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