An Open Letter to the Big Kids Formerly Known as Baby L and Baby O

Dear Big Kids,

Mommy has been a bit of a slacker on these open letter things. And, you know, on writing in general. Mommy is lame. But, by the time you read this, you will be WELL aware of that. And you will probably even have some other really colorful adjectives to describe Mommy too! Can’t wait!

Either way, I thought it was about time to get on in here and write you a little letter to let you know what you have been doing lately to drive me batshit insane make the world a hilarious and beautiful place to live.

We had some big changes in 2017. We bought our first house! It was something that your Daddy and I were super excited to get to do for you. We wanted to make sure that you had a place to be your “forever home”. And by “forever home”, I mean, the home that you live in until you are old enough to get a real job and make money so that you can move out and Daddy and I can start to day drink and do crossword puzzles in the hot tub (you know, the hot tub that we can’t afford until you get out of our house). Anyway, so yeah! We bought you a house! This should explain to you why you only got 250 Shopkins and race cars for Christmas instead of the 35 million others that you asked for. Just remember that. WE BOUGHT YOU A HOUSE.

L: You turned 5 in 2017! I can’t even believe that you aren’t that squishy, big cheeked baby that you were yesterday. Or, I guess…5 years ago…but whatever, you get it. You are sooooo talkative. You talk ALL. THE. TIME. And you know everything. You do. You will tell anyone who asks. You are the smartest. (You really are super smart, but you’re sometimes really damn annoying about it. Until you start designing rockets or curing cancer after school, we can do without all the “I KNOW. I am SO SMART” business. Just saying.) You love Kindergarten. Your teacher, Ms. Smith, tells me often how super sweet you are. You are. You are so sensitive and lovely and caring to everyone. And it warms my heart to see you blossom in this way. I do worry sometimes that people might take advantage of your kindness and I have to push this out of my head and remember to be cognizant of your feelings and watch the people who surround you. I feel so fiercely protective of you that sometimes it physically hurts me. Sometimes, I think that you just need a little time to develop your resting bitch face so that you can mask all that sweetness and keep the assholes away. I will be there, though. I can give you tips on that, for sure.

You are a bossy little thing. You love art and music and are sassy as hell. Currently, you talk back a little too much for my liking but I have a feeling this might just be a way for you to test the waters and see what you can get away with. (For the record, the answer is NOTHING, dammit.) You are about 42 lbs now and your favorite color is purple. Your best friend is a little boy named Aiden and when we went to your Open House for your class, you and he held hands and ran around and it made me so happy. (Your Daddy was not as pleased about this but…I mean…I don’t think that is going to change, like, EVAR.) You have nearly perfect grades in school and you love to PLAY IN THE DIRT….WHICH MAKES ME WANT TO STICK MY HEAD IN THE OVEN. (PLEASE STOP IT WITH THE DIRT ALREADY!) I will forgive you this for now. FOR NOW. But only because you are my first born and I am fairly certain you will take care of me when I am old. Maybe. You love tacos, and pizza but mostly, CHILI. Oh my god, I hope this passes soon because I used to really love chili and now I feel like I make it every other day and I am pretty sure that I am now 83% beans. But as long as you want it, my dear, I will make it. (And then I will eat popcorn and cheese for dinner instead. Because that is what love is.)

O: Oh my goodness. You turned 4 in 2017! And you started preschool! And you were SOOOOOO devastated that you wouldn’t have a whole three hours alone with me every day to help me with grocery shopping and going to the post office. I have to say, it took a minute to get you to feel good about going to school but you are doing great now. (You still refuse to eat or drink anything there, which is puzzling but I think it might just be because that is still something you get to do with me which your sister is not home. But OH, THE DRAMATICS!) Your teacher is a very nice lady named Miss Eunice who Daddy thinks doesn’t speak English at all, but really she just speaks quickly and without any enunciation at all. It makes me wonder how in the hell you are learning anything. But you are! You can understand her, which just proves that you are ALSO a super smarty pants. Duh. The teachers at school call you “Smart Guy” and you have a few little friends in your class.

You, unlike your sister, do NOT like to get dirty. It is somewhat unavoidable since you are a boy and a boy is basically a loud noise that is covered in dirt. But you are surprisingly better at keeping your clothes and hands clean than your sister is. (She is a HOT DAMN MESS.) You love noodles of any variety. And pizza. And BACON. (If you weren’t obsessed with bacon, I’m quite sure your dad would insist you weren’t his. But you look just like him and I am pretty sure that if you could, you would push me in front of a moving car to get to the bacon.)

You are the absolute best cuddler in the whole world. You are the perfect size now where you fit right beside me and I can wrap my arm perfectly around you and it is my favorite place in the world to be. You are a wonderful little dude. You are quite particular about EVERYTHING. I feel like you are going to be the guy who breaks up with his long time girlfriend because she puts the toilet paper roll on upside-down. (I will be almost not mad at this because, 1. You can’t have a girlfriend, you are my son and 2. I HATE THAT TOO.) We are working together to mellow you out a bit. You seem to be taking after me in this department and I’m not worried (YET) but we need to make sure you aren’t 20 and screaming at a waitress because of the tomato snot that is still lingering on your sandwich so that you KNOW that they put a nasty tomato on it and then took it off when they double checked the ticket. (Not that this has ever happened to me or anything…) Anyway…working on it.

You kiddos have grown so much and are SO FULL OF PERSONALITY that it both breaks and warms my heart simultaneously. Sometimes when I am hugging/cuddling/looking at you both, I get all sad because I know that this time with you is so fleeting. It breaks me into pieces to think about it. But then I am comforted and hopeful. Comforted that you are becoming such amazing little humans (maybe both because of and despite my influence) and hopeful that I will get to be there to see you through on your journey and offer you all that I have to give you. I hope that you never have to wonder how much you both mean to me and how loved that you are by me. I am your biggest fan. I am that idiot at the sporting events who is completely covered in body paint and is screaming like a moron and waving a giant foam finger. I am that guy for you. (And when you picture this guy, I want you to do it right. He is painted half blue, he is shirtless, balding, and has a giant beer belly. Because if you are going to do it…well…give it all you got.) Just remember that. I am your big, fat, drunken, blue sports fan. I love you both with everything I am. I can’t wait the circus that is to come.

To the Moon,

Mom

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Time Flies

Oh, dearest Blog of mine,

Where has the time gone? I remember a time when my only worry in the world was how I would ever get all of the Cheerios out from between the couch cushions before MB got home! Remember? L and O were just little tiny loaves of precious baby and I was all aflutter about the joy and chaos of parenthood. Until, well…Until I was close to a breakdown because of that whole chaos part.

I am here to report to you, my dear friend, that the chaos has far from slowed. L has just turned 4 and O will be three in exactly one week. There are still Cheerios everywhere. But now there is also couch diving and wall coloring and kicking and hitting and blood. Yes, sometimes there is blood. Because adorable, clumsy little O is ALL boy and falls on his face a lot. (Which only partially surprises me because his body has just now started to catch up with the size of gargantuan cranium. Some choice family members used to call him “Frankenhead”.)

I have to say, I have genuinely missed blogging. I have. I would have thought that, once these little monsters were a little older, I would have MORE time to myself. I would have thought that they would be more independent and able to entertain each other and I would be able to sit down, have a cup of coffee, and…you could really just insert anything here because at this point, sitting down and having a cup of coffee would really be enough. The rest is just a pipe dream anyway.

MB is, at least, now working at a job that affords us time together. And he actually even has time off, (Gasp!) and can take some of the responsibilities away from me so I can shower without imagining I am hearing blood curdling screams from the living room every time I lather up my (insanely long and unmanicured) hair. The truth is, this parenting thing KICKS MY ASS pretty regularly. It is not without its charms. But, true to form, I still want to stick my effing head in the oven at least once per day. One day, I will enlighten you. That day can’t be today. Because it is 3pm and there is half a sandwich, torn into about 300,000 pieces sitting on the floor in front of me and I fear that if I don’t get off of my ass soon and clean it up, the kids will wake up from their naps and be STARVING (because they are ALWAYS starving, unless it is a meal time) and eat it. Sometimes, I think that if I stopped giving them meals and just tossed food at them while they run back and forth from room to room, we wouldn’t waste so much. But, again, this is all for another day. (But if you have ever tried to feed a toddler anything, then I probably don’t have to explain. Also, I think they might enjoy it if I tossed food at them like this. They would think it was a game. Or they would pretend to be ducks. Oh man, I can’t imagine the noise. Jesus. I am stressed out just thinking about it.)

This is all very much just a drop in to let the universe and the blogosphere know that I am still alive and capable of making sentences. And I do plan to come back with something that is not complete nonsense. I do. And soon. Because I think that maybe this is where I left all of my sanity.

Until then, if you get bored, I am missing the matches to about 37 pairs of socks. So…keep your eyes peeled.

Sometimes Nothing is on Fire

I really going to post something soon. I swear to the blog gods, I am. But in the meantime, I thought I would share this photo with you. My kids were having a particularly monstrous sort of day and then they were quiet. This usually means, which you know if you have ever met a toddler, that something is being silently destroyed or that the kids have escaped through one of the windows. Anyway, I went to check to make sure nothing was on fire and I found this scene. And the. I melted into a puddle of mommy mush. Don’t worry, though, just seconds later they had a screaming/fighting match over a plastic frying pan. 
   
 

Here it is, Ladies! The latest Giveaway!

Alright, ladies, here it is! The moment you’ve all been waiting for! The new giveaway announcement is here!

I have teamed up with the LOVELY Kathy at The Jamlife with Kathy for this one and we are excited to share this amazing giveaway with you! Kathy is a long-time friend of mine and she is not only amazing in real life, but she is also a fabulous Jamberry consultant!

Ladies, meet my dear friend Kathy:

My life is nothing but crazy chaos every single day. I am a 7th grade teacher and a mommy of a 5-year old and 2-year old. I know….What the heck was I thinking.  I see nothing but kids EVERYDAY!! Between the attitudes of pre-teens and the constant screaming of “MINE” from my kids at home, I wonder why I am not in a straight jacket. I will say that the kisses, hugs, and I love yous (from my little ones) make my days seem better. Don’t get it twisted….I still like to tell the whole truth to those who are looking to jump into the deep end that is the pool of parenthood. If you jump,  make sure you bring you coffee and wine!!!! You will need it. 
I also lead an alternate life as a Jamberry Independent Consultant. I love the fact that I GET PAID TO HAVE PRETTY NAILS. Since I have no time to get my nails done at the nail salon. I apply my Jamberry wraps after the kids go to bed. Once they are on I don’t have to worry about drying or smudging. I can go to bed and rest easy that my nails won’t look like crap when I wake up. On top of that, they last up to 2 weeks on fingers and 6-8 weeks on toes.
I have just recently started using these nail wraps, after winning a giveaway at one of Kathy’s Facebook parties (which, by the way, are awesome because you literally just get all the perks of having a consultant explaining things to you without having to get out of your yoga pants. And you know, I don’t get out of my yoga pants…) They are INCREDIBLE. No kidding. I have spent years NOT doing my nails because I have to wash my hands 4,073 times per day (because toddlers) and I don’t want to deal with all that chipping bullshit that happens. ALL THE CHIPPING, you guys. Anyway, they’re durable. No drying. Literally, NO WORK at ALL. I love. So, Kathy and I are sharing!
Here’s what you can win!
Jamberry Mini Heater –  Provides the right amount of heat for Jamberry nail wrap application.
heater
Application Kit – Everything you need for the perfect manicure. Kit includes: • 2 alcohol wipes• 1 pair of nail scissors•
1 pair of nail clippers• 1 buffer block• 2 orange sticks• 1 rubber cuticle pusher1 nail file
App Kit
 White and Pink Tint Tip wraps – The French Tip collection has something for everyone. Whether you want to be classically chic or super trendy, you’ll find the right tips for you. Lasts up to 2 weeks on fingernails and 4 weeks on toenails.
Pink Tint
Sunday Brunch Wraps – The Garden Party collection features any and all things garden inspired and feminine. From floral to lace, these designs embrace femininity.
Sunday Brunch
This is over a $60 value! You will NEVER go back!
To enter: “Like” Broken Condoms Blog and The JamLife with Kathy on Facebook. (Must be a US resident.) Contest starts at midnight! Winner will be announced on March 1, 2015!!! Mobile friendly entry HERE: http://gvwy.io/zql1m3
GOOD LUCK!

Little Shrieking Monsters

Ta-da! I have returned from the trenches of parenting two toddlers (if only momentarily) to update you on said parenting of two toddlers.

I really don’t know where to begin. I mean, they are 2.5 and 19 months now. So, there’s THAT little tidbit. And if you know toddlers, then you know that that means that the “Terrible Twos” are in full swing around here. Nothing is safe. Walls are riddled with multicolored crayon art, DVDs are used as skates to slide around on the hardwood floors with, tables are being climbed, cribs are being escaped from, molars are coming, tantrums are being thrown (not just by the kids, mind you, I am pretty good at them, myself), there is hitting, there is pushing, there is fighting over things like empty paper towel rolls or a lone sock.

Things are interesting.

L is at the point where she can hold an entire conversation with you and she will tell you all about how it isn’t nice to hit people and that if you eat all of your chicken, mommy will be so proud of you and maybe then you get to go to the park. She will then promptly decide that she doesn’t like chicken and then start hurling it at O. So…needless to say, we don’t go to the park.

O is at a really fun age now. Although it is fun in that he is hilarious and singing and dancing and running around trying to imitate his sister, the tantrums he is starting to throw are not so much fun. He is much louder and persistent than L was. L was definitely a hurl-yourself-onto-the-damn-floor type of fit-thrower, but she generally got bored with the tantrum and moved on to something else fairly quickly. If I had know that those were MILD tantrums…if only I had known. O’s are a little more intense. They usually stem from him not getting to hold something. Like my coffee (this actually IS familiar) and basically start out with these blood-curdling shrieks of SHEER HORRIBLENESS. And just when you think that it can’t get much worse because you are quite certain that your eardrums have likely already exploded, it gets louder. More shrill. MORE HORRIBLE. And it lasts forever. No amount of time seems to make these things end. He is an angel one minute, and the next he is a HORRIBLE, SHRIEKING MONSTER. And don’t you even try and console him. DON’T YOU DARE. That will make it worse and your eardrums surely will explode now. SURELY.

But he is a cuddly little dude and his smile is possibly the best thing EVAR.

L has also gotten glasses. It BROKE MY MUSHY MOMMY HEART when they told me she might need them (I don’t know why, it isn’t like glasses are the worst thing to ever happen to a kid, right?) but I sucked it up. I have to say, they seem to give her even MORE personality, if that is even possible! She looks like a tiny Tina Fey sometimes and I just want to put a little business suit on her and sit her at a news desk and let her tell me some jokes about politics. But it might be a little too soon for that. I will keep you all posted.

So, there you have it, folks. Life is super loud and super messy around here. And sometimes I want to jab ice picks into my temples. And sometimes, I would gladly sell any part of my anatomy for a good night of delicious SLEEP. But sometimes it really is totally worth it. Even if I am only partially conscious to witness it. This shit is EXHAUSTING, ya’ll!

 

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Im(Press)ive! Your Year in Review

Hooray for Emily!!!

The WordPress.com Blog

Millions of new sites created and posts published later, 2014 is in the books. We could regale you with big numbers, like these…

Total New Blogs
18,300,771
That’s 49,997 new blogs per day!
Total Posts
555,782,547
Or more than 1.5 million per day — not too shabby. 47 million were published from mobile devices, because you’re on the go.
Bytes of Data per Hour
24.5 Trillion
(Thanks for keeping us so busy!)

… but the most important part of Automattic is what you make with the tools we offer. This year, we thought we’d look back at some of your successes, and how we were able to support the incredible things you created and shared.

To Publish a Mockingbird

With beautifully detailed portraits finished with bodies out of a toddler’s dream, the drawings illustrator Mica creates with her four-year-old daughter are captivating — the post of images she published on Busy Mockingbird has been viewed…

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