Lessons I’ve Learned

A few weeks ago, I had fun with graphs. I showed that children are clingy as hell when you need them not to be. That was probably already a universal parenting truth, but the graph made it official. Today you get a few more graphs on parenting lessons I’ve learned. (And I had an idea for a cute pie chart, so there will probably be even more graphs in this blog’s future. Yay — I think?)

The first lesson I’ve learned has to do with puking in the car.

Back when Little Man was a baby, we bought a used car that was a few years old. It wasn’t overly nice, but the price was right, it was safe, and it got us where we needed to go. If something got spilled in it, it wasn’t a big deal — that kind of car. Care to guess how many times LM puked in that car? Once.

We now have a pretty new (we bought it brand new a year ago) and expensive (for us) car. It has all the bells and whistles, leather seats, and is just gorgeous. Now would you like to guess how many times that car has been puked in over the past year? Well over a dozen. The last time was yesterday, which just happened to be a few days after I cleaned it good and conditioned the leather. Little Man got car sick. He was able to get some of it in a paper bag, but as luck would have it, the bottom of the bag collapsed.

The next lesson has to do with diapers being soiled. This particular lesson is what made me take Baby Girl’s diapers a little earlier than planned, because I was annoyed with 30 cents worth of diaper being ruined in five minutes.

Baby Girl was one of those kids who often wouldn’t poop unless she had on a clean diaper. As soon as you’d take the diaper full of pee off, she’d work her magic and ruin a brand new diaper by crapping in it. This was true as a baby and true as a toddler. After we got to the point where I knew that she could tell me and use the toilet, that whole “get changed and squat” act started wearing thin. Diapers aren’t that expensive, but still.

The last one is something I’m sure all parents — heck, anyone who has ever given a child a gift — are familiar with.

That’s right — spend a buck on something and you’re guaranteed hours of play. Spend $50 on something and it might get played with a grand total of five minutes. Such was the case with Baby Girl’s birthday party over the weekend. We were supposed to have a pool party, but decided to move it indoors the morning of the party because of rain. We went to Walmart and bought some stuff to have indoors to make sure the kids would be entertained. We had a little bounce house that the toddlers spent a few minutes on, a bowling set that I don’t think anyone touched, a bean bag toss that wasn’t touched by anyone other than adults, and then we had some balloons and pool noodles that cost a grand total of $4. I don’t even have to say which items the kids gravitated to.

Any lessons or other universal parenting truths you’ve picked up on that you’d like to see in graph form in a future post? 

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

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!”

Want to connect on social media? You can find me on Facebook, Twitter,  Instagram, and Bloglovin. You can also vote for me as a Top Mom Blogger here

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.

Want to connect on social media? You can find me on Facebook, Twitter,  Instagram, and Bloglovin. You can also vote for me as a Top Mom Blogger here

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?

Want to connect on social media? You can find me on Facebook, Twitter,  Instagram, and Bloglovin. You can also vote for me as a Top Mom Blogger here

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?

Want to connect on social media? You can find me on Facebook, Twitter,  Instagram, and Bloglovin. You can also vote for me as a Top Mom Blogger here

Happy Mother’s Day, Indeed

As much as I joke around about the kids’ clinginess and stuff, Little Man and Baby Girl really have a love for me that just blows my mind at times. I could do a post about Mother’s Day expectations vs. reality or one about the shenanigans my kids have been up to today, but I’ll save those for later and focus on the sweet stuff.

Little Man is a total mama’s boy. Always has been and, hopefully, always will be.

All. Nine. Realms. I want that on my tombstone.

And now for the toddler…

Yesterday I asked Baby Girl if she knew what tomorrow was, and she asked if it were a school day. I told her that it’s not (and won’t be for another three months — it’s going to break her heart when it sinks in that there is no more preschool for that long), but that it was going to be Mother’s Day.

“It gonna be Mudder’s Day?” she asked.

“Yep.”

She wrapped her arms around me and said, “You the best mudder I could have.” I didn’t think she had an inkling what Mother’s Day is, so to hear all that made my heart extra melty.

Yeah, poor Daddy.

Happy Mother’s Day to all you mamas and to anyone else who fills that role.

Want to connect on social media? You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Bloglovin. You can also vote for me as a Top Mom Blogger here

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?

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

#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.