12/31/14

The Best Moments and Post Of 2014

I can't believe this is my last post of 2014!  I feel like I should come up with some seriously profound pearls of wisdom to close out the year. And what a year it has been...



It started with Parenting.com naming First Time Mom & Dad a top blog of 2013, then the Bloggies gave me Top Parenting blog and Best Writing of a Blog nods. The wild child entered the terrible twos with commendable spirit. FTD finally got his green card. We bought a house. I was invited to the Continental Tire proving grounds to drive fast cars on wet roads. And went!  I started writing regularly for parenting.com, the Huffington post and freelancing my butt off. I wrote a letter to my mother that's being published in a book... 2014. Holy Crap.


Surely, I can think of some Pearls of Wisdom to share that I learned during my amazing year...



1. Don't do any of the dumb shit you did this year, next year.
2. Find the humor in parenting or die trying.
3. Pamper yourself at least once a month. 
4. Forgive yourself. Parenting is hard sometimes.
5. Work on your relationship with your partner. It's a team effort that needs lots of practices, a few good games, and lots of celebrating after the particularly hard practices and games.

Thank you all so much for your support, encouragement and for coming back everyday to laugh and cry with me, and remind me that I'm not the only one dealing with a serial streaker who thinks the potty is going to swallow him up. 

Without further ado, the 20 best posts of 2014... (I tried to pick just 14, but with 300 posts... cutting it down to 20 was hard! These posts were read and shared an astonishing amount of times!)

20. The Key To Sleep Training A Toddler

19. Ever Notice How Toddlers run EVERYWHERE?

18. 5 Things You Can Do To Make Learning Fun For Your Toddler

17. Dear Karma, My toddler... My mom said to tell you, well played. #TerribleTwos

16. Planes, Trains, Automobiles and Poop... Welcome to the MBA--Mothers of Boys Association.

15. We Bought A 1920's Fixer-Upper! Why, Yes... We Are Completely Nuts!

14. Sometimes, Parenting Is The Worst Part About Being A Parent.

13. Tips For Dealing With Potty-Training Regression

12. 10 Sanity Saving Parenting Tips

11. Family Fun Ideas To Make The Winter Weekends Less Blah...


10. I Finally Weaned My Son. It Only Took 2-Years And 4-Months... OK. Four Days.

9. 10 Things My Toddler Is Doing That Will Make Yours Look Like An Angel

8. 20 Defining MOMents of Motherhood. A.k.a. You Know You're a Mom When...

7. Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Amazing Facts About Toddlers.

6. 10 Things I Learned About Breastfeeding... The Hard Way #WorldBreastfeedingWeek

5. I Don't Want To Be In This Body Anymore.

4. We've Crossed The Potty Training Line. #OnHisTerms #EpicFail

3. Sleep Training Update: The King Size Bed... EPIC FAIL!


2. I'm Trying To Get In A Lifetime Of Hugs In Less Than Five Years.

And last, the post that I caught the most shit for. It went viral on the Huffington post US,  and then was republished in two languages-Spanish & German!  I never would have guessed it since I wrote in in about twenty minutes as a huge joke...

1. Toys You Should Never Ever Buy Your Child.

And there you have it, a complete personal and blog recap of 2014. I have no idea what 2015 will bring, but I'm excited to find out! 

Thank you for a wonderful year.  I hope the next 365 are our best yet...

Happy New Year! 












12/30/14

15 Tips To Lose 15 Pounds In 2015

Is weight loss at the top of your New Year's Resolution list?

Me too.

In fact, weight loss has been number one on my list for twenty years!

Well, this year, 2015, is going to be different. I'm determined to lose 15 pounds (at least) in 2015. I've scoured the web and my fitness magazine for tips to help me make small changes in my lifestyle to produce big results.

My thinking is small changes plus exercise will help me reach my lose 15 in 2015 goal.  Care to join me?  Below are 15 awesome easy to follow tips to lose 15 pounds in 2015.




1. Drink Up! Aim for eight, but at the very least have a glass of water before and during every meal to help you curb calorie intake. Staying well hydrated will boost your metabolism by 3%!

2. Don't eat dinner before it's done. Snacking while making dinner is dangerous. Before you snack on the shredded cheese or bread, take a big gulp of water. If that doesn't work, take another gulp. Studies show you can snack on 200 extra calories while cooking. Tasting your sauce is one thing, shredding a pile of cheese to snack on is another.

3. Find a Friend.  Get a workout buddy to join you for one Yoga/Pilate/Spin class a week, with the goal of eventually getting out for three.

4. Pack a Snack. Pack healthy snacks of fruit, nuts or protein fiber bars to avoid hitting the vending machines and drive-thrus mid-day. 

5. Eat one less bite.  Leave that last bite on your plate to keep it off your ass.  One less bite saves about 75-calories a day or 8 pounds weight loss a year! 

6. Set small goals- Don't aim to lose 20 pounds. Aim to lose one pound 20 times! 

7. Stop dieting-To quote Jullian Michaels directly, "Everyone's like: 'Give up carbs!' 'Give up fat!' 'Wait, no, now I'm taking pills!' None of them are manageable long-term—and they wreak havoc with your metabolism! Because you're either starving yourself or you're cutting out a major food group. Then you go back into weight-gain mode, but it's even worse, because your body has adjusted to all that crazy fad crap." Diets end. Healthy lifestyles last.

8. Create a diversion.  Studies show food cravings pass in about 10 minutes, so call a friend, paint your nails or knit an afghan until the craving passes.  

9 Citrus slashes cortisol. Vitamin C inhibits the production of cortisol, a hormone that essentially tells your body to store fat. Suck down grapefruit slices on the way to the office, or pack a cutie for you too!




10 Lean protein lunches. Lean protein helps you stay fuller for longer; it has the amino acids that are the building blocks for muscle. Pack turkey or chicken into a whole grain pita with lots of veggies. 

11. Can the crap!  Clean out your pantry of all trans fats and unhealthy sugars and swear them off!  Don't let that shit cross your threshold again in 2015. Create a healthy grocery store within your kitchen to make healthy choices easy.

12. Stand and deliver. Standing burns 1.5 more calories than sitting. Reason #44 to get your ass off the couch while on the phone, checking email or playing Candy Crush.
  
13. Eye-level layering- Keep healthy snacks at eye-level in the refrigerator and out on display on the counter.

14. Portion control is key. Think of eating the portion for the size you want to be; Small, Medium, Large or Extra Large? Pack on the veggies first, then lean protein, then fats. 

15. Brush away temptation. When you finish dinner run right to your toothbrush. Studies show people were much less likely to snack after dinner once their teeth were brushed.


Bonus: Want to really jumpstart your 2015? Try my 30/30 Challenge! Click Here.
Do you have any awesome tips to add?

12/29/14

FYI: It Was Kroger, Target and Costco FTD And The Kid Got Banned From, Not Walmart.

On numerous occasions I've been forwarded a copy of a letter that's (supposedly) been sent to a poor unfortunate wife about her husband's repeated shenanigans in Walmart, asking if it's really about FTD. I get it, that damn Aussie is always up to no good. Thankfully, while FTD is guilty of most all of the things on the list, in one form or another, it's not about him.

In honor of FTD's real shenanigans, I thought I would set the record straight with a list of things he's actually done... (get comfortable, it's a long ass list...)






Before I get into what FTD has actually done, here is the original message I always get...

Dear Mrs. Woolf,

Over the past six months, your husband has caused quite a commotion in our store. We cannot tolerate this behavior and have been forced to ban both of you from the store. Our complaints against your husband, Mr. Woolf, are listed below and are “documented by our video surveillance cameras”:

1. June 15, 2014: He took 24 boxes of condoms and randomly put them in other people’s carts when they weren't looking.
2. July 2, 2014: Set all the alarm clocks in Housewares to go off at 5-minute intervals.
3. July 7, 2014: He made a trail of tomato juice on the floor leading to the women’s restroom.
4. July 19, 2014: Walked up to an employee and told her in an official voice, ‘Code 3 in Housewares. Get on it right away’. This caused the employee to leave her assigned station and receive a reprimand from her Supervisor that in turn resulted in management getting involved causing management to lose time and costing the company money.
5. August 4, 2014: Went to the Service Desk and tried to reserve a bag of chips.
6. August 14, 2014: Moved a ‘CAUTION – WET FLOOR’ sign to a carpeted area.
7. August 15, 2014: Set up a tent in the camping department and told the children shoppers they could come in if they would bring pillows and blankets from the bedding department – to which twenty children obliged.
8. August 23, 2014: When a clerk asked if they could help him he began crying and screamed, ‘Why can’t you people just leave me alone?’ Emergency Medics were called.


You see, I don't blame anyone for thinking this was about FTD due to the many, many, many, many stories of his shenanigans I've shared. However, I guarantee this was not him for two reasons:


1. That list reads like amateur hour compared to FTD's handy work.

2. Since FTD is Australian and thus did not grow up visiting, "Wally World," the shenanigans he sees every time he patronizes that shitshow are so mesmerizing, he forgets to pull his own shenanigans. 



Anyways, about FTD and excerpts from the letters (yes, plural!) I would receive...


From my girlfriend after her son's birthday party...



Dear April, Your husband using the balloon swords from my son's birthday party to give toys a "schwantzal" is not awesome.  In the future, please leave him in the car.  



Excerpts from multiple letters I would receive from multiple stores:

Dear April, 


While we are thankful for your years of support, the GM's of your local Kroger, Target, Old Navy, Home Depot, Costco and Whole Foods have to ask you to leave your husband at home, or at the very least, in the car from now on. 


Below are issues we have had with him that have been documented by our surveillance cameras. 


Kroger- Your husband's repeated issues with this store can no longer be overlooked. The line was drawn after witnessing him attempt to have "motorized handicrapper-wheeler thingo" races against your toddler, then wearing a wolf mask through the store while singing Willy Wonka songs. Yes, he is correct, the other shoppers loved it, however, we need to discourage that from happening in the future.    





Home Depot: I understand you repeatedly asked your husband, "not to take the toilet for a test drive," yet, he still insisted it was important that he, "demonstrate how to crap in the can for the toddler." We simply cannot have that happening. Please leave him in the car. 





Costco- Between your husband and child putting on concerts in the aisles, climbing into the playhouses and trying to ride every toy in the store, they are no longer welcome. 



          

Target: Our surveillance shows him skateboarding and/or hoopla hooping while wearing an Incredible Hulk mask and wielding a light saber. Also, his insistence on screwing with our electronics team, asking for parts that don't really exist just to see "if they bullshit a story to look smart" is not cool. Please leave him and your toddler at home, we don't even want them in the parking lot, we heard about what they did at Kroger. 






Old Navy. It's come to our attention that your husband is responsible for switching the heads on the mannequins. There is no excuse for switching the dog's head with a little girl's head. We appreciate the bribe money you send every month to allow you to keep shopping with us, but we are sorry to say, no sum of money will do anymore. 





All the best,


Every GM from Every store you have ever visited. (Except Walmart) 



P.s. The Girl Scouts of America will be sending a separate letter about his run-in with the team leader over his confusion with the pronunciation of Tagalong cookies. For the hundredth time, it's NOT Tagnuts! 


My friends, it certainly has been a wild 2014... Thankfully, FTD has yet to actually get in trouble for his shenanigans, in fact, in most cases people laughed and cheered him on!  Still,  for me it's embarrassing as hell. Please pray for me and my ability to shop at local stores in 2015.

(To read about why the Girl Scouts of America most likely have a restraining order against my entire family, click here.)



12/26/14

Repeat After Me: I'm A Confident Parent

For most of us, school is out and our kids will be glued to our butt for two solid butt-hugging weeks. (FYI: my "kids" are FTD and Ollie) Last week, while staring down the barrel of this two-week holiday, naturally, I called my sister, mother of two, and whined about how I would survive.  She told me, be confident.  Repeat after me, I'm a confident Mother. Now, own it.

Holy crap!  My life changed at that moment!



She told me that I had to get my balls out of my purse, and own the break. If I had any hope of surviving past Christmas with Ollie and FTD running wild, I need to gain control before I lose it.  Which, I know I would lose control because those two are the equivalent of 44 people.

Before bed, I thought more about what it meant to be a confident mom, and how I wasn't a very confident mother. 'No' doesn't always mean, 'no'.  Sometimes it means:

  • Mommy is too lazy to get up, so please stop.
  • Mommy is going to lose her shit!  Don't you care? 
  • FINE! Just go away!
  • Shit. Really?  HOW ARE YOU MY KID? (Oh, wait, Karma.)
  • Helllooooo, Mommy said, NO! Not, Please keep hitting me in the head with Mr. Penguin.
  • DUDE! I've said no one-hundred times, please listen. 

You get the idea.

Clearly, my poor confidence mixed with my laziness, pretty much sends my toddler the message that mommy is a spineless meatloaf.

Well. NO MORE!

I'm a confident mom!

'No!' Means 'No!' Bitches!

Two nights ago, I told Ollie if he threw one more toy, he was going right to the bath then bed.

The little shit threw his toy.

Calmly, I said to myself,  I'm a confident mom, then got off the couch told him he was naughty for not listnen, and was going right to the bath then bed. Then. carried him upstairs... kicking and screaming. But now that I'm a confident mom, it didn't phase me.

I make the damn rules.

Dammit!

ATTENTION OLLIE AND FTD,  I MAKE THE RULES!!!

As you can see, I'm also a confident wife now too...

My friends, I am really changing the way I parent thanks to my newfound confidence. I say no, and enforce it. I say bedtime and enforce it.  I say eat... no wait that's a bad example...

I say, stop it, and dammit he stops! It only took three days of being a no nonsense boss mom to get him to recognize who's in charge!

And get this...

Not one time did I yell or lose my shit!

I calmly tell him what I want, and then tell him what the consequence will be if he doesn't stop/listen.

Then, if he doesn't listen, in a super calm way, I enforce that shit when he fails to heed my warning.

Three days later, he's heeding my warning.

I didn't get frustrated or have to raise my voice once!  


I love being a confident mom.

I love that every time I say it, I believe it more.

I love that I learned this now, instead of during his teenage years. (Hopefully by then, all it will take is a look...)

My friends, if you to fail at enforcing the rules, and/or let your kid rule the roost, I cannot recommend enough you say out loud, I'm a confident mother/father, then own it.

Then say it again to yourself right before you (calmly) lay down the law.

Tis the season for being a confident BOSS Parent!!!! 




12/24/14

Merry Christmas from First Time Mom and Dad! I hope you enjoy your gift from us...


Thank you all for another wonderful year! We have been so blessed to have you in our lives, and hope you continue to support, love, encourage and laugh your asses off at us for another year.  We also hope your year has been as blessed as ours, and pray next year is even better!

And now... for your gift... Our annual anti-family-lovey-dovey-want-to-throw-up-your-family-is-so-cute Christmas card... Warning: We are exposing that damn elf for who he really is...

Yes, an elf was harmed in the making of this card.
Yes, we mailed it to all of our family and friends.
Yes, a few are no longer speaking to us. 
Yes, we are elated about that because they are lame.
Yes, FTD couldn't help but throw in his Aussie speak.
Aussie: 'ave a RIPPER 2015 (ya, sausages!)
American: Have a fabulous 2015 (ya knuckle heads!)





12/19/14

THIS Is What A Toddler's Favorite Toy Looks Like

Being that I'm a mother of a toddler, I totally get why I've been asked multiple times during the holiday season, "What's a Toddler's Favorite Toy?"  A few times Ollie has been there, so I asked him,

Me: What's your favorite toy?
Toddler: "Poop."
Me: Poop? Ok. Then I better tell Santa to trade your awesome gifts for a huge pile a poop.
Toddler: Trains.

While I can agree with him that trains are way up on his favorite toy list, he also loves this one motorcycle that he's had since he was a baby. He's played with this motorcycle regularly for well over a year now. It's big, blue and plays a few different sounds; a revving engine; a horrible 80's song; a horn. Since Ollie and FTD are yard sale junkies, the chances that he and FTD picked it up at a garage sale are pretty good, so it may well be genuine 80's nonsense.

Before I show you this magnificent toy, you should know a few things.

1. It's been very well loved. Possibly by two (or more) kids.

2. It looks like it's been rode hard and put up wet.

Because it has. A couple of months ago, Ollie tried to ride it. I told him he was too big, but he's a toddler and knows WAY better than me.  Needless to say, the front wheel went flying off while Ollie and the poor musical motorcycle crashed two inches to the ground.  Which in toddler, two inches is like a foot.

3. I know it's a safety hazard now that it's wheel is missing, so I've hidden it from Ollie, unsure what to do next.


Without further ado, THIS is what a Toddler's favorite toy looks like...




You see my dilemma? (Once your eyes stopped watering from laughing at the poor beat up plastic pile of 80's memorabilia that I should have thrown away two months ago.) Ollie LOVE LOVE LOVESSSSS that damn thing.  I can't bring myself to part with it--I even have the missing tire. FYI: I found it in the bushes.

What if Doc McStuffins turns up?

I've decided that I need to find a new one. Surely, it's got to have a more supped-up modern looking counterpart sitting on a shelf in the toy store.

I love that he still loves toys he actually has to play and interact with. I try to limit his screen time when we are home. If I let him, my toddler would be on YouTube every waking minute. He is obsessed with watching trains and Russian dubbed cartoons. Seriously, Russian Caillou.

I redirect him to his toys or find an activity for us to do together so he doesn't figure out how to outsmart me in Russian.

Sorry, I got off the matter at hand; my toddler's favorite toy.

I'm searching for a new one.

OK, so what would you do about his mototcycle? Find a new one, try to stuff the wires in and fix it or throw it away and move on?


12/16/14

Top 10 Tuesday: Happy Hanukkah... Humor...

Happy Hanukkah my dear Jewish friends and readers! To help you start this beautiful time off with a little cheer, below are 10 bits of Hanukkah holiday humor that made me laugh out loud... I hope they make you do the same...
1.


2.




3.


4.





5.

6.



7.



8.



 9.




10.






12/8/14

The 10 Best Websites For Holiday Steals And Deals

Today's post is being brought to you by the people who make all your toys, gadgets and remotes come to life over the holidays, Energizer, of course! This holiday season they want to make sure you don't forget a very important holiday necessity, BATTERIES! One lucky winner is getting an awesome prize pack!  



Now, on to the show... 

Prior to having a child, FTD and I would put off holiday shopping until last minute. We'd find ourselves at Target on Christmas Eve trying to talk ourselves into giving everyone a pair of footie pajamas. Now, thanks to online shopping and next day delivery, we get to do that from the comfort of our couch. #Score

Since I keep insisting to FTD that I'm an online shopping queen, I thought I would prove my worth by sharing the best holiday shopping websites for scoring great deals! (Not one of them knew they were on this list prior to being published. I really believe in this list and the HUNDREDS it WILL save you! I shop at these sites.)

Without further ado, The 10 Best Websites For Holiday Steals And Deals



1. DealsNews--This site has a team of professionals scouring the web day and night to find the hottest deals around.  When in doubt, start here! Actually, always just start here. There's also GottaDeal that is just like DealsNews, if there's a doorbuster size deal on the web, they have it listed.

2. Amazon-This is the big one.  I compare every deal I find on Groupon and Living Social to Amazon, before buying. Amazon not only may have a better deal, the reviews are there to really see what you're buying. If you haven't already, sign up for the free month of Prime to get free shipping.  Cancel at the end of the month or pay to keep going.

3. Groupon--I love Groupon for three reasons:
  • It's great for last minute dinner deals. If FTD and I can't decide what to eat, I will check out Groupon local for a last minute half off deal. 
  • Sometimes you can score a great deal on high end items- or $10 Starbucks/ Gas card for $5. 
  • Great for coming up with gift ideas.  Groupon has everything.  A third of the products I didn't even know existed! 
  • And of course the 12 Days of Goods: Up to 75% Off Holiday Faves  


4. PlumDistrict-- OK, if you've never been here... proceeded with caution and NEVER with the credit card in your hand! Great deals for the entire family are found here.

5. Zulily--This site is like looking through the most beautiful  girly/ woman/mom Pinterest board EVER!  Sweet mother of pearl. YES, PLEASE!

6. Etsy--I LOVE Etsy! One thing about Etsy that sets it apart from the rest is that you can support small shops and individuals. I also love that you never know what you will find, but no doubt, there's something for everyone, at every price point.

7. Perpetual kid--LOVE PK!  This is like a jack of all things store for the entire family.  They even have a  "smelly" gifts page.  Think: Fart Spray; White Castle Candle and Jane Austen car air freshener on the SAME page. Those of you who said your husband is like FTD, go here for super fun gift ideas.

8. Gift Card Granny--NEVER pay full price for gift cards.  Never.  This site has been featured on every news and daytime talk show. Totally legit

9. Coupon Cabin--Buy NOTHING without checking this site out first. The staff searches merchant sites, forums, blogs, consumer emails and even the Sunday Paper for coupons, then to stay fresh, updates its listing three times a day. It shows when a coupon expires and when it was last tested, so you know it still works. CouponCabin.com also offers a downloadable toolbar that displays coupons and deals if you visit one of its 2,500 participating merchants online.

10.  FreeShipping.com--Ok, so now that you have heard of all of the best, go through Freeshipping.com to purchase from them.  Freeshipping is a one stop for finding coupons, free shipping deals AND cash back! Yes, cash back! I just got my money from a Macy and Walmart purchase! Use  FreeShipping year round to always save big!


And last, but certainly not least...


Whatever you do... DO NOT FORGET THE BATTERIES!  Be smart about it too, buy those suckers in BULK! Nothing's worse than not being able to power up all 50 toys, remotes and gadgets... in one day. This year, Energizer is helping you stuff stalkings with some awesome gifts and gadgets!  

Check out these great products... that one lucky ready will win!!!


Energizer® MAX® batteries
Energizer® LED Headlight.
Energizer® LED 3 in 1 Light with Light Fusion Technology
Plush Energizer Bunny

Did you know.... Energized LED flashlights and headlights make the perfect stocking stuffers. The line of Energizer lights with Light Fusion Technology includes flashlights, pop-up lanterns and folding lanterns that are perfect for the home and outdoors. Energizer headlights are lightweight and comfortable so you can keep your hands-free wherever you go. They are easy-to-operate and water resistant, making them ideal to use while on outdoor family adventures.

To Save $1.50 on your next Energizer Battery purchase, CLICK HERE!

To try your luck at winning the prize pack, sign up below!

12/7/14

My Toddler Is a Filterless Sponge.

Now that Ollie is a talking machine, the things that come out of his mouth are amazing! Just like his father, he has absolutely no filter; If he thinks it, out it comes. Even though, it's pretty freaking funny most of the time, it's also dangerous and baffling at times too.  

Out of no where, while walking down the street, Ollie stops in his tracks and yells, 

"Oh, no. Mommy... They have no shoes!  


Me: Well, that's a great observation, however...

It's a sign.
They are not real people.
And, um, son... they don't have feet, so they don't need shoes.  

Ollie: Why?

Crap. Here we go... 

Me: Why, what? 

Ollie: Why don't they have feet and shoes?

Me: um... because the feet aren't the important part of the sign. The sign is letting cars know to watch out for pedestrians.  

Ollie: why?

Me: So cars won't smash them.

Ollie: Why would cars smash the people?

Shit... this is just getting worse...

Me: Well, because sometimes people walk in the road, and cars might not see them, so the sign says to look out for people crossing the road, so they don't accidentally smash them.

Bracing myself for the next Why...

He says, like Hipster douche bags?

Me: Um. Well... ( Dammit FTD!!!!)  Kind of...  It was bad that guy ran out in front of daddy's car. And yes, daddy didn't smash him with his car because he was paying attention and looking for people. But it was also bad that daddy yelled at him.  And all Hipster's aren't douche bags... just the one that ran out in front of daddy's car...

In case you can't tell. A guy, very much a hipster, wasn't looking and ran across the street in front of FTD's car. It's not like we nearly hit him, but did have to slow down considerably.  FTD yells, watch out hipster! Ollie, of course, needs to know what's happened and four or five 'why' questions later,  he got... "because he's a douche bag." 

Sometimes I forget just how much of a sponge he is.  I try my best to always answer his questions thoughtfully and honestly...  Even when it takes four hundred "whys" to get him to fully understand why the people don't have feet or shoes.

Another reason I try to choose my words wisely is because the second I'm finished answering his questions, he will go to the first person he sees and relay his new knowledge.  The best part is that he does it in a way like he is schooling the person.  

Later that night, I told FTD about the sign incident and the hipster douche bag comment. When he asked Ollie about the people without shoes sign, Ollie replied with:  They don't have shoes, because they don't have feet. They are not real, so it's OK they don't have to have feet. 

It's scary to think FTD and I, the most silly filterless people, are in charge of shaping the mind of a youth.  I admit, sometimes we are guilty of having too much fun with one of Ollie's 'Why?' questions, but are quickly taught a lesson when he repeats the silly info to the next person he sees. 

Moral of the story: toddlers are sponges, and will happily repeat every word, phrase and question you answer.  So make sure you answer every freaking, 'Why', question as honestly and thoughtfully as possible... and what ever you don't call hipsters douche bags in front of them, because it takes a long time and many repeated douche bags to reprogram them.


12/4/14

10 Things You Can Not Fully Understand Until You Become A Parent...

I've been inspired by a few memes I came across this past week... They all seemed to have one thing in common, truths about parenting... Truths I never ever would have guessed.  You know, pre-baby when the idea of motherhood was as bright and exciting as rainbows and unicorns... When I was sure I would have a perfect wonderful well-behaved child because I already knew everything...

1. Silence is definitely Golden...
(Except when children are around, 
then silence is very suspicious. VERY. Suspicious.) 



2. My parents were so lucky that, "If you do not start behaving you can go sit in the car!" was actually an option.



3. It is possible to not puke, when puked on.


4. When someone says to you, "I Hope You Step On A Lego!" it's really the nice way of saying, I hope on the way to the bathroom in the middle of the night you step on a tiny piece of plastic that will send so much excruciating pain through your foot that you pee on yourself, asshole.


5. The Flu Shot is necessary... not that you get it.  But thank God the little germ factory does. 

6. Everything you swore you would never do as a parent, you do.


7. It's actually not hard to get out smarted by a fifth grader, or really a toddler for that matter.


8. Children take exhaustion to a whole new level.


9. There is a special place in hell for the toy manufacturers that make toys with annoying sounds, and the relatives that buy them for your child.

10. Karma really is a Bitch. 





What do you now fully understand since becoming a parent? 


Please click the image below to throw an automatic vote our way.
Please.
Click. that. shit.
You can do it once every 24 hours.
Pretty Please.
You can also view the top 25 list at the same time!  


12/3/14

10 Sanity Saving Parenting Tips

For the billionth time, Parenting is so hard. Thankfully, the good times outweigh the trying ones, but that doesn't change the fact that it's a 24/7 365 job, that's constantly changing. Once you become a parent, "dull days" cease to exist. They are replaced with emotional roller coaster rides that grab you by the heart, and then take you and your patience to the ends of the earth and back.

During my short time so far as a first-time parent, I have learned valuable lessons the hard way that have led to rules I now parent by. Below are 10 that help me maintain my sanity (for the most part) on a daily basis.


1. Laugh at yourself- First and foremost, Laugh. Parenting is hard enough, if you don't find the humor in it, you will go bat shit by the end of the first 6-weeks.

2. Laugh at your child- Kids are hysterical, laugh at them. Most of all, laugh with them.

3. Forgive yourself- There is no such thing as the perfect parent. No. Such. Thing. We all make mistakes. If at first you don't succeed... you will eventually.

4. Forgive your child. Those little shits... mean well. Just like us, kids make mistakes too. It's part of life. For little ones, life is all about trying new things and testing limits. They are bound to screw up a few (hundred) times.

5. The Joneses are assholes- Damn those Joneses trying to set standards and pass judgements. Pay no attention to the talking heads, they don't know you or your child.

6.  Your instinct is right, listen to it. Mom. Dad. Listen to your inner parent, it knows what's best. Don't let someone or some book make you think otherwise. Start with your instinct, then go from there.

7. The "Right Way" is the way that works for your family. Your family is the new normal. Don't let a book tell you your instinct is wrong. You know your child(ren) better than anyone else, work within those bounds.

8. Say I love you and hug your family everyday. Who doesn't love a little acknowledgement and affection? I know kids especially do. So give it to them. Make there be no question just how loved they are.

9. The dishes can wait. Don't sacrifice your family time. Take the time to be with your family now, because tomorrow is not promised. Besides, the dishes will always be there.

10. Love every second and every stage because when they pass, you will miss them dearly. Yes, even the really annoying stages. Everyday goes by so fast, try to remember and document as much as possible.

What are your parenting rules for staying semi-sane?

Who Wants One Of Our Shameless Semi-Famous Holiday Cards?

For the past three years, FTD has been creating our family Holiday cards. My long time readers know, the card is NOT right!  In fact, the card is so not right, it remains the topic of conversation all year long.  For example, this was our first family card...
You see, he takes a horrible card from the internet, and then sticks our heads on it. This first year, I was pregnant with Ollie, so he added Professor The Cat and my pregnancy tests. (THE MAN IS NOT RIGHT!) If you look close to the left side of my head you can see the lady's fuzzy grey hair sticking out. Then, once he's added our heads, he starts adding all kinds of "Important" stuff. You know, important stuff like, sausages, Vegemite, Eric Estrada, our national flags, and if look really close to the top left corner... that's Ollie's ultra sound head!

Needless to say, I got quite a few calls from family and friends about this card...

So what did FTD do?  Kicked it up a notch the next year... and then the year after...


As you can see, the man has no shame.  And...well... that's part of why I married him.


He hides little things all over the card like a Where's Waldo game, picks horrible photos, and makes up catchy phrases that he shoves in there too.

Every year, readers reach out asking for a copy, which I send, until we run out.  So this year, FTD is going to make a special card just for First Time Mom & Dad readers!

Full disclosure: It will be the same caliber of shamelessness as the prior years.   ... But isn't our shamelessness the part you love the most?

I am so thankful to all of you for your support, comments and coming back everyday to read our nonsense! So if you would like a small token of thanks, please make sure you are following us on the First Time Mom and Dad Facebook Fan Page where we will be posting the card very soon for you to download.


HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!


12/1/14

The Holidays: Why Do I Do This To Myself EVERY Year?

I don't know why I keep letting them do it, but every year, those bastard holidays sneak up on me and stress me out. Then, in a flash, they are over and my bank account and house are a friggin wreck.

#FAIL

You would think at 36 years old, I'd be better prepared for this annual shitstorm. It's not like the holidays are any big surprise. I know they are coming. So, technically, they aren't even "sneaking" up on me!

Why can't I get it together?

Why do I still insist on waiting until the last minute to do EVERYTHING?

WHY?

How many holiday lines from hell will I have to stand in before I get my holiday gift-giving shit together?


HOW MANY???

Damn that line from hell!

You know the one, where you have the most meaningless small talk with strangers about shit you care NADA about. "Well, my sister... she is so hard to buy for... I thought I'd come down here and find her.... BLAH BLAH BLAH!  I don't give a shit!!!

Still, I listen, laugh when appropriate, and thank God when it's finally my turn.... twenty-five minutes into the stranger's life story...

There's also the part about how I ALWAYS save buying gifts until the LAST minute.  I hate those people who have their holiday shopping done by September.  I hate them, because, secretly, deep down I want to be them. I want to have bows on my shit by Thanksgiving.

I dream of a life without Black Friday Doorbusters keeping me up at night!





Will I ever know that doorbuster-free life?

NO.

For two reasons:

1.  I suck at keeping gifts from the recipient. I want to give the gift the minute I pay for it.  It's a problem; I know. It's such a problem, I use to wrap the presents then give them to my mom to hide from me until Christmas!  Yes, I'm that sad.

2. I'm a procrastinator. A VERY good one. I'm so good at it, if there were an award, I would win it. Always.


To add to my holiday dumbassery, HALF of our gifts have to be shipped to Australia, in three separate packages for a total of 10 people.

Do I start this early?

No.

Why in the hell would I do that?

I FRIGGIN' LOVE THE POST OFFICE DURING THE HOLIDAYS!

Or not.

Talk about the line from hell...

Picture it: Me, standing in 'line from hell #44' kicking boxes down the line, inch by inch, while a stranger tells me her life story, or starts bitching about the fact only one person is working during the holiday's and, "It's bullshit."

I just want to say, It's the holidays; we all are here hating ourselves together.  Let's not turn on the USPS. It's not their fault we suck.



NEVER AGAIN!

Please, Brain of mine, please remember the holidays suck when everything is saved until the last minute.  Please, next year, let's get our shit together in September...


11/30/14

Taming the Christmas Beast... A.k.a My Toddler.

While shopping at the local farmer's market, I ran into an old friend who had never met Ollie.  After our girly screams and how have you beens, Ollie stole the show.  My friend asked him if he was excited about Christmas... this is how the conversation went.

GF: Are you excited about Christmas?
Ollie: (matter of fact) Santa is coming to town.
GF: Oh Wow!  That's exciting.
Ollie: (matter of fact) He's going to come down the chimney.

Both my girlfriend and I busted out laughing.  Where the hell does he get this stuff?

No doubt, FTD.

I understand it's par for the course for a child to think of Santa when asked about Christmas, but it was clear from this exchange, he still has no clue what is going on, or why the fat man in the red suit is going to squeeze his happy ass down our chimney.

Being that Ollie is just three months shy of turning three, this is his first Christmas to somewhat grasp  something is going on.  Last year, all he knew was that daddy set up a tree and hung chocolates from it... that he was constantly getting busted for taking down and biting into. Wrapper and all.


Between his exchange with my friend, and my love of the holiday for family, tradition and of course my unshakable faith, I want to make sure I teach my son what Christmas is really about. I want him to know why we have a tree, and why we have to go to church at night, and why the fat man is coming with gifts.

Just so we're on the same page, before I go into one of my wicked rants, (happy Monday!) here's my internal struggle: There is SO MUCH to the Christmas holiday, how do I teach my almost three year old child the basics without blowing his mind?

My inner child and inner mother have been having this internal dialogue for a few days now.  Yes, I am that certifiable that I have this going on! 

So here's what been said so far...

Inner child:  WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?  He's a child. A two-year-old.  You can preach Jesus and God all you want, but to a child, presents and cookies and family gatherings are where the fun is at. Don't piss on it with your bible thumping... this year at least.

Inner mother: But, if I start early with his first Christmas, and put more emphasis on the reason for the holiday and the fun traditions, then maybe he won't think SANTA'S COMING when asked about Christmas.

Inner Child: Yeah. Good luck with that.  Let me know how it works out.  But we both know Christmas morning you, FTD and Ollie will be huddled around the tree beaming from ear to ear from all the fun gifts the "fat man" brought.

Inner Mother: So true...

Above all, I just want my son to understand why we celebrate Christmas, and that there is so much more to it then gifts.  I also DO NOT want him to be a spoiled brat that gets WAY more than he needs, and forgets to be thankful for what he has.

Yes. I think like this.

I can't help it. I'm desperate to raise a child of God who is grateful for his blessing. I want so bad for him to enjoy the simple things life has to offer.

I've seen those kids who race down the stairs on Christmas morning to a huge pile of gifts, only to tear through them, throwing one gift aside to get to the next. Then somehow after opening all thirty gifts, are disappointed there are no more to open. WTF???

Ok... Full disclosure: I'm almost positive I was one of those kids. My inner child is right, Christmas/Hanukkah is a BOSS holiday for a child. It's such a fun time of year with the traditions, parties and gifts. I don't want to be a Bible Thumping Thelma the entire time just to drive home a point.  I have a few years for that.  But at the same time, Christmas is not only about Santa!

Right now my best plan is to teach Ollie that Christmas is a time for thankfulness.  It's a time of year we thank God for our blessings, and his sacrifice. It's a time to stop the daily grind to take a few days to spend time with loved ones; being thankful for each other, and giving gifts of gratitude to those we love.

How I'm going to cram all of that into a toddler's head should be interesting.

It's so hard being a mom sometimes!  Especially when my partner in crime, FTD, is a big child too!


What about you? Do you think like this, or are you all about letting Christmas/Hanukkah be a fun time until they are truly old enough to fully grasp all that the holidays are about?


10 Ways Parenting Has Turned Me Into A Hoarder

Prior to becoming a mother, I was a minimalist. I didn't hold on to much, preferred to have minimal decorations and refused to have trinkets and stuffed things around because I saw them as unnecessary dust catchers. I lived a simple clutter-free life. Now that I'm a proud mother, I have caught a raging case of motherhoardingitis.

HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN?

It's sad really. I don't know what's wrong with me that I hold tight to ALL of my son's things. Every season I "shed" my crap to feel light and clutter-free, yet with my kid, I turn into that weird little thing on the Lord of The Rings clinging to it's, Precious. All of Ollie's things are my precious.

I fully blame parenting for my newfound hoarding ways.

Here are 10 ways being a parent has turned me into a hoarder:

1. Clothes. My name is April, and I save socks. SOCKS! I have saved every single article of clothing my son has ever owned, right down to his infant socks. Sure, a few things I have donated, others I have loaned out, but anything with an ounce of sentimental value has been sorted folded and stored in labeled storage bins, "just in case".

2. Toys. Every time I sit down to sort my son's toys to throw away the broken ones, or donate the ones that are no longer age appropriate, I inevitably fail miserably. If I come across one of Ollie's favorite toys that has broken, I set it aside like somehow magically Doc McStuffins is going to show up and fix it. Again, anything with one ouch of sentimental value I keep.

It doesn't help that he roosts on his toys.
                                         
3. Books. It's wrong how many books I have come across that have pages torn out or pop-up characters with their head ripped off that I refuse to throw away. Or worse, books that Ollie loved as a baby, that I just can't part with. WTH? Why can't I part with books that are missing half their pages?  If they were mine, I'd throw them away? It's pure dumbassery!

4. Baby stuff. I have bags and boxes of baby bottles, nursing pump attachments, nursery decorations, burp cloths, baby blankets... Again, I have no plan to use them ever again, but still hold on to them like a bad habit. I'm so bad, I save match missing mittens, and make holiday ornaments out of them.

To see the post on how to make 

Super cute Mismatched Mitten Holiday Ornaments 
                                       
5. Art work. I have every single piece of art my kid has ever made. ALL OF THEM!  I even have the first menu he colored at a restaurant tucked in his Baby Book. I just can't bring myself to part with them. Any of them. Even the ones Ollie has gone back and ripped up or tried to destroy!


6. Shoes. I have every single pair of shoes my kid has ever worn. I keep them in a huge bin. For what? Not a freaking clue.

7. Medical records. I have kept every single piece of paper and milestone sticker the pediatrician has given me. You know how you get a new updated immunization sheet every time your child gets a vaccination?  Yeah, I still keep the outdated ones. #Hoarder



8. Photos. I have THOUSANDS of photos I cannot part with.  The really sad thing is that just to get one good photo I took fifty, and did I delete the forty-nine that failed?  No. Of course not, I'm a hoarder. It's like I'm afraid if I delete one bad photo, I will miss something.  My smartphone has so many photos, I have to delete a few to take a few. I take 'proud mother' to a level of photo-ridiculousness.

9. Gifts.  Every single thing my son has given me, I have kept; including flowers, rocks and yes, even two sticks! I keep them all in a keepsake box. At this rate, by the time he is ten years old, I will need a storage unit the size of a small house.
I have that flower framed with this photo! 

10. Crap. That's right, I save crap too.  Noooo.. not crap-crap, but odds and end crap that Ollie picks up, loves and leaves behind that I pick up and hold on to just in case he comes back for it.  My handbag is so full of crap! Weighing in at a hefty two tons, my handbag has cars, cheap vending machine toys, half-eaten snacks, broken crayons from a restaurant with a folded up menu, a rock or two, a leaf, sticker from the grocery lady... crap I tell you, and do I even dream of throwing it away? Absolutely not. #Hoarder

Has parenting turned you into a hoarder too?




The Archives