Friday, December 20, 2013

5 Social Media Culprits that Kill My Christmas Spirit

Normally, I'm not a Bah Humbug type of person. I'm a cheery, Ho Ho Ho, Merry Christmas, tinsel shooting out of my ass type of person this time of year, with the occasional, "Oh HELL no, where's the damn egg nog? They can NOT be sold out!"

Social media has killed me this year. I feel that part of my Christmas Spirit has been strangled, hung upside down and left for dead. Where I used to take pleasure in updating a facebook status, or checking out some tweets, I now find myself slamming my computer and pacing the floor just to calm down.

Let's break down some of the Christmas-Spirit-killing culprits that I'm sure you've seen on your social media sites this year...

1. 'Tis the season to donate to this charity (picture of an emaciated kid) or this charity (picture of a half dead dog) or what about this charity (picture of a child with a black eye). Yes. 'Tis the season for donating to charity, but must you post the most explicit pictures you possibly can in hopes of getting my money? Good grief, I'm scrolling through my news feed, hearing Sarah McLachlan's "Angel" in the back of my head, tears forming, thinking, "Damn, I just wanted to see if so-and-so posted their family pictures yet, but now I feel like a piece of crap for not giving over all of our money to help save the platypus." 

2. I'm broke. Hint hint. So broke. I'm so broke. Hint hint. Broke. We got it. You're broke. And you want people to send you presents or money. We're pretty much all broke nowadays, but you aren't broke enough that you don't have internet access and/or a smart phone with unlimited data to update your status 5,496 times a day telling everyone you are broke.

3. I'm so thankful right now. This organization/charity/company just dropped off presents and food for my family because we couldn't afford stuff this year. Oh, and look at this $500 television I'm getting ready to buy my husband. Wait. Hold up. You couldn't afford presents and food for your kids,

Friday, December 13, 2013

4 Good Signs that You Have Raised Your Tween Daughter Right... So Far

Being a parent is crazy. It's stressful, chaotic, and full of ups and downs.

And then, when you least expect it, if you tilt your head and squint just right, you catch a glimpse of something that makes you realize that you are rocking this parenting thing.

My daughter, The Girl, is 11 years old and in the 6th grade, which in our area, is middle school. The middle schoolers of today are absolutely nothing like the way I was when I was in middle school, (cough) 15 (cough, grumble, cough) 20 years ago. My daughter comes home with horror stories from hell; crap straight off of an after school special. What these kids talk about, know about, and do, makes me want to lock The Girl in a closet until she's 25, just to shield her from it all.

Thank goodness it seems that so far... so far... fingers crossed... Hubby and I are raising a pretty awesome, morally sound, strong in her convictions, tween.

Which brings me to today's post. Yes, these scenarios all happened in the recent past, and yes, I couldn't be any prouder or any happier as a mom. Fingers crossed this keeps up through her teenage years and into adulthood. A mom's greatest dream...

1. While other 11 year olds around her are talking about "dating" and how "stressful" it is to have a boyfriend/girlfriend, my daughter stares at them like they've grown a second head and simply states, "Why do you want to be in a "relationship"? You're 11." Amen, sista, amen. Real dating, and real relationships, take time, effort and a level of maturity that 6th graders just don't have. While my daughter's friends are stressing over why so-and-so hasn't returned their text in 2.5 seconds, The Girl is

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Holiday Job Opening 2013: Tatted Mom's Naughty-to-Nice Shifter

In true Tatted Mom Christmas style, I have yet another holiday position open for you all this year. Can't break tradition, right?

It all started in 2010 when I advertised for the position of my personal Holiday Bitch Filter. In 2011, 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. Last year, I went looking for someone to fill the roll as Tatted Mom's Brain for the holiday season.

This year, God help us all with my current job need.

Now hiring for the holiday season, with possible permanent job placement after the holidays: Someone snarky, intelligent, ballsy and with nerves of steel to be my Naughty-to-Nice Shifter.

Job Description:
This person will pretty much deal with the outside world for me, and filter out all of the bullshit, shifting naughty scenarios to nice ones, thus keeping me from going on a candy cane vodka drinking binge this year.

Specific job duties include:
  • Checking the mail. Nothing pisses me off more than running to the mailbox and not finding that gift I ordered 3 effing weeks ago in it. The shipping window was over 2 days ago, where in the hell is my kid's ninja hoodie, dammit? So, as my Naughty-to-Nice Shifter, you will check the mail for me, hunt down the mailman, if necessary, and definitely send nasty emails to the company that did not have the gummy bear scented body spray to me in a timely fashion, so I can remain blissfully ignorant and in a nice mood.
  • Monitoring all online forums. I am a member of a lot of online mom groups- some local, most are not local. I can only see the post, "Hey, does anyone know what time Target closes?" a certain number of times before I want to do something naughty like type out, "It took you longer to type out that damn question and wait for an answer than it does to just go to Target's website and effing look yourself," gouge my eyes out with pencils, stab the 17th person who asked that in a 24 hour period, and inevitably get banned from that group forever. So, your job would be to monitor

Friday, November 29, 2013

Holiday Shopping with Tatted Mom, 5 Deals in All!

If you are all about the Christmas deals like I am, then this year, you've come to the right place!

As y'all know, I wrote a little book this year. The reviews have been coming in on Amazon, Goodreads and on websites, and they have been amazing. "Tatted Mom's Guide to NOT Screwing Up Your Kids" is currently a 5 star rated book, and I couldn't be happier!

Unless, of course, I'm sharing my book with you at some hella good deals. That would make me even happier. So, head to my estore and enter in coupon code R4MPLQAU to get a whopping $2 off the cover price of my book, taking it from $11.99 down to just $9.99!! This deal is not valid on Amazon.

What's going on over at Amazon, however, is the Kindle deal I have right now. No coupon code necessary, just head to my book on Amazon and get the Kindle version for just $2.99. That's $9 off the paperback price and 1/2 off the normal Kindle price of $5.99. This is a great e-gift idea for that loved one miles away. You can send Kindle books as gifts, so treat yourself or someone you know while this deal lasts.

I'm like Santa this year y'all. I'm not even done with the deals yet!

Remember my post about how my family is going to shop local mom and pop stores and buy homemade this

Monday, November 25, 2013

Our Chance at Being Millionaires Shot Down in All Its Glory

They say everyone has their shot at the Big Time, and sometimes the door to that big shot is only open once.

Our shot, as a family, came last week with probably the best idea that Hubby has ever come up with.

Yeah, it didn't last long.
Pic Courtesy

Hubby was cooking dinner last week, and this conversation occurred:

Hubby: Hey, why don't we have any season salt in the cabinet?
Me: Because I don't use season salt anymore.
Hubby: Well, I want some in the house.
Me: Okay, fine.
Hubby: I told you about this last week.
Me: Okay, well, did you add it to the list?
Hubby: What list?
Me: The grocery list.
Hubby: No. I told you. You were supposed to put it on the list.
Me: Well, I don't care about season salt, so it didn't register enough in my brain for me to add it to the list. Sorry.

And this, Inklingers, is when it happened...

Hubby: There should be an app for your phone for a grocery list.
Me: There are hundreds of grocery list apps, honey.
Hubby: Yeah, but there should be one where the whole family can add stuff to the list, and it syncs it all into one list. So, I could add something, and it goes to the list, and The Girl could add something from her phone, and it adds it to the list, and then you have the family list on your phone when you go shopping.

A silence fell in my kitchen. Everyone was contemplating this amazing idea.

The Girl grabbed her phone and headed to the app store. I refused to speak until her search results popped

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Son of a... I'm Done For

Trying to get my Christmas shopping done, and Hubby tells me that The Ginger likes these new-ish things called Pop figures. I've seen them here and there, and The Ginger has a Nightwing one, so I decided to research online (though, per our agreement for Christmas this year, we will be buying them from local comic book stores).

These little suckers are ADORABLE!!

As I'm searching for DC Comic ones for The Ginger, damn if an Alice in Wonderland one doesn't pop up.

Then Walking Dead ones.
How effing cute?!?! Pic courtesy

Then Big Bang Theory ones.

Then Supernatural ones, which don't even come out until December.

Son of a bitch, I'm done for. I want these little bastards more than The Ginger does.

Game of Thrones.

Jay and Silent Bob.

The Goonies will be released in January.


No, this is not a sponsored post in any way, shape or form. If someone from Funko wants to compensate

Monday, November 18, 2013

Rock This Parenting Thing Book Blitz & Giveaway- 6 Winners in All!

Ever wonder if you are the only one going through crazy stuff when it comes to parenting?

We have 6 authors here who assure you that you are not alone.

Welcome to the Rock This Parenting Thing Book Blitz, showcasing 6 of the hottest humor parenting books from 6 authors who have been there, done that, and gotten the freaking T-shirt wrote the book about it!

This book blitz features 6 authors, tells about them, their books, their blogs, and gives you a taste of their parenting humor with an Author Interview for each. Then, once you get through all of that, you can enter to win a copy of your favorite book listed here! There will be 6 winners in all for the giveaway (many of the prizes are SIGNED copies of the books), so definitely check that out!

Grab a cup of coffee (or glass of wine), sit back and enjoy the Rock This Parenting Thing Book Blitz! Each author is showcasing this post today, so be sure to hit them up and show some love!!

Tatted Mom's Guide to NOT Screwing Up Your Kids by Morgan Moss, from The Inklings of Life

Friday, November 15, 2013

You Know You're a Frazzled Mom When...

This happens:

Before you go off on me, thinking I took a picture of some innocent random person at the grocery store, I'll stop you.

This picture is of me.

I left the house yesterday in a tired stupor to go pick The Girl up from school. Slid my feet into 2 shoes near

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

8 "Mom Dictionary" Terms You Should Start Using

In this world of political correctness (and especially in the world of mom blogging), apparently there are things it's okay to say, and things you should never say, as a mom.

Like calling your kids little assholes. Apparently, that's a huge no-no in society today.

Even if your kids are being little assholes, you can't call them like you see them. One wrong person hears, and you have child protective services knocking at your door, wondering why you called your kids little assholes (and the correct answer isn't, "Because they were being little assholes"- and for the record, no, this didn't happen to me, but I've seen it happen to quite a few other mom bloggers I read).

So, I received that memo. Don't call my kids assholes in public. Gotcha.

Instead, I'll call them gooberheads. It works for us, and I don't get strange stares when I'm out somewhere, my kid tries to trip me up on purpose, and I yell out, "Cut that out, you little gooberhead." Much better than the alternative, right?

That got me to thinking about other words moms use to describe their kids, or to call their kids, or for parenting situations, that are more politically correct than the words we want to use at that moment.

I'll give the word or phrase, how it's used in a sentence, and what we moms really mean when we use it.

Difficult- "The kids have been a bit difficult today." Bat-shit crazy. The kids have been bouncing off every single wall, trying to kill each other, and trying to kill me. At one point during a difficult day, duct tape is considered either as a means of restraint, or to try and permanently house yourself in the closet.

Doesn't Make the Best Decisions- "I've noticed that sometimes, my kid doesn't make the best decisions when it comes to things she does." Does stupid fucking shit. Why did my kid just decide to purposefully walk into a glass door? To get laughs from her brother. And because she does stupid fucking shit. Why does my son insist on willingly taking his Legos outside, knowing the rule we have against it, which

Friday, November 8, 2013

Dads Who Need to Grow the F Up

I'm a mom of older kids. No, we haven't hit the teenage years yet, but I've made it through diapers, learning to walk and talk, trying to figure out what in the hell is wrong when my kid is screaming because they can't say, "I fell and got a boo-boo," and so much more.

As I sit back and watch these new moms come along, I'm amazed. Back when my kids were young, no one cared if you breast fed or bottle fed, co-slept or had separate beds, homeschooled or put them in public schools. If a kid was a little shit, we moms didn't wonder if there were 5,243 behavioral or psychological problems with them, we figured they were going through a phase or were just a spoiled little brat. We didn't have to worry about whether or not their meals contained gluten, or soy, or one of 350 other ingredients banned by European countries but perfectly acceptable to serve in the US.
Amen. Courtesy of Someecards

And we didn't have to worry about whether or not our husbands could watch our kids without killing them.

What? Worry about the father of the child being able to watch their own kid? If you haven't heard about this newest development in the parenting realm, consider yourself lucky, because it seems to be a growing epidemic.

My journey with this subject started a while back on some random mom forum I was on. A woman complained that she wanted to go out with a friend of hers for a cup of coffee for about an hour or so, and her husband, the child's father, refused to watch their 4 month old while she was gone. So, she didn't go.

Whoa, whoa, whoa. What the fuck? Why not? It was an hour. And he's the father.

I figured the string of comments following her post would be outraged women like me, wondering why she

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Bold Move for Christmas in the Tatted Mom Household

We've made a pretty bold decision in our house for Christmas this year.

We're nixing electronics, supporting local Mom and Pop stores, and buying handmade items from websites like Etsy. It's not a new concept, by any means, but it's new-to-us.

My kids have not taken the news very well.

This year, The Girl asked for a laptop or a new tablet. The Ginger had his sights set on a Nintendo 3DS. Hubby and I were leaning more toward a desktop computer as a joint gift for the kids. Then we started researching.

Laptops start at $150, but average $250 or more. Tablets start under $100, but we've done that before with The Girl. The thing broke in less than a year. Nintendo 3DS systems start at $150 and go up from there. And decent desktop computers start at $300. And what would I have if we headed in this direction??

Extremely plugged-in kids. Y'all know I can't stand that shit. I devoted an entire chapter in my book to how I hate plugged-in kids.

So Hubby and I discussed it, and we're boycotting electronics this year. We decided to go one step further by shopping at locally owned stores, and filling our online shopping carts with handmade items from people who are trying to make a living selling their creations.

Bold move, especially with older kids who will see their friends with the latest technological craze this holiday season, but it feels right.

So far, our online window shopping has proven to be quite successful. Y'all know I sell my creations on Etsy, so I'm a huge supporter of the site. What I seemed to have underestimated was the creative genius of

Thursday, October 31, 2013

6+ Ways to Keep Your Sanity While Trick-or-Treating This Halloween

Today's the day! One of my favorite holidays, Halloween! My yard is all decorated, the kids (and I) have our costumes ready, bags of candy ready for trick-or-treaters, and we are counting down the hours until my little spawns can be released on the neighborhood to beg for candy. Sugar-induced comas are right around the corner, I can just feel it!

This year, I'm dressing up as a creepy doll, The Girl is a creepy clown, and The Ginger is Indiana Jones (Hubby's DNA right there). I'm sure I will post pictures over at Inklings' facebook page, so be sure to check there! And yes, I'm one of those moms who dresses up to take her kids trick-or-treating. I absolutely love this shit.

In all of my planning, buying, coordinating and basking in the Halloween glow, I have come across a few things that all moms and dads should keep in their minds this evening.

1. Start drilling into your kids' heads which candy YOU like the best, so they know what to pick out of those "Take 1 Only" bowls. This list should have gone out sooner, I do apologize, so you could have been spending the last few weeks repeating, "Reese's, Snickers, Twix and Kit Kats" to them in their sleep. If you haven't thought ahead to do that, just randomly insert it into conversation once they get home from school today. This way, you have a bowl full of good stuff to choose from when you ask your kids nicely for a piece of candy your kids go to sleep at night.

2. Remind your kids that you are going to have to "check their candy for razor blades and/or drugs" when they get home, before they eat anything. Remember to explain that you are removing "questionable" pieces, that you will go ahead and eat, to protect your kids. If you don't want to go the razor blades and/or drugs route, then remind your kids there is a "Candy Tax" for you taking them trick-or-treating.

3. Buy an extra bag of candy that you will hide from your kids until after Halloween. This way, you

Monday, October 28, 2013

I'm Going to Judge You Hard, Really Hard

I have a confession to make.

I'm a judgmental mom.

Before you click off this post, hear me out. All moms are judgmental. All humans are judgmental. It's a fact of life. Even if you simply look at someone's shoes and think, "Good gracious, those are butt ugly shoes" you are judging that person for their shoe decision.

The key is to not let your initial judgments about someone keep you from interacting with them in a positive way.

Another key is to not walk around judging everything and everyone in your sight. No, "Damn, she did not need to wear those leggings out of the house," "Did you SEE how she was holding that baby?" or "That hair cut does not flatter her four chins" on a regular basis. Then people will judge you for being a bitch- and not the good type of bitch, either.

With all of that said, I am trying to change things in my life. I am trying to be a less judgemental person, and especially, a less judgmental mom. As I preach in my new book, "Tatted Mom's Guide to NOT Screwing Up Your Kids" what works for one mom won't necessarily work for another mom. While this is 100% true, every mom out there knows that when they see another mother do something extremely different than how you do it, a few things happen in your mind (all in about 2.5 seconds, might I add):
  1. You wonder what in the HELL that mom is doing.
  2. You wonder if you did something "wrong."
  3. You wonder if they are doing it "right."
  4. You wonder if you should be doing what they are doing.
As much as you don't want to admit it, all of those are examples of "judging" another mom, based on their mothering technique or style. Most people just brush off all of those thoughts with, "Eh, my way worked for me, so whatever," but every once in a while you get those people who want to tell you how you are doing it wrong and why you should do things their way. 

That shit gets annoying.

So, I'm attempting to just cut out the judging altogether; stop those 4 little thoughts up there before they even happen.

And just when I think I'm making some progress finding peace in different mothering styles...

I read about how some Texas mom got so pissed at her son that she (allegedly) tried to rip his junk off, then glue it back together before anyone found out. 

WTF? Seriously? Who in the hell gets so mad at their kids that they think, "Hmm, I want to rip my kid's scrotum off?" Don't get me wrong, my kids have pissed me off before, but I've never thought to physically harm them, much less try and rip genitalia off. 

Me Being Judgmental: What a HORRIBLE mother. Someone should rip her boobs off, then try and glue them back on.

Oops. My bad. Not supposed to be judging here...

Things go back to being calm and peaceful, right? No judging, keeping to myself, until I read about how...

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Importance of Playing Hooky

The Girl came to me the other day with a toothache. After telling her that she had a back molar coming in, which was the source of her pain, and her not believing me (seriously, I'm just the mom, not a dentist, so what do I know, right?), I made an appointment with her dentist. Her appointment was first thing in the morning, so as we were getting ready to leave for it, I asked her a question that made her eyes widen:

"Do you want me to take you to school afterwards, or do you just want to play hooky and stay home with me for the rest of the day?"

I think she thought it was a trick question, so she immediately replied, "School, definitely." 

I giggled. The Girl was so much like me, it wasn't funny.
"Ferris Bueller's Day Off"- one of my favs!

"It's not a trick question, sweetheart. You already have a short day because it's an early release day, and there's no telling when we'll get done at the dentist, so if you want to come home and goof off with me for the rest of the day, I'm perfectly okay with that," I told her.

For a second, I thought her brain would explode, she was thinking so hard about my proposal.

"But, I'll miss things at school," she said.

"Yes, that's true. But, you'll make them up," I told her.

"I can really just skip school like that?" she asked.

"You can if your mom is telling you that you can, yes," I replied with a laugh.

She only thought about it for about another 5 seconds. "Sweet, then yes, I will stay home with you. I already have my homework for the week, and it's not due until tomorrow, so I'll just do that today," she said, with a huge smile.

I'm a mom that believes in playing hooky.

I don't think it's appropriate to play hooky on a regular basis, but every once in a while is okay.

Did we not learn anything from Ferris Bueller and his amazing day off?

I believe that random, spontaneous breaks are good for the mind, body and soul. I believe that playing

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Story Time Sunday- Kool-Aid Shenanigans

Yes, Inklingers, it's time for another installment of Story Time Sunday. This week, we are venturing back to the days of Hubby and I, before kids, for what I like to call the

Kool-Aid Shenanigans.

I came home from my job at the mall one weekend to find Hubby and a new friend playing video games. (Keep in mind that I was 18, Hubby 20 at the time, and we had no kids.) I plopped my stuff down in the living room and gave him a hello kiss. He introduced me to his new friend, and I headed to the kitchen to find something to eat and drink.

Let me pause here for a moment. Hubby's friendships have always spawned between him and guys he works with. He always manages to find guys in his squadron with his same weird-ass sense of humor to hang out with- this one was no different. Apparently, it's also a Man Thing to have to impress your friends when you are around your friends and your old lady... which is what Hubby attempted to do this particular day.

As I flung open the refridgerator door, I heard from the living room, "Hey, woman, make me some Kool-Aid!"

Thinking there was a pitcher of Kool-Aid in the fridge (and yes, we were broke when we first got married, so we drank a LOT of Kool-Aid), I reached in to grab it, and to pour Hubby a glass. The fridge had no pitcher of Kool-Aid.

"We don't have any Kool-Aid made," I shouted back.
"I know we don't. Make some," Hubby replied.

Oh hell no. He didn't ask nicely. I popped my head out of the kitchen door.

"Ummm... no. Make your own damn Kool-Aid. I just worked. And, you didn't ask nicely," I stated.

Hubby started smiling- this was his tell. I knew, at this point, his goal was to impress his friend.

"But, you're the woman, and you need to make the man and his friend some Kool-Aid," he stated,

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Tatted Mom's Guide to NOT Screwing Up Your Kids is Now Available for Sale!!!

Over a year in the works, but today's the day!

Tatted Mom's Guide to NOT Screwing Up Your Kids: Colorful Parenting Tips from a Colorful Mother

is now available for sale!!

If you are a fan of Inklings, then you'll definitely love the book. With parenting tips on tackling the difficult situations that conventional child-rearing books don't tell you about, from birth up to the tween years, Tatted Mom's Guide to NOT Screwing Up Your Kids is sure to have something for everyone. There are also humor motherhood stories thrown in from not only my own journey, but from moms and dads around the US on their own journeys!

I want to thank everyone who has supported me, as a writer, and this blog. Without you all reading my work, and pushing me to figure out a way to organize all of the chaos in my head into a useful-yet-funny book to use to level out that wonky table of yours with the short leg read during your Mommy Time, this book wouldn't have been possible. Seeing my name on the front of a book- an actual book- is one of the greatest accomplishments I've had to date. It's an amazing feeling, thanks to you all.

The drawings on the front and back cover are indeed my own doodles. The pictures you see on the inside of

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A Letter to My Loyal Readers and to My Haters Alike

I have received a very large increase in traffic lately, due to an article I wrote over a year ago. It has caused quite an emotional rollercoaster for me because of the negative comments and opinions that have been directed toward me. After much thought, I have decided to make a statement:

The Inklings of Life is MY blog. It is a place where I can vent, express my opinions, share my advice and my life stories. I stand behind every single article I have posted, and every word of every article. I don't expect everyone to agree with everything I have to say. That's what makes life so interesting- diversity. But, if you have ventured onto my blog looking to berate me or my readers, then keep on clicking- that behavior is not tolerated here. If my blog is not for you, then simply move on and find one better suited for you. I can tell you now, I won't lose sleep over the fact that you aren't here. The people who understand my words, and appreciate what I have to say, even if they don't always agree with me, are the ones who are meant to be here, and it's those people who I will continue to write to, continue to entertain, continue to respect, and continue to protect. 

All comments on any post older than 2 weeks are moderated on my site. It's not just one particular article, despite what many people who happen upon my blog think. This is to keep spammers in check. If your comment is respectful of me, my readers and my blog, even if the opinion differs from mine, it will be approved. 99% of the time, 'Anonymous' comments are simply deleted. If you can't stand behind your comment on my post, then why would I include your comment on my post? But I will say that I don't spend my time sitting around, waiting for comments to moderate; I do have a life. So, if your comment doesn't make it through immediately, it's probably because I'm spending time with my family, or promoting my book, or extreme couponing, or enjoying a cup of coffee with friends.

For those who have been with  me for the last 3 years (or 2 years, or 1 year, or 1 week, but you feel at home here), thank you. You all have become a family for me, and have helped me create a space where I am comfortable sharing my thoughts, my goals, my downfalls, my insecurities, and a place where you can share your own, through comments on my posts, or by emailing me directly.

For those who want to leave comments berating me or calling me names, I have to wonder where your time would be better spent, because, as far as I'm concerned:

No one has a gun held to your head, demanding you read my blog. No one is telling you to take time out of your busy life to tell me that I'm a *%#^&@%^&$%#. And to be quite honest, no one who reads this blog

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Story Time Sunday- The Hoodoo Chick

Today I have another installment of Story Time Sunday for y'all. We're venturing back to my days as a new age store owner for this week's craziness.

If this is your first Sunday here at Inklings, make sure to catch up on my stories from past weeks. I couldn't make these stories up if I tried...

The Hoodoo Chick

I met a lot of eclectic people when I owned Static Moon down in South Carolina. One day, I had this older woman come into my shop, very quiet, very reserved. I asked her if she needed any help, to which she quietly replied, "No, ma'am, I was just lookin'." I told her if she needed anything, to let me know.

She browsed for a while, stopping in the candles section, where she picked up a few small candles, and moved on to the oils I had. She picked up a bottle of oil, then made her way to the counter, where I kept jars of herbs on the wall. She asked for a few ounces of various herbs, and as she went to pay, I could tell she wanted to ask me something.

"Is there anything in particular you were looking for?" I asked her.

She hesitated, then said, "Well, yes, but I'm not sure if you carry stuff like what I'm looking for." 

I told her that I could order anything she wanted, and have it in within a few days.

"In that case, I need an effigy candle," she stated.

A what? I was clueless. No idea what she was talking about. She saw the confused look on my face.

"I need one of those candles that is shaped like a man, and one shaped like a woman. If you can get one of the couples ones, that would be even better," she clarified for me.

I had seen these candles in my catalogs, but had no idea what they were used for. So, I pulled the catalog out, showed her the picture, and she confirmed that's what she wanted.

"Yeah, no problem. I'll put the order in today for you," I told her.

"Can you get me some 'Go Away' oil, too?" she asked. "And maybe some black salt and sulfur?"

My eyes widened. She laughed.

"Sweetheart, you don't know nothin' about Hoodoo, do you?" she asked.

My naive ass said, "You mean Voodoo?"

She laughed. "No, honey, I mean Hoodoo. You mean to tell me you own a shop like this in South Carolina, and you ain't never heard of Hoodoo? You know, rootworkin'?"

I shook my head.

"Girl, you need to read up on it. You'd make a lot of money around here if you started carrying

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Dear Kids (An Open Letter to My Offspring)...

Dear The Girl and The Ginger,

My beautiful babies. Well, you aren't technically babies anymore. At the golden ages of 11 and almost 9, I can't help but wonder where the years went. It seems like just yesterday I was diapering your behinds and squishing your chubby cheeks. Now? Now I just look around at your class assemblies and think,

"Hell YES I'm like the youngest mom here!!"

It's true. Because I chose to marry at 18 and have the two of you at 21 and 23, I'm now in this very small bracket of people in their early 30s with pre-teen kids. Most people my age have younger kids, and most parents of kids your age are in their late 30s, early 40s.

So, for that, I thank you. Thank you for making me a mother when you did, because now at 32, I am able to seriously rock the mom-of-older-kids thing, and it feels great!

Now it's time to address a few things, my loves. Just a few. It wouldn't be like me to rattle off an entire list of things we need to talk about, would it?

(Snickering) Yeah, okay, you got me. That's exactly what I'd do. So, let's get to it, shall we?

1. Zoning in on one line of a song and singing it over and over and over again- Not cool. You'd think me telling you every single time you do this that it's annoying as hell would have changed the behavior by now. It has not. So, now it's on blast here on my blog. 9 times out of 10, I actually enjoy the song you are singing while you do the dishes. But then you hit that favorite line, and the song is instantly added to the Makes My Ears Bleed list of songs that encompasses most of today's music anyway. So please, for the sake of my ears, cut that crap out.

2. Your bathroom smells like death... wrapped in a burrito... with extra puke sauce on the side. Seriously, exactly what do you do in your bathroom that causes it to smell that way? Do I need to be worried about animal sacrifices going on in the tub that you don't clean up properly afterwards? Do you actually aim for the toilet when you go to use it, or is hovering (for you, Girl) and a general vicinity (for you, Ginger) good enough for y'all? I used to clean your bathroom- do you remember those days? Then I got

Monday, October 7, 2013

Being In-Love with My Family (In a Non-Angelina-Jolie-and-Her-Brother-Creepy Way)

Oh what a difference one little year makes.

This week my kids are on Fall Break. If you have been with me over a year now, you'll remember that last year, I was not so happy about this Fall Break from school. Maybe it was because we lived in a 900 square foot 2 bedroom apartment, or because it was my first year as a parent to kids in this jacked up school district, but I was dreading the break almost a month before it arrived.

This year I'm happy. Really happy.

Maybe it's because we're in an actual house, where the kids have their own rooms, and they aren't on top of me all day. Maybe it's because I was run ragged with The Girl's volleyball season that I'm welcoming the break from practices and games before she starts with basketball season next week.
So THAT'S what I did with my kids...

Or maybe...

Just maybe...

Sometime in the last year, I re-fell in-love with my kids.

Gasp! What? She didn't love her kids for a year? What a horrible mother!!

Hold your horses, there. I didn't say I didn't love my kids. I will always love my kids. Even when they are being buttheads, I will love my kids.

Sometime in the last year, I fell in-love with my kids again. That's something completely different.

Motherhood is crazy. Some days are great; some days are bad. Some days we adore our kids; some days we wish they'd go to their rooms and not come out until tomorrow. Through every moodswing that

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Feeding Kids In Various Stages of Motherhood (Book Teaser #3)

It's almost that time:

Tatted Mom's Guide to NOT Screwing Up Your Kids is almost here. It's been a long road, taking over a year now to fully write, edit and get published, but we are in the home stretch. Fingers crossed, I will have an official release date as early as this weekend for y'all, but just keep in mind that it will be sometime this month.

I'm excited. Like, super excited. Like, got-to-eat-cheesecake-and-cheesy-poofs-all-weekend-and-woke-up-Monday-morning-having-lost-5-pounds excited. Only, this excitement is based in reality (sigh- if only you could eat cheesecake and cheesy poofs all weekend and wake up lighter).

So, it's time for another book teaser. I'm pulling random entries from throughout the book. Enjoy!!

From Chapter 2: The Baby is Hungry

Myth #4: Breastfeeding is a supply and demand system; the more your baby feeds, the more milk you will produce so there will always be food for your baby.

Tatted Mom’s Truth #4: Supply and demand is a lie... at least for me it was. That’s why my daughter stopped breastfeeding at ten months and my son stopped at three months. No matter how much they ate, I never replenished fast enough, especially not for my son. Like I said above, he came out the size of a three month old, so I fed him every single hour for weeks straight to try and build my milk supply, and he was always hungry. Then, I tried alternating breastfeeding with bottlefeeding to give my boobs some time to build milk up, and when he’d feed from me after a few hours, it still wasn’t enough for him and I had to make a bottle real quick to top him off. So when it came to the option of my kids always being hungry but breastfeeding exclusively until they were 1 year old, or switching them to formula because my milk just didn’t produce like other moms and having full, healthy kids, I switched them to formula, no questions asked.

Myth #5: When a child bites down on your nipple hard, it won’t hurt as badly as you think it will, so the best thing to do is remain calm and the worst possible thing to do is react negatively to it.

Tatted Mom’s Truth #5: When a kid bites down hard on your nipple, teeth or no teeth, that shit hurts. I’ll

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Story Time Sunday- The Apology Pizza

I worked at a tattoo shop in South Carolina for 3 years. To this day, I'm always asked about the most difficult customer I ever had. That, dear readers, would be the story of the Apology Pizza.

This kid (and when I say "kid," he was like 21 or 22- that was young to me) worked with Hubby. He was that kid that, when he walked into a room, just joined into a conversation like he'd been there the whole time, making things extremely awkward. So, people in Hubby's shop generally steered clear of him. When he (over)heard that I was a tattoo artist, he immediately came in to see me, to have his tattoo cherry popped.

He had this idea for this huge back piece. It was to be a fight between good and evil on the two sides of his back, and straight down his spine would be 9 kanji symbols (the Asian characters) that represented the 9 levels of hell from Dante's Inferno.

Great idea. Amazing concept. I was excited.

Until the day came for his first session. Because he'd never had a tattoo done before, and was a little short on money, he wanted to just start with the first symbol and last symbol- that was it. The first symbol was placed right below his neck and the last symbol in the "tramp stamp" position of the lower back. I put him in the standard "tramp stamp" tattooing position, straddling a seat backwards, and started the tattoo.

He literally jumped out of the chair when the needle touched his skin. Not just moved a little- he lept up and over the back of the seat he was straddling. Up. And. Over.

I told him he couldn't be doing that shit. I explained to him how he needed to sit really still, and I was good at

Thursday, September 26, 2013

I Wouldn't Lick My Coffee Mug or Use My Toothbrush, If I Were You

I've been MIA lately. Pretty legit reason this time, I promise...

Saturday I woke up at like 1 in the morning, my throat on fire. I immediately grabbed my phone and turned on my flashlight app (seriously, does anyone have actual flashlights anymore?) and looked at the back of my throat...

If we were to infect zombies with a flesh-eating virus to try and further their decomposition, then drop an atomic bomb on them, what would be leftover is what the back of my throat looked like. Yeah. That.

Considering The Ginger had strep throat two weeks earlier, and I was the person that stayed by his side through the entire thing, this wasn't a huge shock to me.

We moms take care of our kids and our spouses when they are sick, just to be rewarded with... getting sick weeks later. WTF, Universe? Can't we get a "Get Out of Strep Free" Card, for crying out loud? Sheesh.

So, I immediately started with antibiotics, in a half-preemptive strive, before the fever and all other bullshit set in. With The Ginger, after the first dose of antibiotics, he started feeling better. Two doses in and he was asking to play video games again instead of passing in and out of consciousness on the couch. Three doses and he was back to his old self, eating me out of house and home.
The movie "Jawbreaker"

Only, 3 doses of antibiotics later and I was worse off than ever. Fever was close to 102, chills, my entire body felt like a Mack Truck had hit me, then put it in reverse and ran over me again, my lymph nodes were so swollen I looked like the dead chick in the movie "Jawbreaker," and I could barely sit up in bed to take a sip of anything. I made Hubby take me to a different doctor, where my strep test came back negative, but upon the doctor's examination of my apocalyptic throat, assessed that I did indeed have strep, and gave me different antibiotics, and a numbing mouth rinse for the pain.

I will pause right here for a moment- if you are ever offered the numbing mouth rinse, pass on it. Seriously. Your sickly mind will not process that in order to get the mouth rinse to the back of your throat to gargle, it has to pass over your tongue and cheeks, thus rendering them numb as well. Horrible. Absolutely horrible. You instantly turn into a drooling idiot, and your throat still hurts. Go with over-the-counter throat spray and aim that shit directly where it hurts, bypassing your tongue and cheeks so you can keep some of your dignity intact. You'll thank me.

We will fast forward now to Day 6 of this "strep throat". My lymph nodes are still swollen, my throat still very tender and has healing zombie-like leftover patches on it, I can't do much of anything for longer than about 20 minutes before I'm out of breath and tired as hell, and my whole body still aches like the Mack Truck is just hitting the gas every few hours.

What do you call strep throat that wasn't really strep throat that goes on for a week and has flu-like symptoms with it?

Mono. You call it mono. Only, I'm choosing to not call it mono because I'm not a 15 years old who got it

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Story Time Sunday #3: That Time Our Daughter Was Possessed (Like, Really Possessed)

Caution now: This story is super-weird, and if you scare easily, is going to give you goosebumps. This stuff really happened... I couldn't make it up if I tried.

When The Girl was 4 years old, we bought our first house. It was a 1960s one story, with the kitchen, master bedroom and dining room on one side of the house, the kids' bedrooms and main bathroom on the other side of the house, and the living room in the middle. In the 9 months or so prior to moving into this house, we had just moved back to the states from England, were living in base housing, and decided to move once again into our very own home.

Strange things happened in this house.

It started shortly after we moved in. The Girl started having night terrors, screaming so loud that it would wake us up on the other side of the house. We figured it was just all the moving and upheaval we had done in the last year- that she wasn't adapting so well to it.

The Girl looked just
like this scene from
the movie, "The Ring"
Sure... We'll stick with that theory.

One night, I woke up in the middle of the night because I felt something weird. When I turned over to look at Hubby, there was The Girl, standing perfectly still, on Hubby's side of the bed, hair in her face, just staring at us. I shook Hubby awake, who looked right at The Girl, yelled out some obscenity, and sat straight up in bed. I was frozen. I couldn't move, it was so creepy. He flipped on the light, and she just continued to stand perfectly still, and stare at us. Hubby got out of bed and walked The Girl back to her room, where she climbed back into bed like nothing had happened. To this day, we have no idea how long she was standing at the side of our bed, just staring at us.

The bedside staring incident happened several times over the course of about 2-3 weeks, and each time, The Girl had absolutely no recollection of it the next day. We weren't even sure if she

Thursday, September 19, 2013

My Tiger Mom Stripes Start to Show

I want to start out by saying I hate mom labels- Tiger Mom, Helicopter Mom, Free-Range Mom- they are all ridiculous. My use of the term "Tiger Mom" in this post is for humorous purposes, and those who regularly read my blog know I am not one of those moms who pushes her kids to do... well, anything. If my kids enjoy something, then Hubby and I support them. If they don't want to do it, we don't force them, unless they haven't given the activity a fair try.

Now that we've gotten that out of the way, on with the post.
Pic from Parenting Mojo

One of my main goals as a mother has always been to teach my children about choices; everything in life they do is based on a choice. There is nothing in this world that isn't based on a choice, and that is probably the #1 thing I preach to my kids. When I tell them to do something, do they have to do it? Nope, they don't. They can choose not to do it, but then they must suffer the consequences. Does Hubby have to get up and go to work every morning? Nope, he doesn't, but if he chooses not to, he could get fired. Everything in life is a choice, and my kids know this. They hear me say it just about every single day.

So, when The Girl came home the other day and said that she had a huge problem, I listened with open ears and an open heart, to see how I could help her. She had one week to read a book, and here it was, 6 days later, and she still had over 350 pages to read in the book. The assignment was due the next day. She immediately came out with, "I hate how hard my teacher is. There's no way I can read 350 pages tonight. This is so stupid." 

Whoa, whoa, whoa there, little missy. My Tiger Mom stripes started popping out. I needed to collect some more information before I unleashed them fully.

Here's what I found out:

  1. The kids in the class were allowed to choose their own books.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Story Time Sunday #2: "Be Very Quiet or We'll Wake My Wife Up"

Over a decade ago, before The Girl and The Ginger were even a twinkling in Hubby's eyes, we spent our weekends like many early 20-somethings did- drinking and having fun with friends. When Hubby turned 21, we were living in base housing, so our house immediately became the party house, as all of his friends were still single and lived in the dorms. I honestly wasn't a huge drinker back then, and I was working 10 hour shifts at the mall, so I would come home, maybe have a wine cooler, and sit on the couch and watch TV.

One particular evening I was super exhausted, so I plopped on the couch, which we had situated in front of the dining room (open floor plan), so behind the couch was our dining room table. Hubby and his friends were sitting at the dining room table, playing some drinking game, so I flipped on the TV and ended up falling asleep.

I was awakened a little while later by some loud sound. I opened my eyes, but didn't move my body on the couch. As my senses started to focus, I realized that the house was dead quiet- not normal for an evening of drinking games. I laid there for a second, looking around the living room, trying to figure out what the sound was that woke me up. That's when I heard whispering coming from behind me, from the dining room table.

"Shhhhhh. Everyone be very quiet or we'll wake her up. Don't make a sound." 

Oh hell's bells, what in the hell did my husband just do that

  1. He didn't want me to know about
  2. Quieted the entire house
  3. Warranted him warning everyone to be quiet until whatever it was, was cleaned up and/or disposed of.
I heard the sliding of a dining room chair across the floor, so I popped up, over the couch, and stared directly at Hubby, who froze in a mid creep from the table.

"Hi, honey, love of my life. How did you sleep?" Hubby said to me, as I watched him try and block the

Friday, September 13, 2013

Loopholes, Sneakiness and Kids' Lunches

One lesson I never thought I would have to teach my kids was how to be sneaky. For me, as a child, this came naturally. I was figuring out loopholes and how to get my way from an extremely young age. I was that kid who, when told go to my room and go to bed for the night, and was found 20 minutes later laying in bed reading a book, simply stated, "You told me to go to bed, not to go to sleep."

Symantics have always been an important part of who I am, which is why I just assumed my kids would have inherited my love of bending the rules.

Good grief, was I wrong.
Pic from Eating Well

My kids have been coming home lately with food still in their lunch boxes, leftover from lunch. This seriously urks my nerves, because
  1. It wastes money.
  2. I don't pack their lunch for my health or enjoyment.
  3. It wastes money.
  4. It means they aren't getting a well balanced lunch.
  5. It wastes money.
I decided to test my kids, and see just how far the apples fall from the tree. Choosing my words extremely carefully, I told them:

"I am tired of y'all bringing home food that you didn't eat at lunch. No more. I want to see empty lunch boxes from now on, got it? And that DOESN'T mean you just throw the food away. That's wasting money, too."

They gave me some sort of a yes answer and went on about their business. The next day, they came home with leftover food in both of their lunch boxes. 

"What did I tell y'all? I told you empty lunch boxes."

That's when The Girl told me she doesn't like cheese sticks and The Ginger told me he wasn't fond of the

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Dear Miley Cyrus,

Pic from EOnline
With your recent VMAs performance and now the release of your music video for "Wrecking Ball", I've seen everyone from mom bloggers to celebrities begging you to stop your destructive behavior. Your family initally stood behind your actions, but now seem to be refusing to comment any further, leaving the world wondering if they, too, have joined the Anti-Miley movement.

Well, Miley, I'm not here to ask you to stop. On the contrary, I'm here to tell you to

Keep it up!

You have obviously discovered the joys of sex and the exciting world it has opened you up to, so why not share that with the entire world? Most people want to keep sex special, and personal, but why? Why not emulate every sexual move you have with your fiance on a stage, with Robin Thicke, for everyone to know exactly what it looks like to have sex with you? Makes so much sense to me! It might kill your future sex video sales, because everyone will have already seen your gyrations, facial expressions and favorite positions, but hey, that could be years, months, weeks into the future, so why worry about that now?

Keep it up!

Your behavior, your every move, is caught on camera, and will make it very easy to teach your possible future daughter many important life lessons like:
  • How to dry hump in public, but keep your stamina up so you can still sing
  • How not to contract communicable diseases by licking random tools
  • How to properly finger bang yourself with a foam finger as to not scratch your nether regions
  • How not to contract BV (bacterial vaginosis) or a yeast infection from sitting on a wrecking ball butt-ass naked
  • How to properly let the entire world know that you are no longer a virgin and proud of your newly-discovered sexual ways
Keep it up!

Your fiance, Liam, has been on the fence about marrying you. I'm sure after your latest video, he's probably

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Story Time Sunday #1: The Portal Girl

Somewhere along the line, I've been told I have great stories to tell. Between having been a tattoo artist, new age store owner, having lived in 2 countries and being a mom who doesn't think like most moms, I guess I can see that.

So, I decided to start Story Time Sunday. Each Sunday, I'll share with you all a random story from my life. Yes, they are all true... I couldn't make this shit up if I tried.

Grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair, and gather around for my first Story Time Sunday! This week, I'll start out with a bang!

The Portal Girl

I owned a new age store for several years, and would get asked the craziest things. I had a completely open mind (why I opened the store), so while I never talked down to anyone or argued with what they believed, there were a few times I raised an eyebrow when a person asked me a question.

I will never forget The Portal Girl. She came rushing into Static Moon (the name of my store) one day, all in a frenzy.

Portal Girl: OH, thank goodness you are here today. I came yesterday, but you weren't open.
Me: Oh. Sorry. I close on Sundays. Are you okay?
PG: No. I have a question that I hope you can help me with. I don't know who else to turn to.
Me: Okay, shoot.
PG: How do you close a portal?

At this point, I didn't say a word. I started looking around, wondering if I was on Candid Camera. The look on her face told me I was not.

Me: I'm sorry, what? A portal?
PG: Yes. How do you close a portal? 
Me: Well, to be completely honest, I'm not sure. How did you open the portal?
PG: With this spell I created.

I started looking around the room again. No hidden camera men were popping out at me.

Me: Okay. Well, can't you just reverse the spell, which would close the portal?

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Always Rock the Nerdom

The Girl walked into the living room last night with her shirt pulled up slightly to expose her stomach area, and she was rubbing her belly as a sign of just having eaten an amazing meal.
Pic courtesy of WeHeartIt

"Hey, Mom, look at my stomach. Isn't it luscious?"

I shot her the Look of Death.

"Isn't it what?"

"Luscious. Like my hair," and she giggled.

I did not pass go, I did not collect $200, I went directly into Oh Hell No Mom Mode.

"The word 'luscious' is NOT used to describe stomachs, especially those of 11 year olds. Where did you hear that?"

"It's just what everyone says. Hair is luscious. Clothes are luscious. Abs are luscious."

"Abs are NOT luscious. Clothes are NOT luscious. I don't give a rat's ass if this is the new word of your generation, you will NOT be using it."

I grabbed my phone and googled the definition of 'luscious' as she stared at me with eyes as wide as saucers, and started to argue with me. She obviously had no idea what she had just stepped into.

Luscious, by definition:

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

When Things in Life Get Too Serious, Draw Penises

I used to be that chick that always had to talk through things, especially in relationships.

"What are you thinking right now? How do you feel? Where do you see us in a year, 5 years, 10 years? What's on your mind? What's wrong? Are you okay?"
Amazing emoticons for you from

I was also a raging bitch who verbally attacked people for no reason, lived life in paranoia and pissed-offedness, and was constantly starting fights to make myself feel alive.

I quickly realized a few things about life:
  1. Life runs smoothly when everything is as it should be.
  2. Being that chick is a serious buzz kill.
  3. It wasn't in my nature to be this emotional leech, sucking the life from anyone near me.
For years, I seemed to be this emotional parasite and found myself depressed, crazy, and spiraling downward. So, it took a series of bad relationships, and a serious bout of introspection to help me realize that life is too damn short to take things so seriously. My biggest piece of advice for people who still take life to the extreme, emotionally speaking, and want to change is:

When things in life get too serious, draw penises. 

Yep, you read that right. Draw penises. Of course I will explain.

I recently joined this kick-ass online mom's group. Yes, I said kick-ass which does go against previous posts I've written, but when you find a bunch of potty-mouthed, open-minded military wives in your area that just seem to "get" you, it's a beautiful thing. 

First impressions were not so amazing, though. Apparently, prior to my joining, they had some women join just to start drama. So, when this influx of new membership requests came in, the admins raised an eyebrow. Instead of approving the newbies and sitting back to see if any of them were there for drama, we newbies

Friday, August 30, 2013

13 Songs My Parents Probably Shouldn't Have Let Me Listen To As a Kid

I was driving in my car yesterday, and the song "Dead Bite" by Hollywood Undead came on the radio. I adore this song. It's catchy, the beat is awesome, and I'm constantly finding myself singing, "Good night, sleep tight, Don't let the dead bite." That's when Hubby informed me that the song is about one guy hunting down and killing another guy, and possibly mass murdering many others. Dammit, I liked that song. No more playing it around the kids, that's for sure.

That got me thinking about songs that I listened to growing up that maybe my parents shouldn't have allowed, if they knew the lyrics. My research turned up some beauties, Inklingers. I'm about to take you on a trip down Memory Lane, back to your middle school dances and driving around in your parent's car on the weekends. Sing along, but make sure you actually take a look at some of the lyrics I'm posting- it will make your jaw drop to the floor.

These are in random order, of course, and I've included the videos (or close enough to the videos) to refresh your memories. Enjoy!

1. Semi-Charmed Life- Third Eye Blind

Ah, it's starting in your head already, isn't it? "Doo doo doo, doo doo-doo doo... I'm packed and I'm holding..." That first part should have done the song in, but no. It goes on to talk about cocaine ("I was taking sips of it through my nose"), sex ("She comes round and she goes down on me" and "How do I get back to the place where I fell asleep inside you") and comes right out and says, "Doin' crystal meth will lift you up until you break." I love this song, too- even saw them in concert when Hubby and I were still dating. Classic song that now, as a mom, I refuse to let my kids listen to. Ahh, the joys of teenagehood in the 90s.

2. Push It- Salt n' Pepa

I'm not even bringing up the obvious Salt n' Pepa song from the 90s, "Let's Talk About Sex"- that's on everyone's list of questionable songs. I'm going for "Push It". Not much to the song at all, lyrically speaking, but then you get to, "Better make it fast or else I'm gonna get pissed, Can't you hear the music's pumpin' hard, Like I wish you would, Now push it, Push it real good." I remember what I told my parents- they were talking about dancing on the dancefloor, duh. Play dumb. It always works. It's better than trying to explain to your parents that you know exactly what the song's talking about, right?

3. OPP- Naughty By Nature

Thursday, August 29, 2013

#RockTheLunchBox This School Year!

Y'all know I'm a tree-hugging hippy at heart. I buy organic food when I can, make things from scratch so I know what my family is eating, and try and make sure that my kids are eating healthy at every meal, which, at at ages 11 and 8, isn't easy some days.

So when Honest Kids, Stonyfield Farm, Annie's Homegrown and Organic Valley teamed together for the Rock the Lunchbox program, I was super-stoked to help them pass on the word. These brands were already some of my family's favorites, and putting together lunches for my kids using their products was not only fun, but I knew my kids would be eating healthy, as well.

With The Ginger's lunch, I chose a sandwich and apples with peanut butter, then added Bunny Grahams and Bunny Fruit Snacks from Annie's Homegrown, YoKids Squeezers organic yogurt, and Organic Valley single serving of milk. I loved the fact that I had every major food group covered, and how many organic products my son was eating. He loved "drowning" his bunnies in peanut butter, then saving them, just to plunge them into his mouth and wash it all down with milk he didn't have to stand in the lunch line to acquire. Boys...

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

What's in a Book Title? Everything... aka Book Excerpt #2

I realized that I haven't done a book teaser in a while for you all. Then, I realized that I haven't even released the name of the book to the public yet.

Today, y'all are in for a treat. Not only do you get the back cover synopsis of the book, but you get the name, too.

Feels like Christmas, doesn't it? Y'all should know that if I'm releasing the name and the back synopsis, the book release is right around the corner. Now it definitely feels like Christmas to me.

Without further ado, here's what Tatted Mom's Guide to NOT Screwing Up Your Kids is all about...

Motherhood is chaotic: Some days are filled with unicorns and fairy dust, and some days the unicorn craps on your brand new rug and the fairies are flying around, crashing into walls. Mainstream parenting books help with the unicorn and fairy dust days, but what happens when your kid drops the f-bomb in a crowded grocery store?

That's where Tatted Mom's Guide to NOT Screwing Up Your Kids comes into play, tackling situations in motherhood that you were definitely not warned about. Think of this book as your manual to the parenting problems that leave you throwing your hands up in the air, wondering if you are the only mom who goes through this craziness, and has you hiding in the back of your closet with a bottle of moscato and a cheesecake (we've all been there).

Tatted Mom's Guide to NOT Screwing Up Your Kids includes:

Friday, August 23, 2013

7 Things to Keep In Mind When Joining an Online Mom Group

I have been a member of several online mom groups over the years. In fact, I wrote about What Online Mom Groups Have Taught Me a little over a year ago when I could not peel myself away from the computer. I forced myself to leave that mom site (kicking and screaming, might I add) because my blood boiled way to damn much over what these women posted. I have since joined a smaller, tamer one, but good grief, the similarities are countless.

Why join an online mom group? There are several reasons:
  1. To "meet" other moms, even in a virtual setting.
  2. To create a support system.
  3. To get or give advice about motherhood.
  4. To feed the little drama monster that lives deep down inside you.
If you have never been a member of an online mom group, you should- just for the experience. Whenever you get a group of women in a small space (even a virtual one) that inevitably includes at least one woman in each of the following categories: opinionated, under-sexed, over-hormoned, catty, bitchy, naive, controversial, know-it-all, know-nothing, crazy, and/or has-to-be-the-center-of-attention, the result is pure anarchy. If you can manage to sit back and view it all as your own personal soap opera, it's fun. If you find yourself getting sucked into the drama, it's time to leave.

When making the decision to join an online mom group, there are definitely some things you should keep in mind:

1. Think before you post. This applies to posting a question or posting an answer to someone else's question. Ask yourself if the advice or statement you are about to give is worth the possible 23 women who will take offense to your statement and berate you. No subject is safe. Not even if you want to post about a horrible serial killer who was just arrested and how thankful you are that the streets are now a little safer. Chances are, one woman's cousin's brother's next door neighbor's hair stylist's baby daddy was a serial killer, and she'll let you know that serial killers are people with feelings, too, and your statement was rude and hurtful.

2. Posting pictures of naked kids is NOT cool. I don't care if your kid has a rash right next to their junk- take the kid to the emergency room or google that shit. Under no circumstances are you to post a picture of

Monday, August 19, 2013

When Blogging Alter Egos and Secret Identities Collide

I've realized as the release for my upcoming book draws near, my two worlds are beginning to collide. Since I began blogging back in 2010, my blog posts have been signed 'Tatted Mom'. I made the decision back then to not use my real name in posts, and never my kids' names or faces. Now, 3 years later, I've held true to keeping my kids anonymous, but my alter ego is no longer a secret.
Pic courtesy of io9

Basically, I've become more of an Iron Man blogger, with the entire world knowing that I'm Tony Stark in the exoskeleton, instead of living my days as Bruce Wayne and my nights as Batman, and no one ever connecting the dots. I'm becoming okay with this. I like Tony Stark. He's quirky and sarcastic, much like me.

It really got me thinking as to what makes 'Tatted Mom' different than me, Morgan, or if there even is a difference anymore after 3 years of my two lives slowly melting together. I decided to list it all out. This post is great for the newbies to Inklings- especially those who know Morgan, but not Tatted Mom. This will be fun for y'all.

Tatted Mom

1. 32 year old mother to The Girl and The Ginger, elusive children who only ever appear in pictures with their backs facing the camera, or their faces covered.

2. Sarcastic, highly opinionated, and not afraid to speak her mind.

3. Strange sense of humor that 72% of readers don't actually get (okay, so that percentage is completely made up and is an example of her strange sense of humor). Those who get it stick around so she can make them shoot coffee out of their noses every morning by laughing at new posts. Those who don't get it either stick around because they want to get it, because they absolutely hate it and have to see what vile, wretched thing she has to say next, or they leave and never come back. She doesn't cry when those people who don't get her, leave.

4. Has a potty mouth.

5. Gives great advice in very unique, often coated in sarcasm, ways.

6. Very honest and open about the questions she's asked or the topics she writes about.

7. Married to Hubby, who is just as sarcastic and quick witted as she, so their banter leaves many readers

Monday, August 12, 2013

Violin Lessons and Volleyball Tryouts: This Mom's Transition from Elementary School to Middle School Life

Today is the first day of volleyball tryouts for The Girl. At 5'3" tall with 110 pounds of muscle and only in the sixth grade, we've already been approached by the basketball and soccer coach about having her play those sports later in the year. We were warned then that the coach for the volleyball team was partial to the older kids- seventh and eighth graders, so we did what any family of a sixth grader who really wants to make the volleyball team does...

We practiced all weekend long. I played volleyball for four years in high school, so I was happy to teach The Girl the basics, and we even had fun doing it as a family. As we practiced, I couldn't help but think...

Elementary school life is so much easier than middle school life.  For my family, the difference between the two is like night and day.

Take The Ginger's upcoming week (he's still in elementary school, just starting the third grade): He has his GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) class on Thursday, and that's during school hours. That's it. The first PTO meeting at his school is Tuesday afternoon, but if we all can remember last year's run in with the PTO, and the same women are in charge again this year, I'm not quite sure I will be participating.

The Girl? Volleyball tryouts Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, then violin lessons on Friday- all after school. ALL of her days this week, with the exception of Wednesday, will end way after 5pm. Her day starts at 6am. And she has chosen to do all of this.

I guess she's following in my footsteps as an overachiever. You think?

I know there are Tiger Moms out there who taught their children Russian at the age of 2, how to play the

Friday, August 9, 2013

My Dirty Laundry Parenting Philosophy

The Ginger came downstairs last night soaking wet and wrapped in a towel, just having finished his nightly shower. He stood at the end of the sofa until my candy crushing ways allowed for a pause to look up.
Picture from Grumpy Cat Pics

The Ginger: Do you see anything wrong with this picture?
Me: Yeah. You're getting water all over my floor.
The Ginger: Well, I don't have any underwear OR pants.
Me: Look in your drawer. You have underwear and/or pants.
The Ginger: No, I don't. They are right there (pointing to a dirty clothes basket in the hallway), where I put them 2 days ago. And they still aren't clean.
Me: It wasn't two days ago, and I told you on Sunday to bring me your clothes for the week. Wednesday is not Sunday.
The Ginger: But I need clean underwear, and you haven't done my laundry.
Me: And I don't have to do your laundry, with that attitude. Sunday is laundry day. You told me you didn't need clothes washed, so I took your word for it.
The Ginger: URRRRGHHHH...

And he turned around and made little wet foot steps back down the hallway and up the stairs.

Some of you may find this conversation between my child and I less than desirable. I might come across to some as a lazy mom who doesn't do her children's laundry. To others, you might see me as an emotionless, rule-abiding authoritarian type. And to others, I know you are thinking that a swift light smack to the mouth is exactly what my son needed to cure his attitude.

I see this story as a prime example of a few things:

Monday, August 5, 2013

9 Things for a Stay-at-home Mom to Do While the Kids are In School

Pic courtesy of InfoCentre
It's that time of year again- Back to School time; The time of year that stay-at-home moms of school aged children count down to. While I have enjoyed my kids being home during the summer, and will miss them, the quiet house is welcomed... with open arms... and a huge smack on the lips... with some over-the-shirt fondling, perhaps, just to show my appreciation.

With a list a mile long of errands to run and chores to do and an empty house to actually accomplish the things on that list, I find myself reveling in the quiet. I have 6 hours until my son gets home from school. 6 whole hours. My list may take 3 or 4 hours. What on earth can I possibly do with the remaining time?

9 Activities for a Stay-at-Home Mom While the Kids Are in School

  1. Sleep. Nap on the couch, in my bed, in the middle of the floor for all I care. No fighting siblings, no video game noises in the background, no pokes to the arm followed by a whispering voice saying, "Mom, I know you are trying to sleep and all, but this is super important. Can I have a pack of fruit snacks?" Dead, bleeding or on fire. Those are my specific instructions for when one of my kids should wake me when I'm attempting to nap. Fruit snacks are not dead, bleeding, or on fire.
  2. Run around naked. Okay, so I wouldn't run around my house naked. I'm a firm believer that running is only necessary if the Zombie Apocalypse has begun and there are zombies behind you. So, I'd be more inclined to lounge around naked, answer emails naked, maybe even blog naked (this just got awkward for you, didn't it?).
  3. Eat whatever in the hell I want to. No hiding in the closet to grab a cookie, or heading to the bathroom with a bowl of ice cream just to escape the "Mom, can I just have a little bite, please?" I can eat whatever I want, whenever I want, where ever I want. 
  4. Have a mopped floor that stays clean for more than 2.5 seconds. Mondays are my floor