Top 10 Tuesday: I Bet I can Get You To Say Oooh, Ahhh and Ha... #Parenting #Hacks #Humor

Today's Top Ten List is all about making you say Oooh, Ahhh and Ha...



This photo takes my breath away...

Photo Credit: The White Whale by Dan Fisher.

 This will freak you out...

Photo Credit: Unknown



Why It's The Kids That Suffer The Most When Parents Clash

I'm just going to come out and say it, just because two kids get along, it doesn't mean the parents will. I quickly learned this when my son was still an infant in "mommy and me" play groups.

Parents clash, that's just an unfortunate fact. I've dealt with clashes that involve parents going through a divorce trying to shove me in the middle of a "pick-me" war, or who have different lifestyle choices, or are just plain mean and nasty to be around.

Normally, I try to smile through the issues for the sake of our children getting to play together, but sometimes, that's just not possible.

I recently had an issue with another parent being just plain nasty to me. She clearly didn't like me and made it very apparent through the mean things she said and did to me. It almost felt like I was back in high school with a mean girl. Still, for the sake of Ollie being able to play with her son, I tried to ignore the white elephant in the room, her mean-girl attitude toward me.

I wish we could get along. My child adores her's. But it's just not going to happen. After a month of praying about the issue, talking with friends and trying to ignore her nasty comments, I finally came to the realization that I had to let it go. I have no choice but to move on. It makes me sad because nothing in this world makes me happier than seeing my son happy, but I have to stop letting this mom treat me like shit for the sake of a playdate.

Thankfully, letting go and moving on from this has made me feel 100% better. That being said, there are no winners in this. Our children are the ones suffering the most from this mom clash. It makes me sad that our boys won't play together anymore. What's more, I'm worried about how the boys will interpret the absence of the other. 

The mom and I are adults, we will go about our lives knowing there was no capacity for us to get along, but our boys won't understand why they don't get to play together anymore. 

This situation has taught me that no matter how much I want to get along with another parent, it's not always possible. I've also realized the kids suffer the most from these clashes, so trying my best to stick it out is the right thing to do. At first. But, once it becomes apparent there will be lasting issues, I need to remove myself from the situation.

If you are currently dealing with a similar situation, and you feel like you have done everything to make nice with the parent you are clashing with, I cannot recommend enough that you distance yourself from the situation. Hold fast to knowing your child will have many friends throughout his adolescence.

It's a shame that problems between parents exist, but it's a fact that they happen. The sooner you let go, the sooner you and your child can find a playdate that's fun for both of you.

Have you dealt with this? How did you handle it?


There's No Doubt About It, This Is My Worst Parenting Fail. So Far...

I'm just going to come right out and say it, I have created a bedtime monster. I play into every bedtime whim my evil genius toddler can think up. I just wanted him to go to sleep! I kept thinking if one more book, or sip of water, or trip to the potty, or hug and kiss, or handstand while balancing the cat on my foot was going to get my kid to go to sleep, I'd try it.

And the worst part is the dumbest, most ridiculous bedtime move a parent can do, I do every single night; I lay down with my child until he falls asleep.

Every. Single. Night.


Every night, after we read books, I turn off the light and pretty much play dead for 20-45 minutes while my toddler does everything he can to drive me nuts.

Credit: Photo is cover of Adam Mansbach's book, Go the F**k to Sleep .

Then, once he knows I'm good and crazed, he passes out.

I've been doing this since we moved the kid out of his crib last year. Need I remind you of the many times I found myself trying to fit in a toddler bed? (Funny, back then I thought it couldn't get any worse. WRONG!)

NOTE: If you still have a crib sleeper then please learn from my mistakes. NEVER lay down with your toddler to help him fall asleep.  All it takes is one night, and the next thing you know, hours of our life are wasted laying next to a singing, joking, laughing toddler on a mission to make you lose your freaking mind.

There's no doubt, my worst parenting fail so far is not teaching my child from infancy to fall asleep on his own.

It's just that I can't fully relax until the kid is asleep. So, I lay there until it happens.

I know how damn dumb it is that I play into this ridiculousness every night, yet, I still lay there like a spineless twit.

Well, not anymore!

I'm done.

I've finally lost the plot, and cannot continue to lay there anymore!

Last night, I began what I expect to be a lengthy battle, but one I am determined to win.

I am no longer laying in bed until my toddler falls asleep.  The new routine will be:

1. Read books.

2. Have a cuddle for a couple of minutes.

3. Then get up and walk out.

I wish I could say all went smoothly last night, but it took a few times of laying down, walking out and chasing the kid back to bed until he finally gave up and passed out.

On the bright side, it took me the same amount of time to get him to fall asleep as it does just laying next to him. In a very strange way, I consider that a victory! What's more, in between me walking out of his room and him eventually getting out of bed, I got a few minutes to pick up, and begin my nighttime activities! Not to mention, it awesome spending the usual 30-minute bedtime battle not being poked and sung to!

I'd say the first battle point goes to me!

I know this is going to be a process, but I'm up for the challenge. I'm so damn sick of wasting an hour of my night playing into my toddler's bedtime bullshit. He's three years and four months old, I'd say that's big enough to fall asleep on his own!

Actually, I'd say he's about three years past learning how to fall asleep on his own. I was just never good at the cry-it-out method. Before now.

Now, I'm all like, "Cry! I don't care. It's still bedtime, tears or not. Go to sleep!"

Deep down, I know this is long overdue from a developmental stand point. My child needs to learn to fall asleep on his own, and not be scared to do it. He is three after all!

While, it's super hard to see my baby growing up so fast, it's time I take advantage of it. He's a big boy, and it's time he learned to sleep in his big boy bed by himself!

I've finally had a enough. Change Is Coming America.

Wish me luck...


WANTED: My Toddler's Mind And Listening Ears. He's Lost Both. Reward If Found.

Just when I think my three year-old is turning the corner from being a terror, he manages to lose his mind and listening ears!

I can't tell you how many times over the last near 6 weeks, I have thought about writing about how wonderful my toddler has become. The only thing that stopped me, was fear of jinxing myself. I did, however, tell a couple of girlfriends with toddlers the same age as Ollie, how wonderful and easy he had become. I even used the words easy and toddler in the same sentence!

 Oh. How. Foolish. I. Was.

It turns out, that calm was just eye of the storm. Or maybe just a short rest before he geared up for round four hundred and twelve of terrorizing me. Whatever it was, the easy days are done. Gone.

Here are the days of shouting NO! and not listening to a word FTD or I say.

And then there's the throwing and smashing things and running from me. It's like he has reverted back to his early toddler days. The only difference is that I know beyond a shadow of a doubt he knows better.  So now, IT'S WAR!

That's right, I'm coming out blasting! 

Yet, again, I'm finding myself in a full-on war of wits and patience with a damn toddler...


Yesterday, he jumped out of my car and bolted down the sidewalk. I told him to stop and come right back! He didn't even look back. By the time he was four houses down, I was afraid if I chased him he would run farther, so I did the next best thing; I threatened to throw his bike away.

Thankfully, that got his attention.

He turned right around, running towards me and begging me not to throw his bike away.  When he made it back to me, I don't know what got into him, but the little butthead turned back around and took off AGAIN!

This time, I chased him. Of course, he thought it was funny as hell, and started running faster while laughing.

Really? Really.

To add insult to injury, my neighbor with the perfectly well-behaved boy Ollie's age was in the center of his yard watching the chase.


When I finally caught up to him, I scooped him up and stomped home, not saying a word. I was afraid they would all be really filthy, because those were the only words circling my head.

Once inside the house, I got down to his level, just like the damn parenting book said to do, and made eye contact while explaining why it was super naughty to run from me and even worse not to listen, and how he could have been hit by a car backing out of the driveway, followed by a bunch of other things I needed to say to feel better.

I'm pretty sure all he heard was, Blah, blah. blah. blaaaahhhhh blah blah blah.

It's like I talk in Charlie Brown speak to him!

The last week has been awful. I can't figure it out. What's happened to my generally sweet toddler? It's like his ears are clogged with crazy brain.

Being that I have already been through a version of this kind of crazy with him when he turned two, I know how to handle it. And, that it won't kill me. Even if it feels like it.

This toddler business can really suck sometimes, but one this in for sure, I have been to the battlefield before, and won and I will do it again. It's back to basics; consistency, time outs for both him and his favorite things, and hold on tight to my sanity until this toddler storm passes...


What Happens When An American, Australian and Toddler Walk Into A Store...

For those of you who do not follow me on social media, I thought I would bring you up to speed on why FTD and Ollie have been banned from family shopping trips...

Every time we go as a family, I end up completely embarrassed, annoyed and/or sweaty from either chasing Ollie, or running from him and FTD.  Yes, running in a grocery store. You would too if two psychotic children were chasing after you shouting ridiculousness... wearing a wolf mask!

            Before I get started... lets recap some past trips of family shopping with FTD and Ollie

FTD LOVES the grocery store.  LOVES IT!  Being that the grocery stores in Australia are half the size, carry a third of the options and the food and goods cost four times the American price, FTD thinks he is experiencing a small glimpse of Heaven every time he walks into an American store. 

However, for me, I pray Heaven is nothing like shopping with that man and his mini me...

We have to go up and down every freaking aisle and discuss and touch every single freaking product.  I know more about the different Little Debbie snack cakes and cereal options than any one person should.   

At first is was cute watching my grown husband light up like a kid in a candy store when we hit the cereal aisle, now it just sucks, because HE STILL DOES IT THREE YEARS LATER! FYI: FTD does not eat cereal, he just likes to see what toys are in the boxes, "Just in case I need it."

So, now that I have explained my husband in a grocery store… lets add my toddler to the mix.  Sweet Geeezus I want to have a drink before I type out the story I am about to tell…But let's just say it starts with lots of promises of being very very good boys, and then the second we get into the parking lot, all hell breaks loose.

I present the story of why I need a Babysitter for my husband and toddler...

The minute we pull into the Kroger parking, FTD sees an employee pushing one of those kid carts with car on the front of the basket. Next thing I know, FTD has his seatbelt off and is hanging out the window yelling, “MATE! MATE! I’ll take that shopping trolley!” 

Before the car is in park, FTD jumps out and grabs the damn cart from the guy.

Of course I am like, WHAT THE? FTD insists that "there is going to be a huge queue for these awesome trolleys," so he had to grab it before someone else did.



Immediately, I'm dreading this trip.

Mind you, before we left the house FTD promised this trip would be easy, fast and absolutely no funny business. I'm not sure which one of us is the bigger ass... Me for believing him, or him for lying.

Within two minutes of walking into the store, FTD and Ollie found the Hot Wheel's display.  This time it's Ollie half way out of the car, choking on his seatbelt screaming and pointing.

FTD gets him out, and I take off... Unfortunately, pushing the straight-out-of-hell kid car cart. 

The car part is only loosely attached to the cart so it bounces as you push it. The cart itself is half the size of a normal cart, so getting all of my shit in there is near impossible. And speaking of near impossible, driving that thing is a bitch. I look like a drunk. I take out displays, knock off the bottom two shelves of products when turning, and pretty much just spend the entire time apologizing to people for taking forever to get out of their way. 

As if the cart is not bad enough, from 15 aisles away I hear, “I’M GONNA GET YOU!” followed by a squealing Ollie.

Just as I look up they go zooming by.  FTD yells out THERE’S MOMMY!! Ollie turns around and comes charging at me carrying two cars and a cookie. FTD straps Ollie back in and takes over driving.

Within 30 seconds Ollie wants out.

I’m back to driving the asshole cart from hell.

This cycle of trying to shop while FTD and Ollie run around wrecking the joint, then coming back to drop crap in the cart continues on for the next twenty minutes.

I am finally finished, when FTD brings me Ollie and says, “OK then, now I can go do some shopping for myself?”

Of course I kindly reply with, “WHAT THE HELL HAVE YOU BEEN DOING?”

For the next ten minutes I follow FTD, with Ollie in the asshole cart from hell, while he goes up and down every aisle touching things.

I finally lose my shit.

I am finished shopping, Ollie wants out of the cart, and FTD is just screwing around. We have a “discussion” about what exactly he needs. Reluctantly, he agrees to throw in the towel, but not before we have to go get Pepsi Max and Candy- on opposite sides of the store.

I take Ollie from FTD, and hand over the car cart from hell for FTD to push. He starts carrying on about how hard it is to drive then starts bouncing it up and down like it’s on hydraulics. OMF! FTD!!!

I hand him back Ollie and stomp off, with the asshole cart to check out.

Then, as if it cannot get any worse, FTD’s favorite song starts playing through the store, and then my worst nightmare happens, I hear FTD sing out, “Blinded by the LICE! Wrapped up like a DUCHE you know the middle of the NIGHT.”  (He knows the right words, he just refuses to sing them.)

I nearly bit my tongue off trying not to laugh. It's like I have two toddlers. 

Needless to say, the minute we got in the car, I looked at FTD and said... Never, ever, ever, ever, again will we go to the grocery store as a family. Never. 

FTD Looked back at Ollie, smiled and winked... letting him know it most definitely would NOT be the last time...

10 Amazing Anti-Aging Tips That Won't Break The Bank

*I've partnered with Citrus Clear to Promote young fresh skin! All opinions are my own.

A few weeks ago, on my thirty-seventh birthday, I looked in the mirror and noticed every line, sun spot, imperfection and pore. By the time I was finished throwing my, I'm-so-old-pity-party, I was nearly in tears and ready to throw in the towel on ever being able to feel young and pretty again. 

Thankfully, after a glass of wine and a phone call to a bestie about how old and ugly I was, I ended the pity party, and faced the true cold reality of thirty-seven; if I don't change my diet and beauty regimen, I'm going to look like a California Raisin by forty. Which, IS NOT AN OPTION! 

So, I turned to Dr. Google for advice. I Googled ways to 'look youthful without surgery', 'Ways to reverse aging', 'How to stay young forever' and every other way I could think of to say, Help, I don't want to look like I'm 80 when I'm 40! 

What in the world did we do before Google?!

First and foremost, one of the most amazing and inspirational things I found was a photo of a 75 year old woman. An absolutely stunning and fit, seventy-five year old woman, Ernestine Shepherd, the World Record holder for 'Oldest Female Body Builder'. 


Holy crap. 

There's no other way about it, she is amazing, inspirational and absolutely gorgeous. Ernestine is a body builder and active personal trainer, and should be the poster child for, "What's Your Excuse?" 

Sorry, I digress, but I just had to share the fuel that propelled me on my quest for eternal youth. Without further ado, 10 Amazing Anti-Aging Tips That Won't Break The Bank:

1. Stay hydrated. Every single site and famous person's, "beauty secret", says drink copious amounts of water, avoid excessive alcohol consumption and limit caffeine. 

Every expert agrees, the cheapest, fastest and most effective 'fountain of youth' is water. According to Atlanta Dermatologist, Kenneth Ellner, MD, "Dehydration makes your skin look more dry and wrinkled, which can be improved with proper hydration. If you want to keep your skin healthy and glowing, drink water. Lots of it.

Tip: Buy a super cute water bottle that you love, and keep it with you at all times. 

2. It's all in the "Essence". Essences work like a toner, but without alcohol, so instead of cleansing or stripping the skin with alcohol, it hydrates with a humectant. Joshua Zeichner, the director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, says, "Essences soften dead skin cells on the stratum corneum, so anything you put on top penetrates the skin more effectively."

Shiseido Eudermine Revitalizing Essence

Tip: Use Essence under serums for an extra hydrating or anti-aging punch without feeling it on your skin.   

3. Serums are saviors. Did you know: By 30, many people have pigmentation under the skin that's not yet visible to the naked eye? According to Zoe Draelos, a consulting professor of dermatology at Duke University, it's true. But good news, he says, "Treating spots before you see them can keep them from surfacing."

Using a serum or cream with brightening ingredients, like vitamin C or soy, each morning can make your skin radiant in about one month! Expert tip: If your skin is sensitive, try a formula with niacin amide instead, which calms redness while brightening.

4. Pump up the Peptides. Peptides, one of dermatologists' favorite anti-aging ingredients, signal skin cells to produce more collagen. A.k.a the stuff that makes your skin firmer, smoother, dewy, and all-around younger-looking. 

Tip: If you have under eye circles, then peptides are going to be your secret weapon, they can make under eye circles less noticeable by thickening collagen! 

5. Draw out the dirt. Pampering yourself with a weekly face mask creates instant results. In the summer I have oily acne-prone skin. To draw out the dirt and oils, I always turn to a clay mask to draw out stubborn blackheads and leave pores clean and teeny tiny! Right now, I'm obsessed with Citrus Clear Clay Pore and Blackhead Extracting Mask.

Contains pure plant ingredients. herbs, and two types of natural earth clays which penetrate deep into pores and extract dirt and blackheads. When combined with the potent citrus essential oils, the clay and citrus come together to create a powerhouse in pore cleaning. In one use, shrink pores to avoid future enlarged pores.Ingredients: Organic Citrus Infusion, Organic Aloe Vera, Kaolin clay, Sodium Magnesium Silicate, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Cellulose Gum, Purified Smectite Clay, Vanilla, Sweet Orange Essential Oil, Wildcrafted Lemon Balm Extract, Orange Hydrosol, Lemon Essential Oil, Citrus Lime Essential Oil, Mandarin Essential Oil, Orange Peel Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Ethyl Hexyl Glycerin, Spirulina, Sea Kelp, Grapeseed Oil

5. Moisturize. Fun Fact: Your moisturizer works as a physical barrier to 'lock' in moisture. Not putting on moisturizer is like sending your skin into a battle without weapons. NO BUENO! 

6. Slather on sunscreen. Fun Fact: Ninety percent of fine lines are caused by sun exposure, which makes sunscreen the ultimate anti-ager. 

Doris Day, a dermatologist in New York City, says slather on sunscree to "keep skin better hydrated, since UV rays also damage ceramides." 

Ceramicsgood fats in the skin that prevent dryness 

Personal Tip: I use a tinted moisturizer with sunscreen. Meaning, I slather on moisturizer, sunscreen, and makeup in one easy step! I definitely recommend that. I like a little extra coverage, so I LOVE Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20

7. Peel the years away. Buffered glycolic acid and retinol rapidly improve the look and texture of skin by removing buildup of dry skin, smoothing out fine lines, improving discoloration and also helping to trigger collagen production. 

The Tangerine Tingle Face Scrub ($19) can be used as a face wash or a face mask. The longer you leave it on the more it tingles! The tingling action is from the ingredients in the scrub doing two things: 

(1) removing dead skin cells 

(2) stimulating production in new, fresh skin cells.

Contains gentle exfoliating ingredients to remove oil, dirt, and impurities. Contains glycolic acid which exfoliates dead skin cells and keeps pores from clogging. Lemon oil helps improve and brighten complexion.  Buy it now, here. (for $5 off Use code "tan4814")

8. SLEEP! It should come as no surprise that WebMd Says: 
"Your body needs down time to repair cells and rest your heart. And your mind needs dreaming to stay sane." There's no doubt, when I don't get enough sleep I look extra old and tired. 
9. Eat your Vitamin A. Experts say fruits like watermelon and mangoes and veggies like spinach and sweet potatoes are high in Vitamin A and to help repair skin cells.

10. Omega-3 is Key. Fun Fact: Your skin uses omega fatty acids to create natural moisturizing oils.  "Studies show that omega-3 supplements have the greatest effect on hydration," says Jessica Wu, a dermatologist in Los Angeles.  And if that's not enough, A study published in the journal, Alzheimer’s and Dementia, known as the MIDAS study, found that taking Omega-3 DHA supplements took three years off the brain, improving memory and learning skills. Researchers believe it may also reduce the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s or dementia. Good news, You can pick up Omega-3 Supplements in your grocery store for under $10!

Do you have a super awesome instant anti-aging tip? Please please please share!  


What I Want The World To Know About Toddlers

Before I became a mother, was the girl in the grocery store shaking her head at the mom who was clearly not capable of “controlling” her toddler. I was the server in the restaurant who tried desperately to give up the table with the family of four being seated. I was the girl shopping at the mall wishing the mother and her screaming child in the oversized stroller would just go home.

I owe a HUGE apology to every parent I judged.

Plain and simple, Toddlers are nuts. Toddlers need to explore, and talk, and test boundaries. Yes, they are sweet, and wonderful, and full of smiles and laughter too, but they will scream and cry and throw tantrums the second you try to keep them from doing something they are determined to do.

Of course, with tough love, consistency and perseverance, toddlers calm down and stop with the petty tantrums, but it's a process, not an overnight thing. 

Toddlers are not robots, therefore, no, they cannot always be “controlled”. There is no “ON/OFF” switch.

Toddlers can be loud, stubborn, out of control, and vocal at times. So Can Adults.

Toddlers will throw a huge fit when stopped from or kept from doing something they want. So do adults.

I promise, I am trying to "control" my toddler, but dammit there is only so much I can take in a day! There are only so many No’s! I can shout, there are only so many times I can pick him up only to have him push away with such force I think he is going to crush my throat and chest. There are only so many times I can have him screaming in my ear as I redirect his attention.

I pick my battles and do my best. 

I am officially at a point where I want to wear a shirt everywhere I go that says, "He's a Toddler, GET OVER IT!" The shirt would be both for me and for the people shaking their head during a meltdown.

I want to stop feeling so embarrassed by my son's behavior. I can't be so hard on myself anymore! There is only so much I can do. Yes, I can stop him from running around, but if I do, then he is going to cry, and at this stage, I cannot stop him from both. 

I try to be the best mom I can be.

No. I am the best mom I can be.

I trust my instincts, put my foot down, and try to "control" my son as best as possible. Parenting is a delicate balance, and worrying what other people think throws that balance right off.  

Babies and toddlers are sweet and wonderful, but at the same time, they are trying to figure out this big world, and sometimes that will include running, screaming, crying, laughing, smashing things and meltdowns-sometimes all within 30-seconds.

To the people shaking their head in the grocery store at the parent with the crying kid, or annoyed that a family is sitting next to you in a restaurant with a young child, or rolling your eyes at the mother in the mall for letting her kid cry or run around... Get over yourself. Trust me, you did it too. Call your mom.

To the parents embarrassed by your toddler's public meltdowns, do your best to get over yourself too. This too shall pass...


HAPPY FATHER'S DAY! Here's Something To Make You Smile, Dad. #FathersDay

To the rad dad's (and mom's doing the work of two)  I wish you a very special day filled with love and blessings... and a few laughs of course! 
To get you started, here are a few Father's Day gems sure to make you smile...

And finally... My favorite Father's Day Card...