put away, which is a step up from in the past, when I ignored a suitcase full of stuff for more than a week. (No, I’m not going to specify how long.) I’m also trying to organize all of our summer activities, plan Baby Girl’s birthday party, and catch up on dozens of blog posts. And there’s the matter of my own blog, of course. I’m sure some of y’all are in withdrawal mode, going without a Dorky Mom post for over a week. (And some of y’all might be thinking, “Back so soon?” Hehe.)

Since I know y’all are chomping at the bit for some details, I’ll give you a few. And I’ll save some for later, as my kids definitely gave me more material for this blog.

Here goes.

Remember when I posted about the odd — but not really bad — sunburn I got a couple weeks ago? Despite sunscreen and an umbrella, I got a weird sunburn on my leg. Odd, but no biggie. This vacation — despite plenty of preventative measures — I got the real deal of sunburns.

Yes, the most aspire to is a few splotchy tanned areas and red cheeks.

I made the mistake of not wearing my cover-up for a while and got a nasty burn on my chest. Other parts of me were dark pink/reddish and this part was more of a Merlot color it was so dark. The worst part (aside what legit feels like nerve pain in that area)? I got a nice reminder of how my body is doing gravity-wise when I take off my bra. You ladies know what I’m talking about. I think. Every damn shift or sway, I not only get a nice jolt of pain, but also get reminded that things ain’t where they once was. (Channeling my inner country girl on that last bit.)

Non-gravity defying breasts aside, let’s talk about what a kid should be excited about when going on vacation. Little Man counts down the days until he gets to get on water slides, body board in the ocean, and dig in the sand. Baby Girl gets excited about something different.

Before we went on vacation, I asked Baby Girl what she wanted to do at the beach.

“See the ice cream man!” she answered. I was rather impressed with her memory of getting ice cream at the beach a year ago, but that wasn’t quite what I was going for. True to her word, though, this is what she looked forward to every single day.

Spend hundreds of dollars on a vacation for the kid to care about a sweet treat that costs two bucks.

“I gonna see the ice cream man today?” she’d ask after waking up in the morning. The same question would be repeated twenty minutes later, after breakfast, in between breakfast and lunch, during lunch, etc. And finally the music from the ice cream truck would play and her dad would take her to pick something out.

And, I kid you not, if you ask her what kind of ice cream she had on vacation, Baby Girl will tell you all five of the different types of cones and popsicles she had. Again, her memory is most impressive.

Now for the last vacation expectation vs. reality. Since Baby Girl is getting older, there are certain things I expect of her — namely not eating poop or crapping in the tub. Anything gross that’s related to poop, really. I’ve been pooped on in the tub a few times, but now she tells us if she has to go. As Little Man would say, “Thank Zeus!” As such, I expect the same from her when swimming. Water’s water, so give us a head’s up so we can head to the bathroom, right?

Wrong.

Just a reminder — the squiggly marks on me are from sunburn, not poop.

She did tell me about the poop — after the fact. Just as I stood her up on the edge of the pool to jump in for a cannonball, she told me that she had pooped. Sure enough, when I glanced down at her crotch area, I saw watery streams of poop coming out. For the record, she was wearing a Little Swimmer diaper, but it was no match for Baby Girl’s bowels. I’ll spare you the details from there, but just know that some beach towels were ruined and that I had to avoid eye contact with people.

All in all, it was a great trip. We spent the majority of our time either by the water or in the water, which is what it’s all about for me. In the past, it has been a challenge to get Baby Girl to even touch the sand or ocean water without tears, so it was awesome to see her work her way up to digging in it a little and splashing around. As Borat would say, “Great success!”

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Family Vacation

The family and I are headed to Myrtle Beach tomorrow morning. Well, the plan is to head out tomorrow morning, but if I know my slow, disorganized family well at all, then we probably won’t make it out the door until after lunchtime. Drama over how many toys a child is allowed to bring will almost surely happen. If we’re lucky, though, maybe we’ll remember to bring our underwear, bras, and swimsuits. Somehow those things always get left behind and a trip to Target is necessary. Sometimes I think my husband believes I intentionally forget things just so we can stop at Target, but that isn’t the case.

Those of you who read my post about my and my husband’s anniversary trip know that we had a relaxing time at Myrtle Beach a week and a half ago. It was amazing. No “I hate the water!” or “I hate the sand!” or “Hey, I’ve got poops!” to get in the way of relaxation. (Well, no poops that I had to manage, anyway.)

This coming week will be different. Very different. I have no doubt that we’ll have an amazing time and make some wonderful memories, but y’all know how it is with little kids. They’ll try their damnedest to make sure relaxing doesn’t happen and make sure the bags under your eyes pre-vacation are twice as big post-vacation. Mama’s got an umbrella drink? Let’s get sand in it. Daddy’s trying to listen to music for a few minutes? Let’s get sand on him. We’re all nice and clean and ready to go out for a good meal? Let’s get sand coordinate meltdowns of epic proportions so Mom and Dad get to do the walk of shame and haul us out.

Remember this?

Things are definitely gonna change.

Bye bye, relaxation.

Bye bye, voodoo juice bucket (most likely).

Okay, maybe the shade and the beach bag won’t really disappear, but only crossing out one or two things wasn’t as dramatic.

Hello, family vacation.

And hello, judgmental strangers.

Not pictured is the fishing rod and net that Little Man wants to bring. I imagine that he’ll inspire a doodle with those.

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The Buns and Guns Challenge

I don’t have buns.

I don’t have guns.

And I most certainly don’t have abs.

But, I am told that I could have these things if I complete a 30-day challenge called Buns, Guns, and Abs Challenge. Considering that my rapper name is Fluff Mama and that I’m too heavy to fly like Wonder Woman, I’m pretty sure that no 30-day challenge will make these mythical muscles appear, but stranger things have happened.

My husband is the one who asked me to participate in the Buns and Guns Challenge. (I think we can all agree that the challenge sounds better when you leave out the word “abs.”) We’re attempting to lose weight make better lifestyle choices, and part of that includes doing things that the Couch Potato Olympics Committee frowns upon — moving.

Not moving equals happiness to sloth-like creatures.

A couple days ago, my husband approached me about the challenge. After talking about exercises and muscles for a few minutes, which I mostly tuned out, he told me, “The first day is easy. And then it goes up a little in intensity each day. Want to do it with me?”

“Yeah, okay,” I said, without one iota of enthusiasm. I really just wanted him to stop naming muscles, plus he did say that it started out easy.

Easy.

Ha.

I’m 33. By now I’ve been around the block enough times that I should know that any time I think, “That sounds easy enough,” that it won’t be. Baking brownies out of the box — easy, right? Unless you’re me. Tying a basic braid in my daughter’s hair, walking, parking in an empty lot, and applying eyeliner also aren’t easy. Despite my best efforts, my body is determined to make me look like a spaz whenever possible.

On the first night of the challenge, my husband told me that I had to do ten squats, ten push-ups, and ten leg lifts. That really does sound easy. It should be easy. I thought, “Yeah, I got this.” A few squats later, I found out that I definitely didn’t have this.

Before getting pregnant with Baby Girl, I did a HIIT workout while trying to lose weight. (If you’re not the math sort, Baby Girl is almost three, so between that and 9 months of pregnancy, that means that the last time I did this was almost four years ago.) Anyway, I killed the squats back then. But not that night. My thighs and knees — which are certainly used to getting up and down all day long — betrayed me.

My legs were like…

Admittedly, this looks more like I’m dancing a jig than doing squats.

(Since I started writing this post and completed another day of the challenge, my husband has pointed out that I was doing the squats wrong and was doing them in a way that made it more difficult. Doing them right was easier, so that makes me feel a little better.)

Next were the leg lifts. They seemed pretty easy until my husband told me to lift slowly, hold my legs in place, and lower them slowly — apparently flailing your legs all over the place doesn’t count. Doing them right involved using my nonexistent core muscles, so after five of those, my core was like…

The last part was push-ups. I have always sucked at push-ups, even when I was at a perfectly normal weight (as I discovered many years later) and fairly athletic. My arms just do not like pushing up my body for some reason. They don’t like pulling up my body, either, so chin-ups in gym class back in the day didn’t happen much, either. Heaven forbid I fall face first into a pile of snow one day, because I guarantee that unless my body gets one of those “lift the car off the child” adrenaline rushes, I’ll perish.

As you’ve probably guessed by now, the whole time I did those push-ups, my arms were like…

(Despite my history with push-ups and my arms cursing me, they were the easiest part of the challenge on that day, so maybe all that hauling around Baby Girl has done my arms some good.)

When we were finished my husband pulled out his phone and showed me the rest of the challenge. He told me that by the end of 30 days, I’ll be able to do 100 squats, 40 push-ups, and 100 leg lifts. We’ll see. For the record, we won’t see in 30 days, since I’m sticking with day one for a few more days to work on my form, so maybe in 100 days we’ll see.

Want to participate in the Buns and Guns Challenge? Knock yourself out. (Also, zoom in, because I started writing smaller halfway through for some reason.)

So, are you in? Or do you want to retain the right to make self-depracating jokes about your fluffy body?

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Active Volcanoes

Sometimes Little Man and I play a game of sorts where we try to one-up each  other. For example, I’ll tell him that I want to hug him so hard his eyes pop out. And he’ll counter that with, “Well, I want to hug you so hard that your intestines come out of your mouth.”

Yes, he usually wins.

And, yes, we’re dorks.

We typically deadpan our comments to each other, which can make things more interesting if we’re out in public. If you were the casual observer and overheard some our conversations, then you’d probably be a bit shocked. You might even be tempted to call CPS, and you’d most definitely shoot a look of disgust at us. (Can you tell that we’ve been there and done that last part a few times?) For the sake of not having dirty looks shot at my blog, I’ll leave those conversations out for now.

Today’s doodle shows our most recent one-up exchange. This one won’t appall you and is rather sappy, but he one-ups me all the same.

He definitely wins. And he didn’t even make a comment about Anakin’s face burning off in the lava, which was surprising since that comes up more often than it probably should.

Is there anything that causes people to give you odd looks when you’re out?

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Force Sun Ray Attack

My husband and I went away this past weekend to celebrate our upcoming anniversary. The anniversary isn’t for a few more days, but we’ll be going on our family vacation right after our anniversary and didn’t want to do that much driving back to back. After much talk, we ended up going to Myrtle Beach, which is also where we’re going for our vacation — clearly we aren’t “variety is the spice of life” people.

One thing that you should know about me is that I’m pretty white. Casper looks like he’s been hitting up the tanning bed compared to me. Okay, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but trust me — the non-freckled over parts of my body definitely have a ghastly pallor. It probably goes without saying that I burn very easily. Sunscreen, cover-ups or t-shirts, and shade are absolute musts for me at the beach if I don’t want to be slathering bottle after bottle of aloe vera gel all over my body later. (The shade is also a must if I want to hang out on the beach for more than 15 minutes without feeling like I’m going to puke — I don’t do heat very well, which can be rough living in the South.)

You’d think that between the umbrella, cover-up, and dusting of sunscreen so thick that other people gagged when they passed by the fog, that I’d finish the beach day unscathed. But, much like my ovaries, the sun hates me and was determined to find a way to mark me.

See all that lovely shade? Not pictured is the sunscreen fog, which I made sure to apply routinely. Also not pictured is my husband with the darker skin that doesn’t burn (not that I’m jealous), because I’m lazy and didn’t want to draw two people.

Those preventative measures were no match for the sun.

Forget force lightning attacks — we now have force sun ray strikes.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way, and clearly the Evil Kool-Aid Man sun was dead set on getting at me.

Technically the burn is on the inside of my left leg (which is even more in the shade), but that wouldn’t show up so good on the drawing, so artistic license and all that.

First things first — that isn’t much of a burn. I’ll acknowledge that straightaway. It stung like hell in the hot tub, but that’s about it. So, as someone who has had severe sunburns in the past, I know that I made out pretty good on this beach trip. But that’s not really the point. The point is — look at it. That leg was under the umbrella and multiple coats of sunscreen. Yet the sun worked its mojo and gave me that odd burn that looks like I’d broken out into hives or something. This is what happens nearly every time I go to the beach — lots of skin safety measures taken and lots of funky, splotchy burns.

All the sun silliness aside, we had a wonderful and relaxing time. It was nice experiencing what the beach could be like without two kids who are determined to stuff sand in your mouth and complain about the salt in the ocean water nonstop. I’m mostly kidding — I know we’ll have a wonderful time with the kids next week — but it was nice to get a break.

Did y’all have a nice weekend? 

Mother’s Day Part One

I hope everyone had a nice, relaxing Mother’s Day yesterday (or a nice Sunday). My husband cooked me some of my favorite things (steak and bacon), plus ran a bubble bath for me and took the kids out of the house so I could enjoy it in peace, so I was a happy girl.

My family got me a few presents for Mother’s Day yesterday. One present has yet to be delivered, but my husband showed me a picture (so it counts) — an air fryer. This is cool because a) we can enjoy fried foods for less calories and b) I won’t risk burning the house down again trying to fry stuff. (There will definitely be a post for this one soon.) I was also given a gift made by Little Man that will get a post all of its own. And then there was an awesome gift that made me geek out — an R2-D2 measuring cup set.

The set looks exactly like an R2-D2 toy while assembled.

It comes apart into measuring cups and measuring spoons of varying sizes. Rather than attempt to draw a butchered looking R2-D2, you can view the real deal here.

I had barely taken R2-D2 out of the gift bag when the kids began clamoring over who would get to hold him first. Because obviously, the recipient of the Mother’s Day gift wouldn’t have dibs. And when they realized that he comes apart, well, all hell broke loose.

Apparently my kids’ arms do the Stretch Armstrong thing when they’re fighting over something.

Thanks, guys.

The next time my husband and I do any gift giving, we’ll have to make sure we give the non-boring gifts in private.

As a little bonus, I’m going to close this with a doodle from Little Man. He saw me drawing the R2-D2 and drew C-3P0 on his tablet to go with this.

How was your weekend?

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Reasons The Toddler Is Pissed

If you look up “temperamental” in the dictionary, I’m pretty sure that you’d find a picture of a toddler next to it. Maybe even my toddler.

Oh, wait…

How about that? I wasn’t exaggerating after all!

True to the definition of temperamental, one minute Baby Girl is happy. The next she’s mad. Sometimes she’s mad over the reason that originally made her happy, which is confusing as hell and makes the whole “navigating parenting” thing much more difficult. Other times she’s ticked off for reasons that should never tick anyone off, ever. And, occasionally, there are times when she’s pissed for reasons that are beyond me.

Here are a few of the reasons she might be mad on any given day —

I have four younger brothers and sisters, so I get #1 — I completely understand what it’s like for a look from a sibling cause someone to see red. I don’t understand why, but I do know that it happens and isn’t just a Baby Girl thing. Even worse than looking at each other is looking at an object the other sibling is playing with/using with interest — this causes a reaction akin to road rage in children.

And for the record, with #3 — we’re talking about milk that has been sitting out for maybe ten minutes. The cup is still cool to the touch. I’m not a monster who makes kids drink warm milk. Cold milk is gross enough to me, but warm milk? “Disgusting!” to use Baby Girl’s new favorite word.

I mostly don’t get the others on that list. Especially #4. Who wants to go around wearing a shitty diaper? It makes her butt red and itchy, which she also complains about. Use. The. Potty. (And use it regularly enough that I can say stop saying “potty” in a sweet, high-pitched voice that is supposed to make you take interest in it.)

What are some funny things your kids get mad over?

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#ThingsKidsSay: Ruining Reputations

Over the past year or so, I’ve noticed Little Man making the transition from calling me “Mommy” to calling me “Mom.” At first he started calling me “Mom” in front of other kids and called me “Mommy” in private, but now it’s mostly “Mom,” unless he wants something. He’s nine now, so it’s about that time, I suppose.

Yesterday I showed Little Man a draft of a doodle post that I’m working on. It shows him doing something when he was younger, and in the picture, it shows him addressing me as “Mommy,” since that is what he called me then. Accuracy and all. This, I’ve found out, is problematic for me tween-to-be.

Those hobbit-sized feet are also accurate.

That’s me — the ruiner of reputations. Maybe that will be printed on my gravestone. I wonder how much longer I’ll be able to refer to him as “Little Man” before I’m accused of ruining his street creed.

What have your kids said to make you chuckle lately?

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I’m Dorky And I Know It

As you may have gathered from the title of this blog, the dork runs strong in me, and the rest of my family is no exception. My son once asked when he was going to get his nerd card, and my daughter came out of the womb with a Batman obsession. Dorky, among other things, is what we are, and we embrace it. 

Sometimes we embrace our inner dorks by changing the lyrics the popular songs. “Let It Go” becomes “Let Her Fart” (thanks, Little Man), “Summer Nights” became a song about Baby Girl’s bowel movements, and “Can’t Stop The Feeling” also became a song about flatulence. “My Heart Will Go On”…well, I probably don’t need to explain. (And apparently we all have the sense of humor of eleven year olds.)

Last week Little Man and I were making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. We were having a lazy dinner night, and the kids wanted PB&Js, which is perfect for lazy dinners, lunches, and pretty much everything. While making the sandwiches, I commented to Little Man that he and Baby Girl were certainly “all about that peanut butter.” And they are. Outside of pizza day at school, I can count the number of times LM has requested something other than PB&J for lunch on one hand, and BG loves peanut butter so much that she’ll eat at it straight from the jar.

“Yeah, we sure are,” he responded.

And then this was born:

Little Man suggested recording a video to put on YouTube, but I opted out. My singing abilities probably shouldn’t be showcased anywhere other than in doodled format. 

What songs do you like to change up for fun?

I got some cool news this morning — my Five Stages Of Dealing With Your Kids’ Carseats doodle will appear on Scary Mommy next Monday (if nothing changes scheduling wise). I’m excited about that. The text part of the post will be a bit more fleshed out, so I’ll post a link when it’s up next week.

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Top Five Songs For Migraines

For a time as a parent, I didn’t have to listen to crappy music. (My husband would say, “Wait, that’s not true because you love Hanson,” which I’d ignore while pitying him for not embracing their greatness.) When Little Man came along, we didn’t play much kiddie music. We stuck to our Beatles, Radiohead, Ben Folds, Weezer, Hanson (obviously I’ve got to mention them again), etc. He loved it all and we didn’t have to listen to cheesy crap sang in high-pitched voices, so all was right in the world. Even the music for the TV shows he watched was tolerable.

All was good in our parenting world for about six years, and then things changed.

Baby Girl came along. While she likes some of our music (especially Radiohead’s No Surprises, which has been on repeat every night for much of the past two and a half years), she prefers the cheesy kids’ songs. Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. Five Little Monkeys. If You’re Happy And You Know It. Apples and Bananas. Itsy Bitsy Freaking Spider. And, despite having a playlist for her to shuffle through those songs, she usually picks one and wants it on repeat for the entire car ride. I get kinda road ragey as it is, but after the tenth time of listening to Itsy Bitsy Freaking Spider, all it takes for me to start cursing under my breath is for someone to put their signal light on at 90 feet out instead of 100 feet.

And then there are the songs or theme music on shows on YouTube and TV that both kids like. I liked the music on Thomas and Friends, Sid the Science Kid, and The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That. The current shows they both watch? For the most part, just no. God no.

Aaaand, thanks to the newish car with satellite radio, Little Man has discovered Kidz Bop, also known as Music Hell. Kidz Bop is where they take popular music and ruin it. Much of the popular music is kind of bad already, but then they take it and make it worse with the crappy singing and such. And Little Man, the child we once bragged about for having excellent taste in music, loves Kidz Bop. (To be fair, he still likes a lot of great stuff, but Kidz Bop has tarnished his reputation.)

I’ve compiled a short list of songs that are driving me nuts right now. It could be longer. A lot longer. But there’s the matter of my laziness and the fact that y’all probably don’t want a doodled list of 1841 songs that are driving me nuts, so I cut it to five.

What song is likely to give you a headache if you have to hear it again?

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