Monday, December 31, 2012

Tatted Mom's 2013 New Year's Resolutions

It's that time. Time to sit back and reflect on the last year and figure out what we want to do the same and what we want to do differently for the next year. Personally, 2012 was a great year for me. I got back into tattooing, moved 2000 miles so Hubby and I could finally be the couple and family we knew we could be, was on HuffPost Live, entertained a blog audience that grows bigger every single day, quit smoking, started finding my spiritual side again, got my first negative comment on a blog post and started writing my book. Overall, I'm happy as hell with how 2012 went, and am motivated to make 2013 even better.

Which means now I release my ginormous resolution list to everyone out there who wants to read it, so I am held accountable. Yes, I make a list this big every year. Why? Is it because I enjoy failure or running myself ragged to keep up with every goal I've set for myself?

Nope. It's because only 8% of all people who make resolutions actually succeed at them. If I make 1 resolution, chances are (according to statistics), I won't succeed at it. If I make 20 though, I'll succeed at a few of them. That, and, I'm an overachiever. Seriously. That side of me is bad. Up there with my competitive side. And my 'I like a challenge' side. So, with the 3 of those combined, I always end up with a million goals for the new year.

So, without further ado, here we go. In no particular order...

Tatted Mom's 2013 New Year's Resolutions


  • I'm going to entertain my readers more. I've been honing my ninja skills when it comes to blogging for a while now, performing experiments on different posting styles and frequencies, and am slowly figuring out what my readers want and what I want. Y'all are going to get my humor, truthfulness when it comes to motherhood and my craziness, but I'll be doing more of it. I also want to throw in helpful recipes, household tips and practices and maybe even some pinterest-esque home decor projects or crafts. I'll be putting all of me into Inklings- every aspect of who I am, and let me tell you, I'm a hell of a lot of things. Be prepared for controlled randomness. Yep, that's me.
  • Social media goddess. I'm great with facebook. I post pictures, status updates, links to funny pictures and articles. Facebook is my bitch. But twitter, pinterest and now Google + end up falling to the wayside. I want to utilize all of my social media outlets in 2013 to not only give my readers many ways to enjoy my zaniness, but to ensure that I'm making the most of how I share myself with the world. 
  • Get my informational articles out there. I already have a column over at Parent Society, and have had articles features on Mamapedia and BlogHer, but I'm ready to expand. Get my butt to writing more, posting what I know my readers would like on my blog, and submitting the less-personality driven articles to various parenting and writing websites. I've always had a goal to have a paid writing gig for either Babble, Huffington Post Parents or Nick Mom, and all of those goals remain. Fingers crossed, 2013 is my year for that. 
~Finish my book & get it published. I'm not talking e-published (though that will be after the regular

Sunday, December 30, 2012

The World Ending, Christmas and Annoying Furbys... aka Tatted Mom's Holidays

For the past few years I've said I'm going to balance everything through the holidays, and every year I drop some balls somewhere. This year it was keeping you all entertained, and for that I apologize. I posted pictures and little tidbits over at the Inklings facebook page while I baked cookies or after opening presents on Christmas Day, but posts about the craziness of how my holidays pan out just didn't make the blog.

That just means y'all get an amazing rundown now of the epicness that is the holidays at Tatted Mom's house.

We celebrate Yule and Christmas. This year, Yule happened to fall on the Mayans End of the World Day. The Girl, who freaks out about this type of stuff (seriously, never mention a tornado, monsoon or tsunami around this child or she will go into panic mode- we've never been able to figure out her obsession with the weather or end of the world), was continuously checking the weather on the internet to see if the temperature was going to skyrocket to 2567 degrees and walking outside to see if the sky was a massive black cloud. What did Hubby and I do to help the situation?

Periodically yell 'HOLY CRAP is that a METEOR coming toward the house?' or turn off all the lights in the house at the same time and scream. Yeah, that's what happens when you have an irrational fear in my house. We use it against you. To some of you that may sound horrible, but I figure if a psychologist on that show 'Obsessed' can head into a guy's bathroom who has OCD and come out telling him she started her period while she was in there and got menstrual blood all over one of his hand towels and then make him put the hand towel to his face as a form of aversion therapy, then I can tell my daughter that the sky is turning black outside and laugh as she runs to the window, looks out, shoots me the Evil Eye and stomps upstairs to her room. Truth be told, she totally relaxed about it all as the day went on, so my tactics worked, thank you.

We woke up the next day, the 22nd, so the world didn't end. Good to know, right?

The massive baking I did this year...
Honestly, the days between Yule and Christmas Eve are a bit of a blur for me. There's lots of cleaning, lots of baking and lots of wine. Hubby keeps having me try different Moscatos so he can rate them on the wine app on his phone. He'll head to the store for ingredients for green bean casserole and come home with 3 bottles of Italian Moscato in tow... not that I'm complaining. I've come to love his wine app.

Christmas Eve is the big day in my house. We make a massive Christmas Eve meal, this year of ham (with my grape jelly glaze- try it!), scalloped potatoes, green bean casserole, cole slaw, cinnamon apples, devilled eggs and rolls. Lots of food, and a week later we still have ham. We probably won't want ham again until next Christmas Eve. Good grief.

That night we all open up one present. The kids got Christmas pajamas to put on, Hubby and I got a

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

5 Unique Holiday Traditions

Merry Christmas to everyone! Y'all know how special family is to me, and how my family doesn't always do things in a conventional manner. Today's post includes 5 Unique Holiday Traditions that I had as a child or that Hubby and I have started with our own kids, that we do every year. It's over at my column at Parent Society, but as always I'll start it here for you! Enjoy, and I hope everyone had a great holiday!

5 Unique Holiday Traditions

I know it's been said a thousand times, but this is my favorite time of year. From Halloween to the New Year, you'll generally find a smile on my face, a cup of spiced coffee or hot chocolate in my hand, and love in my heart. Having kids has made this time of year even more special, as I can look through their eyes at the beautiful Christmas tree, or that house with a million lights outside of it, or wonder with them what's under the wrapping paper of that present they are shaking. Having kids has made me a kid again during the holiday season.

From the first year our daughter was with us for Christmas (she was only 9 months old at the time), we started holiday traditions that we still carry to this day. Some of them came from our own childhoods, and some of them started brand-new with us as new parents. My kids (now ages 10 and 8) look forward to these holiday traditions every year.

1. Advent Calendar

The year I was pregnant with our first child, my husband's grandmother gave us a wooden advent calendar cabinet, filled with little baby booties, pacifiers, and candy. Each day in December, we opened the correctly numbered drawer and found a surprise waiting for us. Eleven years later...

Continue Reading '5 Unique Holiday Traditions'...

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Monday, December 24, 2012

An Artsy Christmas

Whenever I grab the camera, magic happens within me, and I love it.

We visited a neighborhood all decked out with Christmas cheer. You park away from the subdivision and walk through, looking at how each family has decorated for the holidays. While I took some conventional pictures, the artsy ones are always my favorite.

So, a little out of the ordinary for Inklings, today is a pictorial post. There's 12 pictures in all, so make sure to click on the 'Continue Reading Tatted Mom's Craziness' to see the rest of them! I hope you enjoy my artistic side, and Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone!

(These pictures are all copyrighted ©, 2012. If you would like to use them, please link back to here, and under no circumstances are these pictures to be altered in any way, or the watermark removed. Doing so violates copyright law. Thank you!)

Hubby and I, under the mistletoe!  

My favorite!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Merry Happy ChristYuleKwanzUkkah...

This morning is my kids' Christmas show at school. Both of them have been practicing songs for the last few weeks, and I'm excited to see them perform.

There's one thing that stays in the back of my head with this program, though.

Back in October, the kids' school had a Fall Festival. It was October 30th, held at the school, and involved kids dressing up and going classroom door to classroom door trick-or-treating for candy. Sounds like Halloween, huh?

Good gracious, no. Don't say that. It was not Halloween, it was the Fall Festival. When I casually asked at the PTO meeting why we just didn't call it a Halloween festival, I was told that some parents took offense because they didn't celebrate Halloween (it's against their religion, so I was told), so to refrain from excluding or offending anyone, they decided to call it a Fall Festival.

One of the stupidest things I've ever heard, considering Halloween is NOT a religious holiday, but whatever. I'm a pretty flexible mom who rolls with the punches and can put up with ignorance.

So why, pray tell, are my children having a Christmas Program today?

Now hold on, stop right there. I don't give a rat's ass what the school wants to call the program this morning. I'm not offended by the words Christmas, Hanukkah, Yule, Kwanzaa  or any other religious holiday of this season. It's all the same, anyway. The ideas of togetherness, thankfulness and giving are found in every single one of them, so you can call it whatever in the hell you want to, based on your particular religious beliefs.

So why in the hell do people take it so damn personally? And why, out of principle, did my children have to have a Fall Festival but they can have a Christmas Program? In my opinion, if you are going to de-personalize one holiday then all holidays need to be de-personalized. My kids should be having a Winter Program today.

Again, let me stress here that I don't care that my kids are having a Christmas program this morning. I'm one to argue on principles alone, regardless of whether they are right or wrong. That's just the debater in me (I like to call myself a master-debater... hahahaha!). So yes, part of me wants to take the principal aside tomorrow and bring this point up to him, not from the standpoint of being offended, but by the standpoint that what's good for the goose (Halloween) should be good for the gander (Christmas), too.

I won't, of course, bring this up to the principal. Why? Because it doesn't offend me, and for some reason, the greater population can not argue things based on principles anymore. If I were to bring this subject up to the principal in a very logical, questioning manner, when word got out, I'd be pegged the Satan Worshiping Mom Who Hated Christmas, y'all know I would be.

Do I worship Satan? Of course not.
Do I hate Christmas? Of course not.

But goodness forbid I decided to start an intellectual debate about why Halloween has been omitted from the

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Younger Kids Vs. Older Kids and Mom Badges

Last night we went to a Christmas parade with some friends. We had a blast, got the family out of the house and doing some holiday activities, and we laughed.

But y'all should know by now I don't have one of those 'Here are pictures of our Christmas parade experience; Look how much fun we all had' type of blogs. Nope. Not at Inklings.

Our friends are our age, but they have a 2 1/2 year old daughter. We've been friends for a while now, get together pretty much every weekend, and while I've known that they have a younger kid and we have older kids, sometimes it takes a certain situation to bring out the true colors of the age difference between our kids...

Like a Christmas parade, for example.

Mom of Younger Kid: My friend came prepared with gloves for everyone (even my family), chairs, blankets, snacks, drinks, her camera (with memory card) and cash in case there were food vendors set up. She had a diaper bag bursting at the seams with anything she could possibly need, otherwise known as A Prepared Mom of a Toddler
Mom of Older Kids: Considering I haven't carried a diaper bag in 5 years and have kids old enough to fend for themselves, sometimes I forget I'm the mom and have to take care of them outside the home. I found some gloves in the pockets of my coat (that I haven't worn since last year), that I gave to The Girl because her hands were cold (The Ginger got a pair of gloves from our friend), we at least had jackets and scarves (thank goodness), I owe my friend $20 because I don't carry cash with me, and the memory card for my camera was conveniently sitting beside the computer... at my house. I'm now what's known as The Lazy Relaxed Mom of Older Kids.

Younger Kid: Completely happy with a $3 light up mini-sword and $1 licorice rope that a street vendor was selling as they walked by.
Older Kid: The Ginger wanted the big $5 light up sword, kettle corn, hot chocolate, cotton candy and

Friday, December 14, 2012

Join Me Today at HuffPost Live!!!

HuffPost Live has asked me to be a guest on today's segment "Can New Requirements Destroy Love of Literature?". New school curriculum standards have been passed that will replace 70% of fiction books with non-fiction books in the school systems. I think this is absolutely horrible, and HuffPost Live has asked me to share my view on the subject with their viewers!

So join me at 3:30pm EST TODAY to hear what I have to say on it (and the other panelists, of course).

Wooo Hoooo!!!

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Listen to Your Mother...

Famous last words, right? Something we hear as kids and as adults, and do we listen at either stage in life?

Hell no.

After spending half of the weekend in bed, sick as a dog, and Monday at the doctor, my diagnosis was an acute sinus infection that had started migrating toward my right ear, which totally explained the vibration that occurred when I clinched my jaw. 5 meds prescribed to treat my swollen sinuses, the infection, the cough and the congestion, and I was told by the doctor to rest because even my heart rate was elevated.

Only... house was dirty. I had skipped floor mopping day to head to the doctor, so now my floor had spots all over it and I couldn't stand looking at them. I called my mom to let her know I was still alive, and as I was filling her in on my status, she interrupted...

Mom: What is that sound?
Me: Nothing.
Mom: Seriously, it sounds weird. What is it?
Me: I'm sweeping.
Mom: Morgan, you are sick. Stop cleaning and lay down.
Me: I will, Mom... right after I get done sweeping. I won't even mop today, how about that?
Mom: Will you just listen to your mother and get some rest?
Me: Yeah, Mom, I will...


... I didn't rest. After I got off the phone with my mother, I did mop. I couldn't have swept the whole downstairs and not mopped, that would have just been ridiculous. So I mopped, pushed myself entirely too hard, and as I collapsed on the couch, I heard...

Listen to your mother and get some rest.

I hadn't listened to my mother, and now my body was forcing me to rest out of pure exhaustion, which has me wondering if that's why I get sick so frequently. I've been in Arizona since late June, and have been knocked-on-my-ass-sick just about every single month since I've been here. That's 1 case of salmonella (or food poisoning- not sure which one, but it was horrible), 2 strep throat and 2 acute sinus infections, all in 6 months. Each month, the Universe figures out some way to force me to take a break from life.

I wish they'd figure out how to have me win a personal assistant for a day contest to make me take a break from life instead. This sick shit is getting old.

Every bout of sickness is the same for me, in terms of how I deal with it.

  • Days 1-2 (varied): Dose up on vitamin C and convince myself I'm not getting sick.
  • Day 3 (or 2 if the sickness is working double time): Wake up feeling like death ran over me with

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Hubby's Family Meeting Fear (An Ink Blots Post)

Both of my kids are currently grounded. The Girl was the first offender, and got a week of no playing with her friends for continuously arguing about me about going out to play with her friends. She got a week-long sentence, and is currently begging Hubby and I for a shortened punishment. I may get an entirely cleaned house out of it, so yes, it's currently under negotiation.

The Ginger was less than 24 hours behind his sister, getting grounded from playing video games for the rest of the day because when he plays video games he doesn't listen to a word anyone says. He decided at 8 this morning to open the advent calendar and when I caught him and told him he was not having candy at 8 in the morning, he proceeded to close the advent calendar... and sit on the floor and eat the candy while playing video games. He claimed he doesn't remember me telling him he couldn't have candy, which is exactly why he didn't get hot chocolate the other night while the rest of the family had a delicious nightcap. I'll ask once what type you want, I'll throw it out briefly a second time, but if you are too busy playing video games to tell me if you want mint chocolate or caramel chocolate, then you aren't getting hot chocolate.

Shortly after The Ginger was told his punishment, I went to Hubby, pretty concerned.

Me: Both of our kids are grounded at the same time for separate offenses. I think they are crying out for our attention. (laughing)
Hubby: Okay, what do you want to do about it?
Me: You aren't gonna like it, but I think we need to have a family meeting.
Hubby: WHAT? A family meeting? What'd I do?
Me: (confused) Nothing. We need to talk to our kids about their recent behavior.
Hubby: Ohhhh, okay. As soon as you said 'family meeting', I turned into a 15 year old, wondering what I did wrong.
Me: You're kidding me, right?
Hubby: Nope.
Me: Good grief. You're the adult now... with kids... so you'll be helping run the family meeting, you gooberface.
Hubby: Sweet.

I realized I must have 3 kids- a 10 year old, an 8 year old, and apparently now a 15 year old as soon as the phrase 'family meeting' is thrown out...

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Friday, December 7, 2012

Voting for the Inappropriate Elf Contest Has Begun!!

Click to head to the site!

Help my little sick elf win this year's 2nd Annual Inappropriate Elf Contest, hosted by Baby Rabies. Head to the contest website, scroll down to picture #45: Tatted Mom's Elf on a Shelf (Sick Effer), and click the 'like' button beneath it. It's as simple as that! The top 3 fan favorites automatically have a spot in the top 10, where the most Inappropriate Elf will be chosen by a panel of judges.

As a refresher, this is the elf picture chosen to compete this year, from my post Tatted Mom's Elf on the Shelf (Sick Little Effer):

Thanks so much for voting!

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My Sexual Goddess is on Vacation

There's a topic I've been wanting to write about for some time now, but I wasn't sure how to teeter on the edge of TMI without possibly regretting it later.


A simple 3 letter word that causes some people to blush, some people to get all hot and bothered, and some people to argue. Today's post I want to take the angle of sex and moms... not sex with moms (for those pervs running a porn search who happen onto this website), but how sex affects mothers, and real moms' views on the subject matter (mine of course, and those who comment).

For those new to Inklings, I'll do a quick rundown (or a refresher for regular readers). I'm 31 years old, have 2 kids ages 10 and 8, and have been married for 13 years... sort of. Hubby and I separated for 3 years and have been back together for one year now.

Now to the new stuff. I want to throw out pretty early in this post that I'm not a prude. I often talk openly and freely about sex with my closest friends, and having worked as the only female in a tattoo shop, learned quickly to grow a thick skin, and hold my own, when it came to raunchy conversation. I'm an advocate for women to give themselves a hand whenever they need it, have an entire bag of toys in my closet, am a fan of porn that doesn't involve animals, degradation, or foot fetishes, have role played, prefer switching positions several times in a session, and do genuinely enjoy sex.

For some reason though, sex is always a topic of debate in my house, and in talking with friends of mine, in their houses, too.

I don't want to make generalized statements in this post, or even have it confused with a well researched article on sex during motherhood that contains statistics and advice. I want to share my perspective, how things are for me, and see if other women can relate to my story.

After having kids, something inside of me changed. My focus went from myself and Hubby to a child who needed me for everything. Sex dropped lower and lower on my priority list, and it took a while to get it back to being a focal point. After kid #2 the same downward slope occurred, though I can say that my sex drive skyrocketed for a short time after The Ginger was born. Now here I am, 8 years later, and sex is always a big ol' lingerie-wearing elephant in the room when it comes to Hubby and I.

I thought women were supposed to hit their sexual peak somewhere in their 30s or 40s. That's what I was told all through my 20s when having 2 kids under the age of 3 (4, 5, 6... you get the picture as the years went on) drained all of the sexual being out of me. "Just wait until your 30s" older friends would tell me. "Right now it's difficult with younger kids, but when they get older, your sex life will be dramatically different for the better."

Hello??? My kids are 10 and 8, and I'm still waiting for this 180 degree shift in my sexual goddess status. I'm beginning to think my sexual goddess went on vacation... and fingers crossed it's not a permanent one.

For me, sex is probably 80% mental and 20% physical. If my brain is counting the number of rolls of toilet

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Mom 'What Ifs'

Have you ever been in the middle of doing something and you stop yourself to think, "Why in the hell am I doing this?"

Yesterday I mopped the floors. We live in base housing, so we have this hideous, look-at-it-wrong-and-it-stains, white tile flooring downstairs. I have to mop this effing floor twice a week. Apparently, little spots on the white tile floor have become my largest pet peeve. Sticky spots- forget about it, I'll lose my head. I've been known to pull out the mop when company is over because a spot bothered me so much.

As I was mopping, I stopped myself to question why. The kids were going to be home in an hour, and they'd just defile my newly mopped floor with their nasty shoes. If I managed to catch them at the door and demand they remove the filth-spreaders, they'd just track the crap in on the bottom of their jeans, or then I'd have their smelly, sweaty feet all over my clean floor. And let's not even mention when they head into the fridge to get their after school snack. That's instant kool-aid and goodness knows whatever else dripped onto the kitchen floor.

That's when it hit me, and y'all have to believe me when I say that I think I'm coming down with something.

I don't mind most of the crap I do as a stay-at-home mom.

There's something about seeing a shiny clean floor and smelling the lemony goodness that has me looking forward to mopping day. It transforms the entire house from grungy feeling to welcoming and comfortable. I don't mind doing laundry now that we have our very own washer and dryer inside the house. (Well, there's currently a basket full of clean clothes that has needed folding for 2 days now still sitting in the living room, so I might be lying when I say I don't mind laundry as much- it still sucks.)

Dishes still suck, and cleaning the bathrooms still sucks. Those won't change.

I do these things every single week, some of them every day, and while it wears on me depending on my mood or how long something has sat in its spot waiting for the kids to pick it up, overall I'm pretty happy with my decision to become a stay-at-home mom again.

All of this- this freeing train of thought- from wondering why in the hell I was mopping a floor that my kids would just wreck in an hour and that I would be mopping again in 2 days anyway.

We moms do a lot of monotonous things for the sake of our families. Some of us are stuck in jobs we hate

Monday, December 3, 2012

Unconventional Parenting Techniques Every Parent Should Know

Y'all know I'm not a 'normal' mom. I'm not sure who is nowadays. Some of the things that make me an unconventional parent have worked perfectly for my family, but have gotten a lot of eyebrow raises over the years.

Today's post is found over at my Parent Society column. As always, I'll start it here for you, then let you finish it up over there!

4 Unconventional Parenting Techniques Every Parent Should Know

I've always known I am an unconventional mother. I'm an artist, a writer, I'm covered in tattoos, and the louder the hair color, the happier I am. While I've known that I'm different, I've never realized how unique my parenting is until I talk to other moms. My kids are now 10 and 8, but even when they were toddlers I would get eyebrow raises when I explained some of the things I let my children do or say. I even had one mom tell me years ago that she felt sorry for me when my kids got older because they'd be unruly and I'd never be able to control them. I guess the joke's on her, because presently speaking, my kids are pretty well-behaved.

I've made notes over the years of things that my husband and I allowed in our house that other parents usually don't allow in their houses. These are the things that we now embrace, that I believe hold some small part of a key to why my kids are so unique themselves, and have amazing personalities.

1. Speaking their mind.

I'm pretty open to my children telling me exactly what they are thinking or feeling. Before we sit down for a family meeting, we create a Safe Zone. Whatever a child says in this Safe Zone they can not be punished for. We don't allow swearing, but if they can portray how they feel or what they are thinking, and explain why, then it's allowed. When topics are presented, we all listen with an open heart, and try not to judge or have our feelings hurt. If something hurtful is said, we try our best to put our emotions aside and deal with the subject in a way that makes everyone happy. In the past, I've had my children tell me that they hated me at the moment because of such-and-such reason, and understanding why they felt that way, I allowed them to tell me they hated me. They needed to get it out, and it's exactly how they were feeling, so why stifle that or tell them that their feelings were wrong? I know deep down they loved me, and they hated whatever decision I had made, but after they got out everything they needed, we talked and I shared my side of things. I have always felt that keeping an open line of communication with my children has made our family a strong unit.

Continue Reading...

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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Tatted Mom's Elf on the Shelf (Sick Little Effer)...

We were sent one of those Elf on the Shelf things this year by a family member. Prior to this year, I couldn't stand those damn things. I'd see people post pictures on facebook of their Elf spilling flour while they were baking, or being covered in soap bubbles. How adorable, right? Barf...

Apparently, my Elf on the Shelf would give Chucky a run for his money. I'm pretty sure he's possessed, and in all honesty, he suits my family just fine. This little effer ran off one night with my damn camera, and when he showed up the next morning, I couldn't believe the things he had done. He and I had to have a little talk afterwards, which is when he explained to me the true meaning behind why Elf on the Shelf is so mischievous...

Peeping Elf
 My Elf on the Shelf is a little perv. The first picture on the camera is of him peeping in on some unsuspecting woman's relaxing bath time. He said things were just fine until she took the removable shower head under the bubbles with her, and things got interesting. That led to this...

Orgy Elf
He said he needed to 'relieve some pressure', so he ventured off into the kid's room and had his way with a heart poodle. My question is... what in the hell is the monkey doing? Elf said not to ask...

Pussy Elf
I guess the animal orgy wasn't enough for him, because he said he got himself some real pussy on the way out of that house. He started to tell me he liked the way the cat's rough tongue felt on his... but I stopped

Friday, November 30, 2012

2012 Holiday Position Available: Tatted Mom's Brain

In 2010, I advertised for the position of my personal Holiday Bitch Filter in Holiday Position Now Available! Last year I launched the seasonal Stick Removal R Us business in New Holiday Service Available, because I was tired of dealing with people with sticks up their asses when I ventured outside to do my happy shopping. This year is no different.

Courtesy of Amy Tiemann
Now hiring for the holiday season, with possible permanent job placement after the holidays: Someone dedicated, sarcastic, organized and just slightly less crazy than me to be Tatted Mom's Brain.

Job Description:
This person will pretty much be my functioning brain for the holiday season. I'm scatterbrained as it is, but during the holidays it gets way worse. Similar to a personal assistant, this person will organize my day, help me remember school functions, help me budget, reply to emails I forget about, keep up with the daily running of the house, and so on.

Additional job duties include:
  • Telling people 'no' for me. I'm not good at this with people who politely extend invitations during the season, so if an event or gathering comes up that I'd rather pull my toenails out with pliers than attend, Tatted Mom's Brain will tell the person 'no' for me. Not coach me on how to say 'no', actually tell the person 'no'. If they recognize that the voice on the phone sounds weird, we will tell them I'm sick. If we are face to face with the person asking, Tatted Mom's Brain needs to be agile enough to ninja-style pop up in front of me, tell the person 'no' and disappear.
  • Helping me come up with ridiculous ways to screw with my loved ones. It's difficult always being a sarcastic bitch to friends and family, so the person that gets the job of Tatted Mom's Brain will have to be able to help me stay on top of things. If the kids ask to have a candy bar 10 minutes before dinner, a simple no doesn't do in my house. Telling the kids, 'Sure, but those are Mom's secret laxative candy bars, so as soon as you eat them you'll be in the bathroom crapping your brains out all night instead of eating baked spaghetti with cookies for dessert. Go ahead' is completely acceptable. Telling the kids we got them a pet llama for Christmas but forgot to poke holes in the box under the tree is an every year event, so I need help coming up with new material this year.
  • Finding half naked pictures of Channing Tatum or Ryan Gosling when morale is low. Being

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

STOP the Morning School Rush Madness With Simple Prep! (Guest Post)

If you feel like a drill sergeant (or a chicken missing its head) in the morning rush before school, chances are you need a change. Help your children learn how to manage time, and get to school with matching socks and possibly even with their hair done, by following these five tips to ease the morning rush:

Prepare the Night Before

Unfinished homework assignments, lunches that need to be made, and backpacks missing content can cause unnecessary stress in the morning. Ease the morning rush by preparing these things the night before. When your child gets home from school, greet them with a snack then help them with their homework. Before the night is through, have your son organize his backpack so it is ready to grab and go in the morning. A command center with cubbies or hooks gives children a place to put their school supplies until they need it in the morning.

Get Enough Sleep

Waking up late or trudging around in the morning could mean that your child isn't getting enough sleep. On average, school-aged children should get nine hours of sleep, according to Help your daughter establish a good sleeping schedule by creating nighttime rituals, enforcing bedtimes and making her room as cozy and sleep-conducive as possible. Consider using roman blinds to block out extra light or a soothing sound like a favorite lullaby to help her fall asleep.

Have a Morning Checklist

Every child should have his or her own alarm clock to wake up to each morning. Teach your children responsibility early on by having them wake up on their own, get dressed, brush their teeth and finish their chores before coming to the kitchen for breakfast. Amy Suardi, writer of, said on her blog that she posted a morning checklist on her children's bedroom wall to help them know what simple tasks to complete when they wake up. Before her 6 and 8-year-old could read, the list was made up of pictures so they could still know what to do. This helped the girls develop independence and made school-day mornings much easier and smoother in the Suardi household.

Stick to the Routine

Establish a routine that works for your family and stick to it. If it means waking up a little earlier, get everyone in the habit. Morning time shouldn't be spent finishing homework or making lunches, but children still can have responsibility and tasks to complete before they leave for school. Whether it is practicing the piano or taking out the trash, give your children chores to complete so they can learn to utilize their time even in the morning rush.

Eliminate Stress

Get rid of what stresses you out in the morning. Review the average morning in your home or better yet, do a week long audit to find patterns in your routine. If there is something that can be eliminated to ease the morning rush, do it. While children need to learn how to manage time, they also need to be taught the importance of being on time. Cut out the unnecessary chores or activities that are weighing you or your children down before school. Schedules constantly change and adapt, so make sure you are adapting as well.

Post written by Ashley White.
Ashley is a blogger and self-described HGTV addict. She scours antique and resale shops for goodies to fill her family's eclectic home in upstate New York.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

5 Lessons Craigslist Has Taught Me

Hubby and I have decided to get The Girl a vanity table for her room for Christmas. Finding one we like in the price range we want is quite difficult. Cheap ones online have already sold out, thanks to Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, which leaves us either spending an arm and a leg, or having to think outside of the box.

"Outside of the box" includes thrift stores, antique stores and Craigslist.

Early this morning I jumped on Craigslist to see what had been uploaded since my last visit late yesterday afternoon. Considering my coffee had yet to set in properly, my early morning online scavenger hunt had me rolling around laughing. I want to share actual postings with you all, and I will put the link, but understand that if this stuff sells, there's a good chance the link will not work later.

Craigslist has taught me some very valuable lessons today...
~Pictures Don't Need to Be in Focus.

Why take a good picture of something you are trying to unload on Craigslist? No need. Blurry pictures, pictures taken while riding on a skateboard past the item, and pictures taken in a dark cave will all work. Hell, it's a cocktail table for $75... I think. It could be a simple serving tray or a piece of dollhouse furniture if you go by the picture. Just make sure you see it before handing over the cash.

~The Word "Eclectic" Means "Ugly".

What's this I see? An eclectic armchair for just $115? I love eclectic furniture. Let me just click right here... OH MY GOD, WHAT IS THAT? Are those monkeys? On a black chair with green tree branches? That's not 'eclectic', that's just plain hideous. And the seller wants $115 for this? How about they pay me to take it off of their hands and use it to start a bonfire? Seriously, my style of decorating is 'eclectic', but that does not mean hideous. Someone kill this chair, kill it now...
~You Can't Negotiate When It Comes to Sentimental Items.

Title says: Mermaid pottery decoration.
Description says: $130, price is firm, sorry.

What title should say: Handmade mermaid pottery with big boobs, "eclectic" (see above)
What Description should say: I made this and I love it, so I'm charging $130 because that's the amount of a bill I have that needs to be paid, and because it's my art and holds sentimental value for me, I will not let it go for less than the bill. If I don't get the amount of my bill for this, then it's not worth it to me to give up. And yes, I have a boob fetish.

~People Do Dumb Things.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Humble Chic Cyber Monday Sale

I was told about Humble Chic and fell in love with their clothing and handbags. Then I was told that on Monday, November 26th (Cyber Monday), Humble Chic was running 20% Off the Entire Site PLUS a FREE Humble Chic Signature Tote Bag with every purchase, I knew I had to pass it on to y'all. (Make sure to type in Promo Code: CYBER-CHIC when you check out!)

Their stuff is absolutely adorable...

Heart Patch Sweater, Courtesy of Humble Chic
And makes me giggle...
Jumbo Skull Tote, Courtesy of Humble Chic

So, considering the 20% off sale is for one day only, just go ahead and treat yourself to something cute, and when the husband gets home, tell him Thank You, that he bought you the most amazing sweater/handbag/necklace for Christmas, from Humble Chic!! Or, you can just tell him you bought it for yourself, but the first one makes husbands feel special (and there's less bitching)...

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Sunday, November 25, 2012

DUIs, Military Punishment and Super Weed in Arizona

There are some things in life that I have simply accepted that I'm not supposed to understand.

How the military deals with issues that arise in each squadron is definitely one of them. This is not a political post- it's a military-wife-venting-about-the-stupidity-of-her-husband's-job post. And it's a doozie.

This weekend was supposed to be a 4 day weekend, but there were some idiots in Hubby's squadron to go ahead and take care of that.

Courtesy of AlcockLaw
Some background first: Arizona is a 'Don't Think of Taking a Sip of Beer and Even Sitting in the Driver's Seat' state. They crack down on DUIs worse than a pimp when one of his whores doesn't have his money. Hell, even if you blow a 0 on the breathalyzer, they still give you a DUI (not even joking- more on that later in the story). So, the higher ups on the military base here take DUIs pretty seriously, too. They leave it up to each squadron as to how to handle DUIs that come in, but there's even a DUI board when you first drive on base that points out the number of days since the last DUI and the squadron responsible for the infraction. Hubby's squadron has wrestled with some different ideas on how to deal with this situation... and in my opinion after this weekend, they need to get back to the drawing board.

A few days ago, a guy in the squadron got a DUI. We aren't talking small DUI either, he was thrown in jail. Apparently he really needed a pack of cigarettes after consuming almost an entire bar. Please note that while I don't defend this guy or anyone else who gets a DUI, we are all adults here and need to face a simple reality- unless you have never drank a drop of alcohol, judging dumbasses who get DUIs is just wrong. You damn well know that at some point in your life you've gotten behind the wheel of a car and prayed to get to your destination safely, after having convinced yourself that you just have a small buzz and it won't affect your driving. Even if it was 20 years ago in high school, you've done it. We all have. But when you're in your 30s or 40s and employed by the military where they actually have punishments for this type of thing, think twice. While I don't judge the dumbasses, I will call them dumbasses for being dumbasses. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's not a damn turkey.

So anyway. Guy gets DUI, squadron heads make everyone come in on Saturday morning at 6am for Team Building exercises and PT (physical training). That's the punishment Hubby's squadron went with- you get a DUI, it affects everyone around you. It causes a lot of hostility, let me tell you, but if it works, it can be quite effective (if it works). There were some speeches, the DUI guy had to explain his story and apologize to everyone for causing them to come in on a Saturday, and they all hugged and made up (okay, not really, but y'all get where I'm going with this). 3 hours later, Hubby was home, and we had a birthday party to finish putting together.

Only, the squadron heads didn't make everyone come in that morning. They only made certain sections of the squadron come in. (Squadrons are huge, so they only made this guy's immediate career field and coworkers come in, not the entire squadron.) So, for story's sake, we have Group #1 that came in on Saturday morning, and Group #2 that didn't come in on Saturday morning.

At midnight last night, Hubby gets a text (mind you, not a phone call) that says there's been another DUI in

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Hubby's Approved Gifts for Men this Holiday Season

Man Philosophy #14: A Man's Heart
This year, Hubby and I rekindled our romance and ended our 3 year separation. He wanted to be more involved with my life as a writer and mom blogger, so I gave him his own section of my blog:

Man Philosophy.

Honestly, I wasn't expecting the amazing response to Hubby's Man Philosophy crap idea. I got email after email from women saying they laughed so hard, then showed it to their husbands, who all simply said, 'Yep, that's right.' One woman asked if she could get a T-shirt with one of the sayings on it... and the Man Philosophy product line began.

These shirts and PJ sets are Hubby approved for men to wear, and definitely make the most unique (and funny as hell) gift this holiday season.

Any of the links in this email will send you directly to Inklings' Merch Store, which is the ONLY place you can get the Man Philosophy line. If you see them anywhere else, they are non-thinking stealers who are infringing on copyrights. Let me know if you see any, please.

Some of the Man Philosophy words of wisdom include:

Friday, November 23, 2012


Today only, 11/23/12, The Honest Company is offering FREE SHIPPING on their orders. What that means for you all is that you can get their FREE TRIAL samples and not even pay shipping!!

I signed up for mine, but because I don't have a child in diapers, I opted to just get the Family Essentials Sample Kit for free. Here's a screen shot of my purchase today:

They will enroll you in their monthly automatic bundle delivery service, but just cancel that as soon as you get your free sample, and you'll be all good.

So head to The Honest Company now and get your free stuff, today! You can combine both the Essentials Sample Kit and the Diaper Bundle Sample for free!

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The Ginger's (Un)Birth Story

8 years ago today, The Ginger was born. In the tradition of telling The Girl's story on her birthday, I definitely wanted to tell you all The Ginger's (un)birth story on his birthday. You won't want to miss this one- I couldn't make up this story if I tried.

Why unbirth?

Because on other mom blogs, the birthing stories are perfect- unicorns and fairies helped aid in a painless water birth (no epidural of course) where the child came out not even screaming, but singing a beautiful song, and the mom never even smeared her eyeliner, and 6 weeks later, not only had she lost all of the actual baby weight, but another 10 pounds on top of that.

Yeah, screw that. This is a real birth story, Tatted Mom style of course.

The Ginger's birth was scheduled. I was pretty miserable in the last few weeks of my pregnancy, and we had gone past the original due date of the 18th, so the doctor scheduled me to be induced. If you read back with The Girl, I went into labor naturally with her, so I didn't think a pitocin-induced labor would be much different than a natural labor.

Holy crap, was I wrong...

We got to the hospital at 7 that morning, and by 9 I was hooked up to the machines, pitocin dripping into my veins. All was fine for the first few hours. I was told I couldn't eat anything, but Hubby snuck me Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and bites of a cheeseburger from Burger King. I sat back and watched the few channels the hospital room TV had, and waited for this hell that people kept telling me was associated with pitocin-induced labors.

We need to backtrack for just a second so I can let y'all know that The Ginger was born in England. Hubby was stationed in England at the time, and the hospital I was at was a very small one on the military base. But, to answer the next question I always get asked, yes, The Ginger has dual citizenship in both England and America until he turns 18, and then he has to decide what he'll be. To answer the next question I get asked, no, The Ginger does not have a British accent. We moved back to the states when he was about 9 months old. I find that question on the ridiculous side, but I get asked it.. a lot...

So, moving on. A few hours after starting the drip, I started feeling some pain. It wasn't unbearable, so Hubby stood by and held my hand, and we got through the contractions and picked up whatever conversation we were having before they started. The Girl, 2 1/2 at the time, was staying with a friend of ours, and we called every now and then to check up on her. No idea when little Rhiannon Grace would be in our arms, but we knew it would be soon.

Did you catch that? The name of our soon-to-be child... Rhiannon Grace? Yeah, the ultrasound tech at 20 weeks told me that we were having a girl. So did the doctor at 38 weeks when they had to do another ultrasound to make sure the baby was doing okay (I had had some complications)... girl, girl, girl. Stupid ultrasound tech and doctor. Just keep that part of the story in mind for later...