Sunday, July 31, 2011


If I had known what terrible tenants my children would be, I would have collected a security deposit. Nothing has survived their wrath. They are little walking natural disasters. Where a tornado destroys everything in its path, children destroy everything in their path and yours. In my house, the carpeting is stained, the paint is scuffed, the blinds are snapped, the hinges are broken, the furniture is scratched, and the electronics are reprogrammed in such a way that they can’t even be reset to the factory default. Wishing I could have collected a security deposit is silly considering the fact that these tenants don’t even pay the rent. They would have been evicted long before now if they had any form of currency other than hugs and kisses.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The toilet and the hare

When going through the trials of potty training a toddler, never forget to give them access to toilet paper at all times. Audrey is in the midst of learning all things “potty” and wiping is unfortunately one of those things that can only be learned through experience.

Luckily, she is very independent and always wants to do things for herself. There was a period of time earlier today when I wasn’t paying attention (I was probably blogging) and Audrey did not have toilet paper when she needed it. She adapts to most situations easily and she found that the ridiculously expensive, immaculate white rabbit costume from Halloween doubled quite well as Charmin. If there was ever a time when I wished I could have jumped down the rabbit hole, that was it.

Friday, July 29, 2011

X Marks the Spot

Last week at the beach, everyone spent a lot of time looking for the perfect shell. Some spent time scanning the sand with a metal detector. Who would be the one to find the most memorable treasure?

I was watching Audrey splash in the waves as they crashed onto the beach, when she found the most beautiful glass mushroom. It was translucent and it almost shimmered in the sunlight. I thought it was just the kind of thing that you would find in one of the cute beach gift shops and Audrey was so proud when she brought it over with both hands wrapped tightly around the mushroom cap. “Wow, Audrey that’s really pretty. What did you fin…” and then my voice left me with the realization that she was holding a jellyfish.

Every parent has felt the adrenaline from fear that you are too late to protect your child. I grabbed her arms and shook the jellyfish out of her hands. It flew into the air and bounced a few times on the sand before being washed back into the surf. Audrey was never stung and I realized in that moment (which felt like an hour, but lasted only seconds) that she is my most memorable treasure.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

You can’t always get what you want

This is impossible to teach to a toddler, especially when you want to give them the world. Within the past week, Audrey has wanted cookies for breakfast, to go outside while completely naked, to swim in the ocean “all by myself” and to sprout her very own mermaid tail. Some of her demands were met and some were not based on the intensity of her tantrum and the size of her audience. Her knack for drama and her skill in performing for hundreds of people makes me believe that although she may not get cookies for breakfast, one day, she may get an Oscar.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

You are what you eat

After a week at the beach, Abby is an enormous pile of sand. In fact, she is the Sahara desert.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I’m going to Disney World!

We have been building up to this moment for weeks. I never would have believed that seeing poop in the potty could be such an exciting moment for our family. Audrey has been deep in study trying to perfect her form. She has watched game film (Elmo’s Potty Time). She has read the playbook (Everyone Poops by Taro Gomi). She has used blocking dummies to run drills (Potty Elmo who drinks from a sippy cup and sings). She has even watched players who have mastered the game (my husband and I are never alone in the bathroom). All of her preparation has ended in the Browns going to the Big Bowl and we couldn’t be happier!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

If you are ever in a battle, don’t forget about your ability to bite

We don’t encourage biting in our household, but sometimes our girls must settle their own disagreements and whoever bites first usually wins the fight. Just look at the Tyson-Holyfield debacle. Okay, so Tyson didn’t technically win the fight, but I’m pretty sure that he won the war with a piece of another man’s ear in his mouth. This method is not recommended for debates at the water cooler or in other office settings, but it will give you street cred if used wisely. Additionally, once people know that you are crazy, you can get your face tattooed without fear of judgment.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

All I want for Christmas

Last Christmas, when Audrey was almost 2, we went to see Santa Claus. I explained to her that she had been a really good girl all year and that she could ask him for anything that she wanted. When I asked her what she was going to ask for, she thought about it for a minute and then announced “fish sticks”. Maybe this year she’ll up the ante and ask for frozen waffles.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Aim for the stars and maybe you’ll reach the sky, or at least the dishwasher

Abby is an ass. She is determined, headstrong and stubborn, just like a donkey. When she sets her sights on a goal, there is absolutely no way to redirect her. Any form of distraction will cause her to flail and drop to the ground in a boneless puddle. She then remains this way (impossible to pick up and somehow slippery once you do get her into your arms) until she is allowed to return to her original plan.

Recently, her goal has been to steal items from the dishwasher. She attacks all obstacles placed in her path including baby gates and dishwasher locks. She laughs at childproofing devices before breaking them into pieces and eating them just for spite. She then opens the dishwasher, climbs inside and grabs the most dangerous item. Finally, she runs into the living room beaming with pride, meat cleaver in hand.

As much as I want to let her continue running around in her glory, I have to take away her prize and place it back in the dishwasher. She then dissolves into a boneless puddle and the process begins again. I can’t imagine all that she will achieve when her goals are loftier than holding dirty dishes in her hands.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Accept the differences of others, big and small

When we were leaving the grocery store recently, Audrey asked “Mommy, what’s that?” and pointed to a little person who was bagging groceries. Instead of correcting her, I simply said “That’s Harry”. She brightened and yelled “Bye-bye Harry! See you next time!” That was all the explanation that Audrey required and Harry became a part of her world regardless of their differences.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Adding fuel to the fire

Audrey went through a stage where she laughed every time she farted and then loudly announced “I farted!” This would then cause us to laugh, which made us proud as parents because it teaches an excellent lesson. In the words of Larry the Cable Guy “I don’t care who you are, that’s funny right there.” So, regardless of your age or your position in life, you should be able to laugh at your farts and the farts of others, unless you think your sh** doesn’t stink.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Be the exception to the rule

Advertising slogans target the general population, which my children are apparently not a part of.

“Melts in your mouth, not in your hands” (M&M’s)
Actually they melt in your hands, all over your face, all over your clothes, in your car-seat and in your hair.

“Diamonds are forever” (De Beers)
If you think that your precious first-born deserves to wear tiny diamond studs (yes, I did), then you deserve to lose aforementioned studs forever.

“Please don’t squeeze the Charmin” (Charmin)
Mr. Whipple would be pissed because my kids squeeze it, shred it up into tiny pieces, eat it and toss entire rolls into the toilet.

“Got Milk?” (California Milk Processor Board/MilkPEP)
No, babies do not have their own milk supply and this is why new mothers must embrace the role of a Holstein cow.

“Come fly our Friendly Skies” (United)
When I flew with my screaming children the skies were not friendly. In fact, the environment was downright hostile.

“Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't.” (Mounds/Almond Joy)
We feel like nuts all the time around here.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Sticks and stones…

Labels that are placed on people and things are often creative, sometimes hurtful and usually without merit. Take the label “childproof”, for example. This label means “If you are gullible enough to think this $30 piece of plastic will improve your life, you must be a new parent. Congratulations on purchasing this proof  that you have a child.”

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Find your inner Forrest Gump

One of the forgotten treasures of childhood is the joy of running “just because”. At least once every day my daughter says “Run with me, Mommy!” and we do, usually in a circle in the living room. As an adult, running becomes a serious matter and it is usually the means to an end. We run for the best time or run from the police (I’m not sure why these are the reasons that I’ve come up with for running as an adult; it’s certainly not from personal experience). “Now you wouldn't believe me if I told you, but I could run like the wind blows. From that day on, if I was ever going somewhere, I was running!”

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Choose your bed partners wisely

My daughter sleeps in a tiny toddler bed because she is a toddler. She also has many bed companions including twenty stuffed animals, a wide variety of plastic farm animals, a few dollies, and the occasional Curious George puzzle piece. The best and worst part of this scenario is that she knows all of their names and will not go to sleep if one of her companions is missing. So, each night we must tear the house apart to find “my brown doggy” (it isn’t the most creative name, but she’s 2) so that she will finally go to sleep. The lesson is as follows: Value those that you sleep with and always know their names.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Know your anatomy and be proud of it

There is no shame in knowing the correct anatomical term and location of all of your body parts. Men have less issue with this subject and their comfort level is demonstrated by the fact that texting pictures of genitalia to others is a common practice. Teaching children the correct word for “it” is beneficial in the long run and there are few things funnier than a toddler running around in public yelling “I have a vagina!”

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day

M&M’s are always a good choice. Not all parents choose to give their children candy for breakfast, but I have found that starting the day with a sugar high is much easier than ending the day with a sugar high.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Love the one you're with

If you have no toys, ordinary household objects are easily converted. Bowls are great hats, hairbrushes are microphones, Blackberries/Droids are "super duper computers", and condoms are balloons. Although, if you use that last resource too many times, you will deplete your supply and end up with kids that are 13 months apart.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Develop your own sense of fashion

The fashion industry is fickle and following its every whim is exhausting. Wearing whatever you choose is a valid form of self-expression, especially when you are wearing a pajama top, a tutu and pink polka-dot galoshes.