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 Abcactionnews.com. 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 Frugal-mama.com, 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...


http://tucson.craigslist.org/fuo/3437463204.html
~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.

http://tucson.craigslist.org/fuo/3429722397.html

~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...


http://tucson.craigslist.org/hsh/3437423687.html
~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- FREE SHIPPING at The Honest Company = FREE PRODUCTS!!

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...

Monday, November 19, 2012

Hell Hath No Fury Like a Little Girl Who Hated Hostess Twinkies

So, the biggest news of the last week or so has not been how the President will stay another 4 years in office. Nope.

After 82 years in business, Hostess has closed its doors.

Courtesy of NYDailyNews
No more Wonder Bread, no more Ding Dongs, no more Twinkies... well, maybe.

Let's think about this logically, Inklingers. You know it's true that when one Ho falls to the wayside, there's always another one to take her place. Hell, I'm pretty sure Little Debbie is licking her lips to fill the void that Hostess has left in our lives, and after she's done removing the pins from her Hostess voodoo doll, and paying off the bakers who went on strike, we'll hear that she has acquired the Hostess name and products. If nothing else, Little Debbie makes things similar to Hostess goodies. Yes, a Cloud Cake isn't nearly as soft and spongy as a Twinkie, but in a Twinkie-less world, it will have to do.

I have a few beefs with this whole situation:
  1. The Union. It's my understanding from reading all of the articles, that the following chain of events occurred:
    Declining economy -> Sales going down for Hostess -> Hostess tried to cut wages and benefits to make up for the lack of sales -> Union stepped in and bakers went on strike -> Hostess could not reach an agreement with the union -> Hostess closed its doors

    While I completely understand job rights and unions to protect the workers, isn't a job with reduced pay and reduced benefits better than No Job with high pay and good benefits? Way to go there, Union- now you just put an ass load of people out of jobs. And in the process of lining up all of the Hostess workers in the unemployment line, you helped closed one of the iconic businesses of several generations- the people who make Twinkies. I'd hate to be the person telling my grandkids that story:

    "Yeah, little Jimmy, I was one of the union workers that advised the Hostess bakers to go on strike, consequently causing Hostess to close there doors, which is why you haven't had a Twinkie since you were 3."

  2. Opportunists. Have y'all heard that cases of Twinkies are going on Amazon Marketplace and Ebay for over $200 a box? When people heard that Hostess had closed their doors, the shelves at the

Friday, November 16, 2012

Men and Laundry Shenanigans (An Ink Blots Post)

I'm a stay-at-home mom. I chose to take the major responsibility of cleaning the house, doing the laundry and cooking.

That does not mean I put up with Hubby's shenanigans when it comes to these things.

In the moving-into-our-house process, we had the laundry hamper in our bedroom right in front of the door because we had boxes everywhere else. Once we started to unpack the room, I realized that I didn't want the laundry hamper directly in front of the door- who wants to see dirty laundry when they first walk into a room? Not me! So, I moved the laundry basket to the other side of the dresser and called it a successful day.
The Laundry Hamper

When Hubby got home that day, he went to throw his dirty clothes in the hamper and all he saw was it was missing- not in its "normal" spot. So, he started a pile at the foot of the bed. When we went to bed that night, I pointed out to him where the laundry hamper now was, and how his laundry needed to go into it instead of at the foot of the bed.

Hubby: I don't like the laundry hamper over there. It's all the way on the other side of the room.
Me: What? It's on the other side of the dresser, not the room.
Hubby: Same thing.
Me: Just put your clothes in the hamper, please, and then I can wash them.
Hubby: Why don't you put my clothes in the hamper for me? (snickering- Understand that while Hubby is an ass, he really isn't. He says things like this in a joking manner.)
Me: Because I'm not your maid. Once you put them in the hamper, I will wash them, but I'm not putting them in the hamper out of principle. 
Hubby's Pile

2 days went by and this pile at the foot of the bed just got bigger and bigger. Every night we'd climb into bed, and he'd say, "Woman! Why haven't you put my clothes in the hamper yet?" I'd smile, turn over and put my back to him.

Another 2 days went by, and I decided to have photographic evidence of these shenanigans. Excuse the mess around the hamper, and the Kitteh in the distance shot. She wouldn't move for shit.

Please note that our bedroom is not huge. The distance between Hubby's pile of clothes and the laundry hamper is about 4 1/2 feet.
The Distance

His pile of clothes remained at the foot of the bed for almost a week. Finally one day I told him that I was doing laundry- only laundry found in baskets or hampers in the house. If the kids have to put their clothes in a basket, then Hubby had to as well, or his dirty laundry wouldn't get washed. I saw him messing around with the pile and assumed he was moving it, so I got into the shower. When I got out of the shower, he was standing over his pile of clothes with this huge shit-eating grin on his face.

Hubby: I'm not going to put the pile of clothes in the hamper because you've been adding stuff to my pile! So you have to move it, now!
Me: (looking at the pile and seeing my pajama pants, tank top and underwear on the pile- the clothes I had just shed to get into the shower a few minutes before) You assmunch! You can't get my clothes off of the bathroom floor while I'm in the shower and add them to your pile. I'm not stupid. 
Hubby: (looking like I just popped his favorite balloon) Okay...

We both laughed, and he picked his clothes up, complete with my newly-added pre-shower clothes, and put them in the hamper so I could do the laundry.

I don't deal with laundry shenanigans.


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Thursday, November 15, 2012

5 Ways to Add Magic to Your Child's Life

Y'all know I love movies like 'Practical Magic' and 'The Good Witch' series. I love the feeling they give- optimism, togetherness, and magic. I love magic. Each day, I try and do things with my kids that add magic to their lives; just those little things that cause them to smile, to feel good about themselves and their home life, and put them at ease.


Today's post is found over at Parent Society, where I have a weekly column. I'll start it for you here, so enjoy!

5 Ways to Add Magic To Your Child's Life

The world is a scary place. Turning on the television to watch the news bombards people with death, fear, and sadness. Kids are being exposed to so much more nowadays than I was as a child, and I'm seeing a growing trend of children accepting more violence and hate and becoming numb to it all.

That has to change -- immediately.

Innocence needs to be instilled back into our children; an innocence that comes with magic. Not so much the pulling a rabbit out of a hat actual magic, but the feeling that comes with watching a magician pull that bouquet of flowers out from behind someone's ear, or the innocent adrenaline rush of seeing someone get sawed in half during a magic trick -- not fear instilled by watching a person in a horror movie actually get sawed in half by the killer. Magic makes children healthily question their surroundings, gives a feeling of joy and wonderment, and lightens the mood created by this daunting world.

My kids and I live by magic. Every chance I get to create smiles on my kids' faces and bring some innocence back into their lives, I do it. My kids are 10 and 8, and I try my best to keep them every bit of their actual ages.

Here are some of the things I do for my kids, and we do as a family, to add magic to our lives:

1. Give them things to believe in.
I'm not necessarily speaking religious icons, but if that's what works for your family, then go for it. I'm talking the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, and Santa Claus. I have heard so many parents out there say that they aren't participating in passing these age-old beliefs down to their kids because it's lying to them and they don't want to lie to their children. That's hogwash, I say. Kids talk, and how difficult is it to explain to a child why one of their friends said their parents told them Santa isn't real? Very difficult for this mom, as I've had to do that before.

I'm trying to keep the innocence alive in my kids, by allowing them to believe in fantasy things, and when they get old enough, and ask me for the truth, I will tell them. But these are things children should believe in...

Continue Reading 5 Ways to Add Magic to Your Child's Life:

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

"Magic Mike" and Ass Tassels- A Tatted Mom Style Review

I'm sure most women out there have already seen "Magic Mike". While I may be a little behind in the times, it's well worth the wait, because now you ladies get a review of the movie, Tatted Mom Style.

Let's start with the plot of the movie. It shocked me to find that this movie actually had a plot to begin with and a damn good one. Magic Mike (played by the amazing Channing Tatum) is a male stripper who is just doing it to pay the bills (don't all strippers say that?) and save money to open his own custom furniture business (hey, at least he isn't "putting himself through college" as a stripper). During the day he's also a building contractor, and has an auto detailing business. He comes across (not literally, ladies get your heads out of the gutter right this second- I'll let you know when you can put them back in the gutter) The Kid at his day job; a 19 year old hottie, Alex Pettyfer, who is pretty much lost in this world. The movie chronicles their friendship, how Mike gets The Kid a job stripping at night, and how The Kid gets too deep (out of the gutter) into the lifestyle that is sex, drugs and money, with his sister (played by Cody Horn) worrying about him the entire way- a sister that Mike just happens to fall in love with.

Now that we have the basic plot, you ladies can insert your mind back into the gutter for the Tatted Mom Style review.

Like I stated above, the plot was amazing... and there was too damn much of it. I sat down to watch "Magic Mike" thinking it was going to be nothing but naked hot guys shaking their tight little asses, and they throw this awesome story line at me. There's love (and not just the love I developed for Channing Tatum's on-stage moves), there's betrayal, there's sacrifice- there's a REAL movie hidden under all of the thrusting hips. Much more than we can say about any stripper movie in the past- think "Showgirls" and "Striptease". Prime examples of why stripping movies should be about male strippers.

Within the first minute of the movie, we get some nice Channing Tatum ass- and when I say nice, ladies, I mean niiiccceeee. There were several times throughout the movie that I had to pause it and say to a friend of mine (because hell yes, we made this a Chick Event), "Can you believe he's our age?" I wasn't mesmerized by some 18 year old's ass in this movie- I was mesmerized by an ass in its 30s, which made me feel so much better about my life. Getting older means the hot actors in movies are getting younger, and when they are so much younger than me that I could have babysat them when I was a teenager, it doesn't matter if they are of legal age, I still feel like a perverted old lady oogling their goodies. Not in this movie. Channing Tatum is a healthy 32 year old, and Alex Pettyfer teeters on the edge of acceptable at 22, but I'll take it.

And please don't forget about Matthew McConaughey. He's in his 40s and I wouldn't think twice about licking pudding off of his abs. Holy crap, that man is hot. And his southern accent is alive and well in this

Sunday, November 11, 2012

I Thought My Kid Was Just Weird, But Maybe Not... Or Maybe So

Disclaimer: This is MY story about a situation in MY family. I do not presume to know you or your children, and I understand that what worked for me may not work for you. I do not intend to make light of a serious issue, or to claim to be an 'expert' on the subject at all. Please keep all of this in mind when reading today's post, and in commenting. Thank you.

There are certain things I swore to myself I would not talk about when I started a blog- religion, politics and special needs situations, especially autism. Today I'm breaking my own rule in light of recent events in my house, and I'm hoping my story can help some other moms out there.

My kids, as of this point, have not ever been diagnosed with anything. The Ginger (now almost 8) had swine flu once and has had a busted ear drum due to an ear infection, and The Girl (now 10) has allergies, but that's just about it (thank goodness, and knock on wood). As far as I know it, they are happy, healthy kids.

This wasn't always the case.

Courtesy of hhs.gov
I'm telling this story now because I recently read some articles on some mom sites about autism. I've never researched autism, but some of the "facts" in these articles seemed a bit strange based on the little knowledge I did have. So, as with anything else in this world I have questions about, I set out on a massive information hunt to feed my curiosity. I was freaking out when I was done.

7 years ago when The Ginger was around the age of 1, he was a strange kid. He used to line his matchbox cars up in a straight line, all bumper to bumper, facing the same direction. I thought this was a little bizarre, so I experimented with a few things one time. When his back was turned, I'd flip one of the cars around backwards, and when he turned back around, he'd immediately spot it and freak out, grunting and sometimes even hitting me (he didn't speak at this point). He'd calm down, turn the car back to the way it was supposed to be, and add the next car to the front of the line. While I understood the behavior was not typical of other children, I honestly just thought he liked things a certain way, and (this may sound horrible to some people, but if you know me, you know it really isn't), it became like a parlor trick in our home. A friend would come over, he'd be lining his cars up, I'd say, 'Holy crap, you have to see this', I'd flip a car around, he'd get mad at me, and we'd all laugh (The Ginger laughed, too, when he saw us laughing- eventually). I never thought much about it.

The Ginger didn't start walking until he was 14 months old or so. He had no interest in getting around. He was perfectly happy sitting and playing with blocks or lining cars up in a row. He never talked much- mostly in grunts and weird sounds, but his sister was 3 at the time and would talk for him, 'He wants his bottle,' or 'He's tired, he wants his blankie' when he would start grunting, and then she'd go and get his bottle or his blankie for him. So, I never thought anything of that, either. I figured he didn't walk because he didn't feel like it, and didn't talk because his sister always did it for him.

When The Ginger turned 2 years old, I was into this whole natural healing frame of mind, and I refused to get

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Well Worth $80 (An Ink Blots Post)

I used to have a job where I had a conference call at least once a week, on my drive to work (well, I could either take the conference call on my drive to work or get to work an hour early and take it there- I got paid either way, so seriously, it was a no-brainer). Even though I hated the things (I call them Bugs), I got a Bluetooth. I had to, it was a necessity to be able to participate in my conference call while driving 70 mph on the interstate.

Now I'm a stay-at-home-mom who, in the past, spent $80 on a little bug for her ear so she could look like be a (safe) professional. I'm not one for wasting money, so I still use my Bluetooth while I clean the house. Sometimes people call me and I talk to them while I'm cleaning house, sometimes no one calls me, and I have this bug stuck in my ear for no reason at all.

I also use it when I go out in public, usually to the grocery store or Target. I think it's funny to keep my hair down and look like I'm talking to myself. The looks I get are priceless.

But honestly, for the most part, it's become pretty useless. I don't have 45 minute (one way) commutes to work, I don't have conference calls on a regular basis, and I don't have specific times that I talk to people to where I couldn't sit down and relax during the conversation instead of staying on-the-go.

Instead of getting rid of it, I decided to put it to even better use than how people would normally use it. I'll break down a scenario for you:

Woman cleaning house + Talking - Bluetooth device = Crazy ass woman talking to herself
Woman cleaning house + Talking + Bluetooth device = Not crazy ass woman having a conversation with another person via her Bluetooth.

No one needs to know I'm not actually talking to anyone via my Bluetooth nnd that I am, in deed, talking to myself.

So, here's your heads up if you happen to know where I live and enjoy looking in my windows during the day- that Bluetooth in my ear is more than likely a cover-up. There's a 99% chance I'm just talking to myself...

Well worth the $80 to keep nosy neighbors guessing...

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Truffles, Wine and My Monthly Time Out

Men, go away now. Seriously. Don't make me have to tell you twice. If you weren't born with a vagina, I don't want you reading this. You've been warned.

I've come to realize that there are certain times in my life that I need to remove myself from the general population for both my own sake and for the sake of everyone else. This time happens every month...

Yes, I'm talking about my time of the month.

I get serious PMS. Do not pass go, do not collect $200 (unless that money is for chocolate, potato chips, coffee, muscle relaxers and wine), I go from semi-bitch to raging bitch in 2.5 seconds. My hormones are crazy, I cry at the drop of a hat, and nothing makes me happy. On top of all of this, my face breaks out like a 15 year old. For crying out loud, I'm 31. This shit shouldn't happen anymore.

Courtesy of How Many Are There?
I can always tell when my period is getting close, because I cry at the end of TV shows. Doesn't matter what the show is- The Walking Dead, Dexter, The Big Bang Theory- I cry. That's when the light bulb goes on, and in a perfect world, I would be allowed to lock myself in the bedroom for a week or so until it passes. Unfortunately, moms don't get to take time off of work, especially not once a month, every month.

The next symptom that pops up is the acne. My face turns into pepperoni pizza, and I have to steal my daughter's zit cream. Yeah, that's fun, right?

Then the bitchiness takes over. I'm not happy being lazy or being productive. One minute I'm telling the kids they can't go outside to play, then the next minute I'm screaming at them to get as far away from me and the house as they can. And Hubby? He can't do a damn thing right for a week straight no

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Take a Break, Your Work is Killing You!!

A huge thanks to the people at LearnStuff.com who emailed me about this infographic. This is exactly why we need mandatory nap time for everyone... Enjoy!


Take A Break

Created by: LearnStuff.com


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Monday, November 5, 2012

The Welcome Mat is Dead

This move has definitely been a strange one.

I posed a question to Inklings' facebook fans yesterday to get some opinions. I got back some really great answers, but to be honest, they weren't what I expected. Then I realized that I didn't quite explain it right. So that just makes a perfect blog post.

The scenario I posted yesterday involved how The Ginger had made friends with the little boy next door and wanted him to come inside to play, but the little boy's mother said he couldn't come inside until she had met me. So The Ginger kept coming inside and asking me to go out there and meet her, and I was dragging my feet about it because in my opinion, she should have been coming over to meet me, not me going over there.

Petty, I know, but this post will clear up what was going on in my head.

Most of the replies that came through were of the mindset that I needed to take one for the team and go over to her house because it was for my little boy.

Y'all know I love you, Inklingers, but that was honestly the opposite of what I thought the majority would say. I seriously thought most people would be standing beside me, arms crossed, saying, 'She needs to get over here and meet me.' Even Hubby had my side, but was still pushing me out the door for The Ginger's sake.

I grew up in the South. I'm not sure if it's Southern Hospitality or the fact that most southerners are curious as hell and love to gossip, but every move Hubby and I have ever made, our neighbors came and welcomed us to the neighborhood. Our first base in North Carolina over 10 years ago, we were greeted by the next door neighbor with lasagna while we were moving in because she said we shouldn't have to cook our first night in a new house. When we moved on base in South Carolina, people would approach us on the sidewalk,

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Shopping Sucks...

Balls. Huge, hairy donkey balls.

That is probably the only time y'all will ever see me write that.

Normally I love shopping. Hubby and I live on a pretty tight budget, so when we get a little extra cash, I'm sprinting to my favorite store, Target, to buy pretty things for my house or kids. Yesterday was a nightmare, and it all started at Target. You know when your favorite store pisses you off, it's not going to be a good day.

The Target closest to our new house is a horrible one. It's always disorganized, they don't have as much stuff as the one by the apartment, and the people that work there are less than happy with their lives. I headed there anyway to start my Making My House a Home shopping day.

Here's a scenario for y'all. If the Target sales ad says, "FREE $10 Gift Card when you buy ANY Lego set $39.99 or higher" and the only small print excludes the new girlie Lego Friends collection, and I purchased the Lego Monster Zombies set, priced at $39.99 (The Ginger's birthday is in 3 weeks), then what should happen at check out? Right, I should get a free $10 gift card. Apparently not at this Target. The cashier told me that her register didn't beep, telling her to give me a gift card. So, I pulled out the weekly ad, showed her the sale, and she called a manager. The manager then walked all the way back to the toy section and radioed her to tell her that the Zombies set isn't included in the sale. Now, the $49.99 Frankenstein set was included, but not the $39.99 Zombies set. She told him that the ad specifically said ANY Lego set $39.99 or higher, so he told her we would honor the sale by not giving me a gift card (which I am hoarding to help pay for the kids' Christmas presents), but by taking $10 off of my purchase. I accepted that, and then she reiterated that just for clarification purposes I needed to understand that the Zombie set was not included in the sale. Bullshit it isn't. It's a Lego set $39.99 or higher. Whatever, I got my $10.

I left Target, pissed at what had happened and decided to head to Michael's and Home Goods- two more of

Friday, November 2, 2012

My Neck, My Back, Lick... Nope, That's Not Right

With the move now behind us, and the new house full of boxes for me to unpack, my sanity isn't the only thing screaming for help.

My effing back is being a pain again... or is in pain... or both.

Before I go into the roller coaster that is the journey of my back pain (which started over 16 years ago), there's one thing y'all need to know up front that will come into play later in the story-

I hate needles...

(says the woman covered in tattoos and has had almost every piercable part of her body pierced at one point or another in her life). I can't stand them. I hate having my blood taken or getting shots. There's a difference between tattoo needles and syringe needles, just as there is a difference between piercing needles and syringe needles. I think it's the mental stigma that medical needles are for putting stuff in my body that isn't there to begin with, or taking something out of my body that's supposed to be there. That thought freaks me out. And, when it's all said and done, you aren't left with a cute piece of jewelry or a work of art.

It doesn't make the most sense, so yes, you can laugh now. It's just another one of my weird things (like feet).

Now that we have that out of the way, my back problems started when I was 15. I had some hella lower back spasms that were interfering with my track to becoming a female sports goddess (I was playing basketball, volleyball and soccer that year), so my parents took me to the doctor. The first diagnosis on this roller coaster came back as excess fluid in the joints of my lower back. The doctor gave me a month's worth of pills to take and told me if they didn't work, I'd have to return and have the fluid manually removed.

Manually removed? I was an intelligent 15 year old, so I started thinking about how he would manually remove fluid from inside my lower back joints. I asked the question I dreaded the answer to, and the doc

Thursday, November 1, 2012

4 Reasons I Refuse to Cut Sugar From My Kids' Diets

With Halloween now in the past, and the kids loaded up on sugar-filled candy, instead of telling my kids 'no', I'm telling them 'slow down'. Many pediatricians and nutritionists step up and say that we parents should cut sugar from our kids' diets.

I say Bollocks.

Keep sugar in your kids' diets. I do. Today's post is over at Parent Society. Here's the beginning, so enjoy!

4 Reasons I Refuse to Cut Sugar From My Kids' Diets


Years ago my family ate organic foods only. We ditched the preservative-filled easy fix meals, shopped at the local farmer's market for our fresh fruits and vegetables, only ate meat where the animals had not been treated with hormones and antibiotics, and my kids rarely had sugar. Due to budget cuts (that's putting it nicely -- we became broke, and quickly) we had to compromise with the food. Things like hot dogs (not the all-natural kind, either), corn dogs, frozen chicken tenders, Kool-Aid and boxed mac and cheese became staples in our house again. I wasn't thrilled, but I knew the financial setback was only temporary, so I just kept looking forward to the day that we'd be eating healthy again.

That time has finally arrived, and while I'm in the process of slowly replacing the cheap, easy fix meals with more natural (and unfortunately more expensive) options, I've come to realize there's one thing I refuse to cut out of my kids' diets...

Sugar.

That's right, I'm a mom who is refusing to cut sugar (which goes against almost everything that every pediatric doctor or nutritionist preaches). In my opinion, sugar is not evil. Extreme amounts of sugar, yes, but sugar itself is not. If you are a mom who likes to stay in control of your kids, then sugar can actually be an amazing tool of the trade. (Sounds backwards, doesn't it?) Here's why I decided to keep sugar in my kids' lives:

Continue Reading 4 Reasons I Refuse to Cut Sugar From My Kids' Diets...

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When I Was a Kid... (Featured Article On Mamapedia)

Life is always changing. Things keep speeding up, instant gratification is a way of life, and kids are growing up much quicker than when I was a child.

Not in my house!

Today's post is one from a few months ago that Mamapedia asked to run on their site. Of course I was happy to oblige; I LOVE Mamapedia.

Here's the beginning of the article, and you can finish it up on their site! Enjoy!

When I Was a Kid...

Most days I look at my kids and think, “Are you sure you are my kids? Did they switch you at the hospital?” Don’t get me wrong, they both look just like me, but it’s only every now and then that their actions or mannerisms scream that my DNA is somewhere inside of them.

Take my son, for example. He is an amazing artist, and every now and then, he’ll stick his tongue out of the corner of his mouth while he’s drawing. He got that from me, and I got that from my dad- DNA. (Yes, I’m saying there’s a stick-your-tongue-out-of-the-corner-of-your-mouth-while-concentrating-on-stuff chromosome.) But then take into account how he can’t sit still while he’s drawing. Spare me the lecture on ADHD please, he’s 7 years old, and today’s kids are used to fast paced everything – learning (“No Child Left Behind”), video games, music. If they take a minute to sit down, of course their body or mind is going to fight it. It’s the way of the world today – keep moving or die.

That started me thinking of how different things are today then when I was a kid. Huge differences…

When I Was a Kid: I’d leave the house right after breakfast in the summer, have to be back for lunch, leave again, have to be back for dinner, leave again, and be back at dusk for the night. My friends and I roamed all over the neighborhood on our bikes, and as long as I was within shouting distance of my mom, everything was okay.
Today’s Kids: If I can’t see them, it’s too far. No more roaming around the neighborhood; there are sickos out there.

When I Was a Kid: McDonalds was a treat.
Today’s Kids: For many families, McDonalds is Thursday night’s meal, plus maybe lunch on Saturday, and breakfast on Monday morning. Fast food is now a way of life, not a luxury.

When I Was a Kid: We made mixed tapes of our favorite songs, and if you didn’t want to hear one of them, you had to hit fast forward for 5 minutes to get past it...

Continue Reading 'When I Was a Kid...'


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