#AtoZChallenge: L is for Licking

Everyone knows that toddlers can be picky eaters, but I think mine takes the cake. She’ll eat exactly two vegetables (corn and cucumbers), one meat (fish sticks), pizza, and some other not-so-healthy things. Quesadillas are a staple food in our home. I’m super picky, but she makes me look like I have a diverse palate. I’ve been assured that she’s perfectly healthy and that she’ll eat other things within time, so there’s that at least.

But this post isn’t going to be about my food concerns as a parent so much as it is about Baby Girl’s lack of consistency regarding things that go into her mouth.

To set the stage for the doodle, you should know that green beans are met with a look of disgust. I’ll try to coax her into eating one, but eventually have to settle with her just licking one so she gets a taste and hopefully gets used to it enough to eat later. Carrots? “Yuck, I not like it!” Grilled chicken makes her cover her ears (because this is how to keep food from going into your mouth, apparently) and say, “No, Mommy, no!” as if I’m trying to poison her.

So, that’s how she reacts to normal food. You’d think that she’d apply this…high standard (or whatever you’d call it) to other things she’s willing to taste, but no. She’ll let the dog lick her sucker and then pop it back in her mouth; she tasted dog food once willingly (no siblings tricks on this one) and wasn’t fazed; and, in a significantly more disgusting move, this taste-testing happened:

Diaper changing time is going smoothly, and then…

It is what you think it is; here’s a close-up:

I heard the retching sounds Sam made and asked what was going on.

“A piece of poop fell out of her diaper and she picked it up and licked it!”

Was Baby Girl retching? No. Was she at all grossed out? No. She did look rather pleased with herself for the reaction she got from her dad, though.

Green beans – 0
Poop – 1

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.

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#AtoZChallenge: ‘H’ is for Hanson Wallpaper

If you’re new to this blog, then you’re probably thinking, “WTH, Hanson? Those MMMBop kids?” right now. If you’re a regular here, however, then you’re probably (and rightfully) thinking, “Them again? Crazy stalker person.”

My theme for the challenge is Blast to the Past, and considering that I’ve been a fan of those guys since I was 13, it was inevitable for them to show up here. I’m not here to convert anyone into a Fanson in this post, though. After 20 years of trying, I’ve finally realized that most people don’t have good taste respond to my Jehovah’s Witness like tactics. Instead, we’re going back to 1997-1998 at the peak of my Hanson obsession to take a look at what guaranteed that interior decorating would never be career option for me.

Back when I was an awkward teenager (which really isn’t that different from being an awkward 34-year-old), I loved getting magazines like Tiger Beat and Bop. They had all the stories and pictures of the cute musicians and actors that any tween/teen girl could stand. (Hello, JTT, Rider Strong, Will Friedle…Brad Pitt was in there, too, but I didn’t get what was so great about him until 2005.)

When Hanson blew up, they had centerfolds and pin-ups in these magazines regularly for at least a year. And my grandmother bought me pretty much every one. I’d always promise not to ask for a magazine before we went grocery shopping, but I’d still make my way to the aisle with the magazines. After I picked one out, I’d carry it around, looking longingly at it as we walked down aisle after aisle, and she’d eventually say, “Go ahead and put it in the cart.” Her enabling my addiction obsession meant dozens and dozens of pin-ups, centerfolds, and full posters of Hanson. From the title of this post, you can probably guess what I did with them — I hung up every single one.

Just to keep the doodling easier, I drew it like this. FTR, all four walls had photos that were probably not more than a millimeter apart, making legit wallpaper.

So much cringe happening there with the Hanson wallpaper. I would often remove all of the pictures and reorganize them by size or guy or whatever. And this is where a slight problem came in. Want to guess how I hung all of those pictures? With thumbtacks. Tape would be too damaging to those valuable pictures and wouldn’t hold up well when I rearranged everything, so I used 2-4 thumbtacks to hang each picture.

Let’s just say that the walls didn’t look so great after I took down the photos…

My dad discovered that his drywall had been screwed up one day when he came in and saw me redecorating and saw that hundreds upon hundreds of tiny holes had been poked in his walls.

He was not impressed with my cleverness at preserving the integrity of my posters.

This was one of those situations where what I did was so bad that my dad was so mad that he didn’t even flip out. He told me that he had the right mind to make me spackle every single hole and left, muttering under his breath. When he put the house up for rent a couple years ago, I half expected for him to tell me to get my butt over there and spackle the walls, but he didn’t. (And to my brother — if you read this and do buy the house, I’m not spackling those walls for you.)

For the record, I presently have no pictures of Hanson hanging on my walls — just a few autographed guitar picks in a frame. (I do have a Lord of the Rings poster and a Wonder Woman poster, though, because clearly I have no intentions of being an adult anytime soon.) After a year or two of being obsessed, I threw out all of the Hanson pictures. Some years later I tossed the Hanson scrapbook. And a couple years after that, I stuck my Hanson t-shirts in a storage bin. (No, I wasn’t one of the cool kids in high school, in case you’re wondering.) Now I’m just obsessed without a bunch of embarrassing pictures.

So, which famous person/people were you totally crushing on in middle or high school?

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. If you’ve got a cringier story than my Hanson wallpaper, by all means, share it below.

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A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal

I know what you guys are thinking right now. “Your slack ass is going to sign up for a month-long blogging challenge? Ha.”

I’ve done the A to Z Challenge for the past three years, so obviously I’ve gotta get on board for this one, too. Time might not be plentiful at the moment, but I’m gonna do my best with it, anyway.

Always a day or two late to the party…

My theme for the A to Z Challenge this year is:

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(Had to be a little bit dramatic with it, right?)

A Blast To The Past

So, for the month of April, I will be choosing certain historical events to create crappy doodles of. The American Revolution? Doodled. Jesus ascending into heaven? Doodled. The Hindenburg disaster? Doodled.

Before you click the “X” and think, “Ain’t no way I’m signing up for this,” this is the part where I tell you that I’m kidding. While “A Blast to the Past” is definitely my theme, I’m staying as far away from historical events and figures as I possibly can. Outside of WW2, history makes me snooze, so no doodles of beheadings or whatever from me.

Instead, I’ll be doodling things that have happened in my life, my kids’ lives, etc. Some of the posts may be doodles you’ve seen already (depending on whether I’m running behind or need something to fit a certain letter for a day), and others will be brand new material. Just so you know, the past can be anywhere from when I was a kid until last week.

So, now you know the game plan. Hopefully it won’t be as tough as last year, when I did the “Things Kids Say” theme and ended up changing half of my pre-planned topics! At the end of April, I’ll reveal something I’m working on blog-wise that will probably make this whole “slack blogger” to “blogs every day blogger” transformation make sense even more.

Now…who else is doing the A to Z Challenge? Where my people?

#AtoZChallenge: Whew, It’s Over!

April was a fun, albeit challenging, month. Who’d have thunk it, a challenge being challenging? Gasp!

Even though I started out with a topic for every post planned, that changed 20 times out of 26, and I ended up writing something on the fly. I suck at planning blogs; something that seems funny or interesting at the moment might not seem so funny or interesting in a week or two. As such, a handful (or two) of my posts were published shortly before midnight. One post was finished after midnight, but I cheated and changed the publish time to earlier. For shame! (I’ll also cheat at Monopoly, so don’t let me be the banker.)

I’ve done A to Z Challenges in the past on my old blog, and I enjoyed this one just as much as those. My only regret was not being able to keep up with as many other A to Z blogs as I would have liked. I started strong, but life happened. Maybe next year April will be less hectic on my end, or maybe I’ll find a couple of extra hours in my day. Or — more unlikely — I’ll plan and keep up with things better.

In case you’re new here and don’t feel like going back through all the posts, here is a summary of which posts were the most well-received through the month. I’ll include one of the doodles from each post, and you can click the link to read more if you want.

The post with the most likes was A is for Alphabet Store. This was on the first day of the challenge, so I don’t know if that’s why it performed so well or if some of y’all were just, ah, thirsty.

The most commented upon post was B is for Bulba. Kids learning about their anatomy is always good for a laugh.

And the post with the most views was A is for Alphabet Store, with D is for Dark Knight on its heels.

The post that I enjoyed creating the most was J is for Joker, mostly because the creepy Joker-Wonder Woman mashup cracks me up every time I see it.

Thanks for sticking with me through the month!

What was your favorite post that you created for the A to Z Challenge? Share below, if you’d like!

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

#AtoZChallenge: Z is for Zzz

There are lots of ways to get on a toddler’s shit list. Nag her about eating her vegetables, make her hold your hand while walking in the parking lot, and tell her that you are washing her face (no matter how much she kicks and screams) are some good ways to get on the list. Wanna know the best way — the way that will make her look at you like she’s ready to hire a goon to chop off your thumbs? Tell her that it’s time to go to sleep.

Baby Girl has a black belt in fighting sleep. She’ll talk like she’s hyped up on coffee and just ramble, flap her arms like she’s trying to take flight, and even slap herself, all in the sake of staying alert. Other times she’ll try to Jedi mind trick me and tell me, “Mommy, I get up…I get up…” over and over while nodding. Lil’ Obi-Wan Kenobi, she is.

Sometimes this stuff is a bit frustrating (or worrisome, in the case of the slapping), other times it’s all I can do to keep from snickering.

Anytime something isn’t working, then she thinks the batteries have died. Time for the sun to get some a few new AAAs.

Child, you’re talking, crying, and squirming…pretty sure you’re awake.

So I’ve gathered.

Just to be clear, Baby Girl isn’t the only one who dislikes going to sleep — Little Man usually isn’t a fan, either. There are books to read, toys to play with, and video games to play, so who needs sleep? Not him. We’ve caught him reading under the covers many times using either a flashlight or a light saber (and it’s hard for me to get too bothered by that), and we’ve caught him playing a game on his tablet once (he slipped up and sent us a message requesting troops for his game — rookie mistake).

When he was four, Little Man tried to get out of taking naps in a way that I thought was pretty clever.

Well played, kid.

Do your kids hate naptime/bedtime, too?

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

#AtoZChallenge: Y is for Yellowstone Park

Have you heard of the super volcano that’s going to erupt and end the world?

I have, courtesy of my 9-year-old.

The boy came home from school one day convinced that the super volcano underneath Yellowstone was going to erupt soon and when it did everyone on Earth would be dead within minutes. Everyone in the United States would be dead within seconds. And he was gonna kick back and watch it all happen, because, “it’s the end of the world — you can’t do anything about that.”

Thanks, Little Man — as if I didn’t have enough to be anxious about already.

After much fact checking, my husband and I thought we had convinced Little Man that while a super volcano erupting would indeed be catastrophic, it wouldn’t be the extinction event he was picturing. Nor is it likely. At all. We discovered tonight that our conversation didn’t really take hold, though.

At a cookout this evening, the end-of-the-world event came up. Nothing like birthday cake and mass death, right? Little Man asked his cousins if they knew about the super volcano at Yellowstone that could kill every body on Earth in seconds. They didn’t, and interestingly enough, there was no moment of panic from either boy. They went back and forth discussing ideas on how to save the world, and then had their cake. When I was that age, there wasn’t much on my mind beyond Teenage Ninja Turtles and The Baby-Sitters Club, and here these kids are talking about how to pull a Bruce Willis and prevent Armageddon 2  during a family get-together. Kids today and all that, amirite?

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#AtoZChallenge: X is for (e)Xercise

X could be for xylophone, or xi (thanks Words With Friends), or xenon. (Yeah, I had to look up “words that start with X” because I was blanking.) I can’t recall anything funny my kids have said regarding xylophones or X-rays or anything else that starts with an X, so today I’ll talk about (e)Xercise. Maybe I’m cheating a little with this post, but you’re getting a post for X that doesn’t relate to something x-rated, so there’s that. (Aren’t you glad you can come to a parenting blog and not read about super naughty things?)

Exercise is one of the banes of my existence. You see, my butt, my couch, and my TV have a good thing going on. Almost a Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon type good thing, but without the music and hilariousness. With the exception of trips to the pantry, they don’t want anything impeding on their time together. Not cleaning, not clothes folding, and especially not exercising. That might get in the way of watching football games or Netflix binges or Sucky Movie Night. (If you’re looking for an awful — and I mean awful in every sense of the word — movie, then watch ThanksKilling. You’ll be appalled, horrified, and stupefied.)

My husband believes in setting good examples for the kids on occasion, so once in a while he hops back on the exercise bandwagon. (All right, I will sometimes, too, but even when that happens, I’m with my couch in spirit.) He was doing some circuit training exercises a couple years ago when he asked Little Man if he wanted to work out with him. Little Man said “yes,” but not only was the exercising short-lived, it also became clear that he didn’t quite get the point of it.

Doughnuts — the post-exercise snack of champions.

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#AtoZChallenge: W is for Wonder Woman

For Baby Girl’s first Halloween, I wanted all of us to dress up like characters from the Justice League or Star Wars. The family that nerds together — whether the youngest can comprehend what we’re dressing up as or not — stays together, right? (That didn’t happen then, since some individuals were non-compliant, but we did do a superhero theme for this past Halloween.)

When I was discussing Halloween costumes with the six-year-old Little Man back in 2014, I mentioned that I might dress up as Wonder Woman — and by dressing up, I meant wearing a Wonder Woman t-shirt and maybe a tiara. No bikinis or skirts or anything else form-fitting for this fluff mana.

Like many young kids, Little Man didn’t have much of a filter and would sometimes say anything that popped in his head. He also tended to take things very literally at times. (Both are still true to a degree, but he does try to be more careful about blurting things out.) As such, my Wonder Woman costume was shot down.

Well damn. No Lasso of Truth for me and my non-gravity defying derriere.

He did offer an alternative solution though:

This pleased me, since my son thought I was badass enough to go as the Dark Knight. I’m not the biggest Batman fan, but I will admit that his coolness factor is up there. That moment didn’t last long, though, as he followed that up with:

Thanks, kid! I guess a grappling hook would have been out of the question, too.

(For the record, when I did dress up as Wonder Woman this past Halloween, there were no objections.)

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

#AtoZChallenge: V is for Vader

It’s no secret that the people in the Dorky household have quite a love for Star Wars. I remember the first time I watched Star Wars — when I was 20 — with the guy I was dating who would later go on to be my husband. I was in hysterics over the special effects (we watched an old VHS copy that hadn’t been remastered), and didn’t care too much for the whole space thing at first. (Despite my fascination with Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, I’m not generally a fan of the sci-fi or fantasy genres.)

But, that changed, and I became enthralled by the story. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve watched various episodes since then, but it’s been a lot. Naturally, we passed this love on to the kids.

Little Man got his first light saber when he was three. We had banned guns, but thought the light saber would be fine. As it turns out, being cracked across one’s knuckles with a light saber does a bit more damage (hello, burst blood vessels) than a toy gun. (Except for the time I shot my husband in the eye with a Nerf gun, anyway.) We let him watch bits and pieces of the Star Wars movies around that time, and Little Man quickly became obsessed with Darth Vader, but later moved to Luke, and now has focused his interest on Princess Leia. Cough, almost tween, cough. Baby Girl also loves Star Wars. I have an adorable video of her when the opening crawl comes on and she starts shouting “Star Wars! It’s Star Wars!” and dancing. She’s also pretty good with a light saber.

For today’s doodles, I’m going to share a couple of things that the kids have said.

Right, the heat from the food was exactly like that.

Baby Girl’s love for Darth Vader isn’t as great as her love for Batman, but it’s still up there. You can sometimes hear her marching around the house humming Imperial March, and she goes all fangirl whenever Vader appears on the screen.

One day she’ll figure out that things don’t usually end well when that red light saber appears.

Are you a Star Wars fan? Which movie was your favorite?

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#AtoZChallenge: U is for Uh…

Yesterday I mentioned how both of my kids have mad skills where talking is concerned. It’s like their mouths are driven by motors, and there is no off switch. That gets a little overwhelming at times for this introvert, but generally I’m pretty enthralled with their chatter (which you can probably tell given that my A to Z Challenge theme is Things Kids Say), since much of what comes out of their mouth is either interesting or funny or so smart.

For example, a couple days ago, Little Man was telling his sister how amazing she was for building something with Legos. That boy has become a Jedi master at making my heart melt. And then the kids were chatting away over what they wanted to be when they grow up when Baby Girl told Little Man not to be a scientist, but to be a doctor like her because he’s a big boy, which made me giggle.

Other times, though, they leave me speechless or monosyllabic, at least. “Huh?” “You what?” or “Uh…” while my brain scrambles to process what I just heard. I feel like my brain has been in the “Uh…” mode for most of the past two years with all the political craziness, so you’d think that I’d be a pro and react a little faster by now, but not really.

The first “Uh…” doodle for today was a couple years ago, when I was planning Little Man’s birthday party…

That’s me, your friendly neighborhood hacker mom.

And then there was this one, when Little Man was five.

Well played, kid.

The last one falls under the “Uh…” and “Gross” umbrella as quite a few posts Baby Girl related have.

This wasn’t as bad as the poop tasting, but is still pretty damn gross. In case you were wondering, after recovering from the initial shock, I got her foot out of her mouth and grabbed the clippers to trim the dead skin away.

What have your kids said that leaves you speechless (or close to it)?

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