Tuesday, August 31, 2010

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Monday, August 23, 2010

Why I should of NEVER let my Diaper Bag Go!

My kids are 4, 6 and 8. Well out of diapers, thank you very much. (See? IT IS TRUE. No one goes to high school in diapers!) But that did not keep me from grabbing a cool diaper bag out of a pile of clothes during a yard sale, and squealing with delight.

I mean, it still had the tags on it, for heaven’s sake.

To be honest, at first I didn’t realize that it was a diaper bag – but then, I started to notice some things. Like, the thermal bottle pockets on the sides. And some accessories that were attached to the bag with one of those plastic tag-thingies. And instead of recoiling and dropping that bag like a hot potato, I inspected it further. And that is when I realized: diaper bags (much like maternity clothes) have gotten better with time (I remember when I brought Ben home from the hospital and actually used the ones they gave me for the first 4 months... YIKES! Remember the pastel animals and the alphabet letters). This one is a basic red with a faux leather black trim. It is not made of plastic (though it does have rubber on the bottom which is fine with me – the bottoms of my bags always get filthy and beat up) and is not pastel or covered with teddy bears or the name of a formula company. It’s simply a nice lightweight water-resistant swag bag that is TOTALLY AWESOME. Just like I can no longer live without baby wipes (seriously, what did I DO before baby wipes??) I have decided that I also need to keep a diaper bag at the ready.

So next month, when I get in the car to drive to California with the kids, I am rocking the diaper bag. I am forgoing my fancy-pants designer luggage for a red diaper bag I found at a yard sale. Don’t believe me? Here are some things that I love about diaper bags, that could possibly ensure that I have one in my closet until the end of time:

1. Those thermal bottle pockets.

Listen. They keep cold water bottles cold during an afternoon out. They keep my lipbalm from melting. They are awesome.

2. The changing pad.

Okay, I admit….a harder thing to repurpose. BUT if you have ever had to sit on a rocky park bench or on a damp football field, you will know the benefit of having a padded plastic barrier between your butt and the ground.

3. The fancy zipper access.

My brand new diaper bag – I MEAN SWAG BAG – has a zipper going all the way down the back between the two shoulder straps. So I can take this bad boy off, and unzip it right down the middle to locate whatever has fallen to the bottom – my phone or sunglasses or the lip balm I forgot to put in the thermal pocket.

4. Serious pocket action.

Inside, outside, waterproof, breathable mesh, see through……..the list of pockets goes on and on….like the list of stuff I need to put in them. I love me some pockets. Diaper bags have them in spades. Pockets for my laptop, pens, hi-lighters, cellphone, charger, cans of diet coke, Disneyland tickets, and all of the other necessities that I drag along with me on my adventures.

5. The “wet items” bag.

Just because we are all potty trained, does not mean we don’t have accidents. Ahem.

I could go on and on. But I won’t, because I have to go play with my new diaper bag I MEAN SWAG BAG.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Booty Trap: My Bathroom is Under Surveillance

My toilet seat is booty trapped.

My toilet is booty trappedThere have been clues all along, but I just put two and two together. Every time I sit down on the toilet my kids are alerted and suddenly I am bombarded with children banging on the door, barging in and shouting "Mommy, I need you." "Mom, where are you?" and "MOOOOOOOOM! Do you know what Ben did?"

Seriously. It’s an ambush.

They could have been playing in their rooms, quiet and content for hours. They could be out in the playroom deeply enmeshed in a game of Super Mario Kart. Heck, they could be down the block at a neighbor's house! But the second my butt hits that toilet seat they come running.

I'm not sure if the alarm is depressed by sitting, or if there is a motion sensor, so I decided to check this out. I examined my toilet. I lifted the seat, I waved my hand over the bowl, I even looked under rim. Nothing. I pressed my kids for answers. "What have you done to my toilet?" I asked. They stared at me with blank faces. Emma giggled. I'm on to them.

I'm not sure if they don wireless receivers that buzz them the moment my behind hits the seat or if there is some high-pitched sound - one that can only be heard by dogs and children under 9 - that is emitted the second my buns are exposed above the bowl.

Either way, it is an effective system that alerts them to my whereabouts - letting them know I am not busy on the computer, not cooking dinner, and hence completely available to them for conversation. A captive audience so to speak. I would love to find the device and deactivate the alarm. To make it so that when I enter the bathroom it is the bastion of peace and solitude it used to be - before they installed the system.

If I could only find the little bugger!

Last night we went to a friend's house for dinner. Afterwards, nature called, the kids were all engaged in games, movies or playing with the dogs outside.

As I sat down I thought "Ahhhh...peace and quiet." Sure enough "Thump, thump, thump, thump..." I hear my son coming up the stairs and he's calling for me. "Mom???? When's dessert?"

I couldn't believe it.

Clearly their toilet's booty trapped too.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Overall Misconceptions of Moms and Back-to-School

Oh, yes it is... that time of year!! Happy School Starting Month!

Misconception Number 1: Moms miss their kids when they go back to school

Seriously. I’ve had enough of you by now. Every morning with the “what are we going to do today, Mom?” is finally over. I’ve had looked at your faces twenty-four seven for the last 77 days. It’s time to go learn something other than how to drive your mother to drinking (Diet Coke, of course). No more asking me about the pool, when is the next snack or if you have a late night with Elle and watch a movie. It’s over….You’re going back to School and I get to have a life again. There is a Christmas morning for parents and it’s called “back to school”.

Misconception Number 2: Moms like to go school shopping.

Are you freaking kidding me? Why do I pay taxes?...so I can rack up a 200 dollar bill at Staples for crap that we have laying around my house in junk drawers but never seem to use?? Why does it have to be new pencils? What’s wrong with the chewed up, broken Princess Aurora pencils sitting in the bottom of the toy box for the last 6 months? And how many subject books can you possibly need? What happened to reading, writing and arithmetic. If they added a couple of things for parents to that list I wouldn’t mind so much….why not pencils, erasers, Thunder Down Under Tickets and Diet Coke …..or some Nyquil.

Misconception Number 3: Moms like back to school night

Why must we do this every year? I got it already. You’re the teacher…I’m the parent…. Congrats on Taking my kids off my hands for mostly the entire week! My kid is either going to be smart or dumb. If he gets a certain number or colored dot on his discipline chart, he can’t get a prize from the prize box. Pretty simple stuff. Listen, I’m pretty old school. If he doesn’t listen to you…you can throw something at him, beatings are ok. I don’t care. But I got a lot of work to do at home and I’m paying a babysitter right now to watch my kids so by the time I do get home they will NOT be in bed and WILL wake up cranky in the morning. Plus, I’m pretty sure you are going to assign some project on wigwams made by some Indian tribe I’ve never heard of, so I need to get home and start my research. So, I got it. We’re all here for the betterment of the kids. Blah Blah Blah. Can I leave now?

Misconception Number 4: Moms like school paperwork.

How many trees are you planning on killing to tell me the same stuff I had to pay a babysitter to listen to the other night? You know our name, where we live and our emergency phone numbers. He doesn’t have a nickname….call her “Steve” for all I care. We don’t have any “special circumstances” that you need to know about. They live in a home with two parents who may or may not like each other at any given time and they will fight, mostly when the husband is at work and the wife is having a freak out over football practice. If that qualifies as a reason they can’t get the homework done on time then they won’t be able to function as an adult and have a real job so you may want to “educate” them on that life lesson. I like to call this multi-tasking

Misconception Number 5: Moms like covering books in that annoying sticky paper.

What exactly will you be doing with these books that I have to cover them in a plastic laminate? Do you often teach in the rain or will my children be sliding with them in the snow? Or will the children bedrinking soda and eating soup during class? Do you know how long that takes? Has any parent in the history of education been able to do it without any air bubbles in it? From now on I’m covering it the old way…brown paper bags, so environmentally friendly. That way I can cover the books and pack their lunches at that same time. Who says moms can’t multitask?
PS. Please tell my son if he can’t find his lunch to look in his science book.

Misconception Number 6: Moms like helping you with your homework

What? I am scared out of my mind. I’m pretty sure that I forgot everything I learned in second grade by the time I was in third grade. I have no idea what you are talking about most days. I don’t really know my 12 times tables, I read the cliff notes to all the summer reading and I don’t know how to conjugate anything but I do know that song “conjunction junction what’s your function” if that helps at all. And please don’t even say the words “new math” to me. What the heck was wrong the old one?

Misconception Number 7: Moms can’t wait to pack your lunch every day until we die.

I hate doing laundry. Making dinner every night is the bain of my existence, so making your lunch every day for an entire year, in terms of “mom fun”, lies somewhere between brushing plaque off the dogs teeth and scheduling my annual pap smear. Listen, as a child I hated what my mom packed me for lunch. But, like every kid before me, and every generation to come you will find a kid to trade with…I’m sure someone likes sardines or learn to LOVE the cafeteria. Whatever... you are out of my area of control during that time... do what you must and may the force be with you.

Misconception Number 8: Moms love after school activities.

I don’t know who made up this idea of organized clubs and sports but they should be the ones in charge of carting your butts around town at all different time schedules. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not against all after school programs. I just wish they would offer it during hours that would work best for me so that dinner wasn’t at 10:30 at night followed by 4 hours of homework. Why not do it on the weekends and call it “after-hours activities” so mommy and daddy could actually go out one night and pretend that we have a life of our own. Don’t worry about us though I’m sure that me and “what’s his name” will be married a very long time… heck, we have lasted 10 years already.

Misconception Number 9: Unmitigated fundraising that begins as soon as school starts

How much wrapping paper, chocolates, kitschy crafts can I buy to win that BIG PRIZE? Doesn’t it seem like all of a sudden NOBODY is home in the neighborhood during this time?

Misconception Number 10: Moms cry on your first day of school
We do cry but they are tears of joy and an overwhelming feel of happiness for this “Miracle” of a day. I have done my job and worked hard for 3 months. I have successfully kept my human children alive for at least 4 to 8 years without doing any major damage. Motherhood is the hardest job in the world!! Sure, doctors save lives and CEO’s run million dollar businesses but…you teach a kid not to poop their pants and then you can say you’ve made the world a better place.

And now I am off to do what all mom's do when the kids go back to school...

A Son's Perspective

My son had to write about his greatest influence. It was on Mother's Day, so he chose to write about his dad ;) It was such a good essay...