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.

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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.)

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 Survived

If you aren’t on my personal Instagram or Facebook pages, then you may be wondering whether or not I survived snow tubing. Since Hell doesn’t have the Internet yet and I’m not posting in ghost-mode, I survived!

We went with an indoor snow tubing place. You see, I didn’t realize that you had to take a chair lift or tram up the side of a mountain to get to the snow tubing place we originally wanted to go to. Just thinking about that makes my heart rate go up. I’m not even gonna doodle this, because I want your heart rate to go up, too, so here’s an image from TripAdvisor.

See? Holy cow! I’ll ride most roller coasters, but there is something about being suspended over the side of a mountain by a cable that makes me nope out completely.

So, indoor snow tubing place it was. Baby Girl wouldn’t get on the snow tube, but the rest of us had a good time with it. I was pretty darn terrified at times, because going fast down a hill, spinning, and worrying about tipping over and breaking my neck can do that, but I still enjoyed it.

I didn’t fall going up the escalator (yes, an escalator) to the top of the hill, I didn’t fall down the hill while trying to sit on the tube, and I didn’t break anything.

The only time I had a near-death experience was when I rode back from the snow tubing place with my mother-in-law. Let’s just say that taking mountain curves at 65 MPH is more terrifying than the thoughts of riding a tram up the side of a mountain.

Death flashed before my very eyes.

(And my mother-in-law is probably reading this now and thinking, “But did you die?” No, I didn’t, but, you know I can’t pass up a chance to tease you.)

It was a very fun short trip away! We took the kids to do the Polar Express train ride last night, and we all loved it. They came out dancing to the “Hot Chocolate” song just like in the movie. I was mildly disappointed they didn’t dance with the hot chocolate in their hands, though. (Yeah, I knew there was only a .00001% chance that would happen, but I held out hope.)

Now that we have that trip out of the way, we can focus on our Christmas Movie Marathon, baking, and crafty type things.

Instead of asking you a question to wrap up the post, I’m going to create a poll…

If y’all don’t hear anything from me after this post, it’s because she has killed me. #RIPDorkyMom


Now that the “Don’t Lick That!” eBook giveaway at Pretty In Baby Food is over, you can try your chances at the giveaway Candy is hosting at Geek Mamas. If you don’t want to wait, then you can snag the eBook here and the paperback here.

#TBT: That Time I Broke My Ass

Right now I’m sitting in my car heading to the mountains. And I’m wearing my headphones, so I’m not having to listen to the kids complain. #ParentingWin and also, #PrayForMyHusband. While we’re on our short trip, we plan to go snow tubing. As such, I thought sharing this old post would be appropriate. Keep my butt in your thoughts and prayers…


I’m not known for being coordinated. Anyone who knows me in real life will be thinking, “That’s the understatement of the year,” but that’s basically the truth. I’m not one of those people who can walk from one place to the other without tripping over something. Sometimes it’ll be a something that I didn’t see and other times it’ll be tripping over my own feet. Occasionally this leads to broken bones and scrapes, but mostly it just leads to my being pretty darn embarrassed.

Eighth grade was a lot of fun for middle school, but it wasn’t kind to me as far as my bone health went. Aside from breaking my foot after hopping a fence/rail type thing at Carowinds, there was also the incident that occurred when our grade went on a ski trip.

My grandmother encouraged me to stay home from that trip, by the way. She knew. Obviously that wasn’t happening, since the ski trip was a pretty big deal, so I assured her that I would be fine and went.

Ha.

After we got to the ski lodge, I went through the thing they had set up for beginners and by lunch time, I was ready to go down the intermediate trail. So I went down it a couple of times to build up my confidence.

My confidence built up quickly. Too quickly.

The third time I went down, I decided to go down fast, so down the hill I went in a straight line, like a bullet.

About halfway down, I realized that I was going too fast. I knew that if I didn’t start slowing my ass down, I would going to crash into something or someone at the bottom. So, I turned my skis inward to try to slow down. Except I turned my skis in too much so that they crossed to form an X, and I lost my balance. Not good. I did a front flip, landed hard on my butt, and rolled down the hill.

Ouch.

My body hurt all over, but not as bad as my ego. A classmate helped me up, and I was done for the day. At least I got to enjoy half of the day.

The next day, my butt region was so sore that my grandma wouldn’t let me go to school and took me to the doctor.

After doing an x-ray, the doctor told me that I fractured my tailbone. I was told to take it easy, no softball (and tryouts were the very next week), and that I should sit on a little cushion to stay comfy while it healed up.

After the weekend, I went to school with my cushion. I didn’t think anything about it until a friend snatched it up and exclaimed, “Erika, you got hemorrhoids?!” during homeroom. Heads turned.

I explained to her that no, I did not have hemorrhoids and that I had fractured my tailbone.

About eight years later, I decided to give skiing another try. This is how far I made it:

I totally froze up and wasn’t moving anywhere. My body knew right then that it had no business trying to go skiing, so after much discussion over whether or not we should stay and see if I changed my mind, we ended up asking for a refund. Even though there weren’t supposed to be any refunds, we were given one anyway. I suppose the look of sheer panic on someone’s face will bend the rules a bit.

Have you ever broken your ass? How about any other bones?


Time to plug the book!

Rachel at Pretty In Baby Food had some lovely things to say about “Don’t Lick That!” Check out the review on her blog, plus enter the giveaway on her site to win a copy of the book. If you already purchased the book, enter anyway — if you win, you can gift the code to a friend that you think would enjoy the book!

“Don’t Lick That!” is available for purchase as an eBook on Amazon and as a paperback through Amazon or Barnes and Noble. (Amazon has free shipping for Prime users, but right now things are glitchy, saying shipping will take a while, so keep an eye out for that. This isn’t an issue with B&N.) If you have a Kindle Unlimited subscription, you can read the book for free. If you purchase the book and enjoy it, please consider leaving feedback on Amazon, B&N, or Goodreads.

Baby Girl Says…

When I first started this blog, I didn’t have a lot of Baby Girl material to use. She was talking some, but not a lot, so most of my stories were about her brother. These days, however, that child doesn’t stop talking, and much of she says is funny as hell. The older one is shifting away from saying lots of cutesy things and does a crap ton of dabbing, so I don’t have as much to go with from him. (I am so sick of dabbing, by the way.)

See? That does not make for great blog fodder.

Thank goodness for the girl. Baby Girl has said enough cutesy things in the past week that deserve her own post, so here we go.

Doctor Time

The girl had strep throat a few weeks ago. Since she downright refuses to take medicine — and I don’t mean she gets fussy about it, but that she will kick, scream, spit it out, and reject any food/drink that we’ve mixed it in — the doctor suggested giving her a shot. I didn’t think this would be a problem. Most kids hate shots, of course, but she understands that they will only hurt for a second and that they can help you feel better or prevent the flu and other illnesses. She told me she went to school encouraging her friends to get flu shots after she got hers in October. So, yeah, I didn’t think it would be a big deal.

It was, of course.

The doctor, nurse, and I had to hold her down while the nurse administered the shot. (Never underestimate the strength of a 30-pound 4-year-old.) After it was all over, she told me she wasn’t going downstairs (where the pediatric office is) and was only going upstairs (the family practice we used to go to) from then on. Poor kid. (And she did feel better within a couple of days.)

Last week, we had to go back to the pediatrician. That child told the receptionist, the assistant, and the doctor no less than 30 times that SHE WAS NOT GETTING A SHOT.

When the assistant asked if she had any allergies while checking her in, Baby Girl spoke up and said something that had us all laughing.

Well played, Baby Girl, well played.

The Spider Closet

Remember how Baby Girl drew a picture of me dead in a grave last week? Well, she’s still going through her creepy phase. A few days after that, she was displeased with Little Man over something (who knows what it was, as she is often displeased with him), when she made the following threat:

Um, what?

When we asked her to clarify what a spider closet was, she looked at us like we were idiots and told us that it was a closet full of spiders. I let her preschool teacher know the next day that we do not, in fact, have a closet with spiders, in case it came up.

Go Tell It…Where?

For the preschool program this year, Baby Girl has to sing “Go Tell it on the Mountain.” Baby Girl and preschool programs do not go well together. (Not that you can expect much from preschool age kids, but especially not with her.) The first year, she was too preoccupied with terrorizing the children near her to do much in the way of singing. Last year, she didn’t participate much (and had to visit the preschool director for her refusal to participate and distracting others during practice). This year…we’ll see, but so far it’s not looking good, since she’s already changing up the lyrics to the song.

At least she isn’t singing, “Joy to the world, the teacher’s dead, we barbecued her head!” right?

Pepper Spray Them Bitches

Okay, she didn’t say the last word, but I sure thought it.

Earlier this week, she noticed that I carry pepper spray (it’s out of her reach, of course, but I was showing her something and she saw it) and asked what it was for. I explained that it was to help protect us in case of danger and also explained how painful it would be and to never, ever touch it OR ELSE.

Sometime later, we were driving down the road when a car zoomed past us. It was a 45 mph zone and he was easily going 65. I made a comment about the guy thinking he was on a speedway and how he was driving dangerously. Baby Girl had a solution for this problem.

Nah, girl, if I get road rage at someone and feel like I need to get out of my car and hurt them, I won’t be using pepper spray. I’ll just throw glitter on them and really teach them a lesson.

No More Cleaning

What is it with kids and cleaning up stuff? No, cleaning isn’t fun, but come on — it doesn’t take that much effort to pick up after yourself. It certainly doesn’t require so much effort that you should act like your world has come to an end.

A few days ago, I told the girl that we needed to clean up the house. She wasn’t happy about this, of course.

You have the energy to take out your toys and pay games with them, but not the energy to put them away? Something doesn’t make sense there.

Wake Up, Daddy

My husband told me this one. He lied down with Baby Girl to help her go to sleep a couple of days ago and dozed off himself. He said that she woke him up with a complaint.

Preach, girl.

At this rate, I may be able to do a sequel for “Don’t Lick That!” before the end of the year.

What’s the funniest thing you’ve heard a kid say lately?


Time to plug the book!

Rachel at Pretty In Baby Food had some lovely things to say about “Don’t Lick That!” Check out the review on her blog, plus enter the giveaway on her site to win a copy of the book. If you already purchased the book, enter anyway — if you win, you can gift the code to a friend that you think would enjoy the book!

“Don’t Lick That!” is available for purchase as an eBook on Amazon and as a paperback through Amazon or Barnes and Noble. (Amazon has free shipping for Prime users, but right now things are glitchy, saying shipping will take a while, so keep an eye out for that. This isn’t an issue with B&N.) If you have a Kindle Unlimited subscription, you can read the book for free. If you purchase the book and enjoy it, please consider leaving feedback on Amazon, B&N, or Goodreads.

Morning Hell

My sister and I fought like cats and dogs when we were kids, but my brother and I never fought. I chalked that up to there only being two years between my sister and me and nine years between my brother and me. With that in mind, when we had Baby Girl, I figured the kids wouldn’t fight much, since Little Man would be almost 6.5 years older.

I was wrong about that.

Rarely does a day pass where they don’t fight about something. And on the days they don’t fight, it’s usually because one has stayed over with a grandparent or is too sick to fight. It drives me crazy.

Mornings are the worst. I can’t even comb my hair or brush my teeth without hearing screams coming from the kitchen, where the children are supposed to be eating their breakfast. If I only had to drop off Little Man, I wouldn’t have to get dressed, since I can let him out at the curb. I have to walk Baby Girl in, though, so looking like an extra from The Walking Dead isn’t an option. It only takes a few minutes to throw on some clothes, brush my teeth, and run a brush through my hair, so you’d think that the kids could keep their shit together and not fight. Since fighting comes as naturally as breathing, however, that doesn’t happen.

I warn them before I dash to the bedroom to get dressed. No fighting. I even tell Little Man that if Baby Girl tries to start something with him–she’s often the instigator–to not engage her. All they have to do is sit there and eat their breakfast. That’s it. Shoveling food in your mouth without wanting to kill your sibling should be easy, but it’s not, as sometimes not even a full minute passes before I hear the screams.

Jesus, y’all.

Sometimes I ignore it for a few moments and wait to see if they’ll solve the problem themselves without me stomping in there. Since that’s as likely as me making it through the day without tripping over something, that rarely doesn’t happen. I have to stomp back in there, put my hands on my hips, and speak in my Mom Voice to let them know I mean business and to stop the crap.

This morning, when the screams started, I went in to see what was going on. Little Man told me that Baby Girl tried to hit him with a bottle of honey. Baby Girl said that she tried to hit Little Man with the bottle of honey after he threw it at her. Little Man claimed he did not throw the honey at her and had no idea how the honey he was using made its way across the table into her hands. It must be magic.

After some scolding them and threatening not to let anyone do anything fun after school if they didn’t stop fighting, I started to make my way back to the bathroom when I heard Baby Girl say this:

I’m gonna annoy you now.

We weren’t late, but it was close.

What does your typical morning look like? 


Rachel at Pretty In Baby Food had some lovely things to say about “Don’t Lick That!” Check out the review on her blog, plus enter the giveaway on her site to win a copy of the book.

“Don’t Lick That!” is now available for purchase as an eBook on Amazon and as a paperback through Amazon or Barnes and Noble. (Amazon has free shipping for Prime users.) If you have a Kindle Unlimited subscription, you can read the book for free. If you purchase the book and enjoy it, please consider leaving feedback on Amazon, B&N, or Goodreads.

eBook Giveaway Winners

Congratulations to the following folks who entered the raffle to win an eBook copy of Don’t Lick That!

Chelsea O.

Eric W.

Amanda B.

You guys will receive an email with instructions on how to redeem your copy of the book.

If you’re on GoodReads, you can follow my author page here.

Thanks to everyone who has shared news of the book. If you missed the post yesterday, here are the details for the book purchase:

The “Don’t Lick That!” book is now available for purchase. In addition to some of the stories I’ve shared on this blog, I’ve also included new stories about the kids and myself, a chapter called Parenting Truths, a chapter with one-liners from the kids, a chapter called The Science of Parenting with mostly new content, and a bonus chapter that offers the worst parenting advice you’ll ever get. (If the last part doesn’t sell you, then nothing will.)

You can purchase it as an eBook and download it via Amazon or purchase the paperback through Amazon or Barnes and Noble. (Amazon has free shipping for Prime users.) Additionally, if you have a Kindle Unlimited subscription, you can read the book for free.

If you purchase the book and enjoy it, please consider leaving feedback on Amazon, B&N, or GoodReads.

The Big Day Is Here!

The “Don’t Lick That!” book is now available for purchase. In addition to some of the stories I’ve shared on this blog, I’ve also included new stories about the kids and myself, a chapter called Parenting Truths, a chapter with one-liners from the kids, a chapter called The Science of Parenting with mostly new content, and a bonus chapter that offers the worst parenting advice you’ll ever get. (If the last part doesn’t sell you, then nothing will.)

You can purchase it as an eBook and download it via Amazon or purchase the paperback through Amazon or Barnes and Noble. (Amazon has free shipping for Prime users.)

The raffle to win a free eBook will end today at 11:59 PM, and I’m giving away three books. I’ll do a post tomorrow for the winners and email the winners their promo codes.

If you purchase the book and enjoy it, please consider leaving feedback on Amazon, B&N, or GoodReads.

Thanks to everyone who has been so supportive through this! ❤